A heartwarming trip back to see old Uncle Chacha.
It was late 2019 when the Persian inspired curry house was first inducted into the annals of OCC lore with an impressive score of 7.9. Happily, Khan Chacha, or Uncle Khan as it is affectionately known to the OCC, survived the impact of the pandemic; sadly there are too many stories of restaurants throwing the towel in after months of dwindling footfall. Khan Chacha it seems has come back stronger, noticeably expanding to take over the neighbouring retail space, doubling its size.
The menu at Khan Chacha is compact but full of spice, flavour and imagination. The feast began with the Monkfish, Murg Tikka, and the Uncles signature 'Chachas Chops', an OCC favourite. Each of these charcoaled protein bombs was served individually and complemented with the punchy Ghost Chilli and Citrus (HOT) sauce and the refreshingly mild Honey Mint. Taste buds thoroughly activated.
Persia and India have had a long culinary, if not always savoury, history together. The use of tandoor and spices in India is said, by some, to be a gift from Persia. It has also been suggested that many Persian cuisines travelled to India over time to fuse and become integral parts of Indian staples such as biryanis and Samosas. The liberal use of cardamom, cinnamon, caraway seeds, nutmeg & star anise along with fresh and dried fruits such as plums, pomegranates, prunes & apricots give these Zoroastrian dishes a unique taste and aroma.
A couple of two-for-one half-pints of Tennents later and it was time for the mains. Enter fist the Malabar beef roast; a dish made of beef, slow-roasted in a mixture of spices, onions, curry leaves, and coconut. This gem was swiftly followed by the rich & creamy Dal Bukhara, a Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Coconut, and a deep red and crunchy shallow-fried Beetroot Cashew Poriyal. The standout vegetable dish for the evening was the Seasonal Saag Paneer. By now, our napkins were well and truly stained, and the state of the table cloth was testament to the hard work, high-energy, and a determination to leave no dish unturned.
Time now for the finale; the singular Lucknowi Mutton Dum Biryani. This single pot dish, served with a filo pastry pie lid, required surgeon-steady hands to decrown followed by strict instructions not to stir for fear of cross-contaminating the carefully positioned segments of varying meats and sauces. This dish is no looker, but as we know, the best foods are not necessarily always the prettiest.
The meal was, of course, accompanied by Pilaf Rice and an excellent selection of the most buttery also toastie also pillowy Peshawar Keema & Garlic Naan, perfect for soaking up the rich, spicy gravies.
This was, however, no ordinary meet. Our Chairman (Greg) celebrated his 40th birthday. But there was no cake. Greg had to make do with a Mango Lassi and a few choice shots selected by our resident spirit-sommelier... as if turning 40 wasn't bad enough?! Birthday wishes poured in from far and wide to mark this curryman's special day including the UK Godfather & former Chairman Eddie, and a flurry of Asia Pacific chairs including Singapore's Yannick, Hongkong's Matt, and Kuala lumpars Omar.
Khan Chacha scored highly again in 2020 with a total of 7.3. Well-deserving of another OCC endorsement. We all look forward to seeing how Jibin Arjunan and his partners Dipika and Raghu continue to grow.
Customer care 7.6
Total of 7.3