I said MAYBE...Chaiwala could be OCC recommended (but not yet)
The Oakham Curry Club (OCC) is a well-respected Institution with multiple international franchises. The OCC takes pride in searching out the finest Indian Restaurants, and providing an impartial review of Curry Houses all over the world. Members vote anonymously on 5 categories - and an average score is given to each restaurant we review. On Friday 5 October, the OCC Hong Kong branch visited new Pirata Group restaurant Chaiwala. There was much anticipation, excitement and curry hunger from the boys of the OCC on visiting this “dramatic backdrop of creativity” with its promise of a “sense of intrigue and creative energy”. Unfortunately, sadly, and disappointingly, we just wanted a cracking curry, and we don’t believe Chaiwala delivered. I said maybe… it was due to the fact we weren’t seated for 45 minutes and had to wait in the bar for our table. Maybe….it was due to the fact we were all absolutely ruined as we managed to sit down for dinner at 11:30 and had been on the other type of sauce. Maybe as one OCC member mentioned, “whilst a good vibe for a small group, it was not conducive to a large group” I said maybe….the poor feedback was due to the fact that one Denim loving member of the OCC had been using a scoring system of 1-5 rather than 1-10 to rate the curry houses he has frequented over his tenure in the OCC. Nevertheless, the dinner failed to live up to expectations, primarily due to value and service. See scores below For full disclosure the scores from the previous meet are below (ranked out of 10). I have included this for reference, but also for our Denim wearing Danish friend as another hint we rank the curry houses out of 10 you muppet. Quality: 6.4 Value: 4.3 Service: 5.1 Customer Care: 5.2 Atmosphere: 6.2 Overall: 5.43 As the score was below 7, the restaurant is not OCC recommended. Some verbatim comments below from the OCC members. Trust these profanities do not come from your OCC blog writer, but for full transparency I needed to include “We had to wait ages for a table” “While those c**** charged for free flow, did we f*** get it. “still eating past midnight” “the food (whilst tasty) was limited and the broccoli was raw” To be fair to the restaurant, this was one of the largest gatherings of HK curry connoisseurs that Hong Kong had ever seen, maybe even in the history of the world. And we were drunk, kept disappearing outside, and the restaurant was packed and had just opened, so there has to be some leniency. Fact is though that the tasting menu is not that great , and this is the second time your fave, and now retiring, OCC food blogger had tried it. They try a little too much to be different and the dishes don’t really work. A ball of poppadom with some stuff inside where you have to pour a liquid in then it comes out the bottom and goes everywhere when u try and eat it. what is that ! Give me a poppadom. Some mince and a warm breadcake? I had that when I was a student mopping up the leftover bolognese. . Some salmon (are we supposed to be in Norway or Nabarangpur?). A cold, raw whole broccoli? How we supposed to share that ! What about some paneer or lentils or a chana massala? The only dish we all really liked was…..surprise surprise….the chicken tikka masala!! And it was great. Why isn't the tasting menu focussed on tasting curries!? Wish we could have tried more as that was cracking. So all in all we just wish the food was more focused on curry, on Indian cuisine, or the stuff everyone loves, the stuff that will live forever. I also think the way to go is to do the simple things well: improve the value for money and the service. Maybe, the force of the OCC laying this review upon thee will help.