Chapati Club (Indian) – Acton, LondonHALAL STATUS Fully Halal food menu • Alcohol served
Having opened around a year and half ago, this 36-cover local eatery, while introducing a typical Indian menu to Acton, albeit succinct, is certainly atypical in its decor when compared to your local Indian curryhouse.
Instead, its interior has a distinctly 70’s vibe to it, with tables and chairs straight out of a school dinner hall, and eyecatching freestyle graffiti one would find sprawled across the wall of any neighbourhood street from said era.
With the food menu being fully Halal, the kitchen is flexible enough to assure the following: “Most of our dishes are medium spice level. Please talk to us for any adjustments.”
Note also that the alcohol bar is discreetly located at the back, with plenty of seating at the front.
Damn do they know how to make a mean lassi! These were fantastic, which, given the many poorly-executed ones we’ve had over the years at seemingly more prestigious places, came as quite a surprise.
Each one was thoughtfully conceived and elevated via the simple addition of something extra, such that the thick Mango had a hint of cardamom to it, the Sweet a touch of rosewater, and the frothy Salted a touch of masala.
Honestly; we’d recommend any of these (or all three if you’re feeling thirsty) with any given meal. Our only quibble would be: why weren’t these presented ice-cold as they deserved?
Add to that the lightly spiced lamb mince interior, and what you had here was a well made traditional samosa.
Partner this with a tamarind sweet chutney, and this turned out to be a good start to the starter section.
It was also recommended by the owner as inhouse made.
These Kerala Prawns, however, were the pick of the Sharer dishes for us.
With the prawns cooked to absolute perfection, what made these so good was the spicy mustard semi-dry marination expertly offset by the evident squeeze of lemon therein. RECOMMENDED ALL THE WAY!
This superb little plate of smashed Samosa Chaat had everything that makes this dish accounted for, from the strong kick of the chilli marrying with the combo of the mint sauce and the touch of sweet from the tamarind, to the addition of the crispy biscuits to help enhance its texture.
These cubes of cassava were gently spiced allowing the heat to come through soothingly. Texturally, however, these could have had a crispier exterior perhaps.
Unlike the Mogo though, these Okra Fries were superb! Okra Fries appear to be a hit and miss affair at most south-Asian restaurants brave enough to offer this, with many turning out too oily and soggy.
Just as the owner promised, these were judged to perfection – thin, superbly battered and beautifully crispy – and, thus, extremely addictive.
CARNIES & PESCIES
Apparently this mellow spiced Chicken G is the most popular dish in this section.
Nevertheless, while the chicken was tender and soft, and the spinach green base beautifully buttery and superly spiced, without being too hot, we did feel that the dish was slightly erring on the salted side.
This Butter Chicken was a decent one in that it was smooth and fairly buttery, with the curry being mildly spiced, while the chicken, again gorgeously cooked, charbroiled enough to leave that strong hint of smokiness.
Like we said, good without being anything spectacular.
Hence, whilst the former was soft and delicate, the latter was gently spiced and nicely countered by both the touch of sweetness and the familiar aroma of the mustard seeds therein.
You’ll be enjoying that curry sauce right down to the last. Of course, if you want it slightly more fiery, then be sure to ask.
They nailed the paneer in this Special. It was as close to melt-in-your-mouth paneer as you’re ever going to get, with the fragrance of the mustard seeds coming through well.
Nonetheless, despite two Lions appreciating the layers of spice and the subtle balance achieved in the curry, the remaining Lion, despite enjoying it for what it was, didn’t rate it as highly.
This bowl of black lentil didn’t pack as much punch as we’d have liked. It may, therefore, be a good idea to ask for this to be made more spicier.
Consistency-wise, it was a touch on the watery side. A good attempt; but, we’ve had far better.
ON THE SIDE
With little specks of garlic sprinkled over the top, and a good amount of butter, this beautifully thin and crispy tandoor Garlic Naan is a must order.
Oh yeah; nothing wrong with this spherically thin and nicely charred Wholemeal Chapati.
The garam masala was ever present which, along with that distinct fragrance of a well made pilau rice being prominent, made this a superb little bowl of rice.
As good as these two were, with the extreme tanginess of the smooth and slushy Lemon Sorbet mellowing after those initial few spoonfuls, and the crunchy-textured Honeycomb Gelato erring a tad on the icy side, we would have preferred (and expected) something more traditionally Indian, if we’re being honest.
- YES/ NO
- CHILD SEATING
- JUST EAT
- 10% OFF COLLECTION
We have no qualms in admitting that the food we had on the evening, in comparison to our initial impressions based on both the simple decor and the succinct and straightforward menu, definitely exceeded our expectations.
There's nothing pretentious about this place; and yet, the dishes we received were, by and large, quite superb, with a kitchen fully cognizant of the use of Indian spices via-à-vis balance and harmony.
We will add, however, that while all "dishes are medium spice level", those used to their chilli may want to request cranking up the heat.
Our only criticism would be of Chapati Club's dessert menu, or lack thereof, which, for the moment, comes across as a lazy afterthought more than anything else. If they can manage to bring in some quality Indian desserts, it would complete an otherwise impressive setup, and propel a rating for 4 to something closer to 4.5.
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117 The Vale, Acton, London W3 7RQ.
T: +44 (0)20 8740 4604 | W: chapaticlub.co.uk
Opening Hours: Mon CLOSED | Tue-Sat (Lunch) 12:00-14:30, (Dinner) 17:30-22:30 | Sun (Lunch) 12:00-14:30, (Dinner) 17:30-21:30