Chatkazz is a popular Indian street food restaurant that opened its first location in Sydney 10 years ago. It’s since expanded to multiple stores, including one in Adelaide, and they’ve just opened another upstairs in the Gungahlin Marketplace.
If you think Indian food is limited to curries and samosas, think again. Chatkazz has over 200 menu items specialising in street food and dishes rarely seen outside India.
The space is large, chaotic and colourful. When we visited on a weeknight, it was packed with groups of families and friends enjoying dinner. They are well set up to deal with large numbers, though, with a huge kitchen and plenty of attentive front-of-house staff keeping everything running smoothly.
In fact, we were a little shocked at how quickly our drinks and meals arrived after ordering. The team at Chatkazz is a well-oiled machine.
I was dining with a friend I have travelled in India with. We were delighted to find some of our favourite dishes from our holiday on the menu and ordered some new snacks to try. Many of the dishes are designed for one person, but there are plenty of share options as well.
My friend had a cup of masala chai (spiced tea), and I had a refreshing lime, mint and ginger soda. You can choose your sugar level and even nominate less ice on the impressive online ordering system.
The entire menu is 100 per cent vegetarian, and there are several dishes that are, or can be made, free from onion and garlic. There’s a menu of vegan options, and many dishes are also suitable for those following the Jain religion (who avoid root vegetables and have a number of other diet rules).
Pani puri is a snack of small fried balls stuffed with a spiced filling. There are three sauces – mint, tamarind and chilli – which you pour inside the balls and pop them in your mouth whole. The result is an explosion of flavour as you crunch into the pani puri. They are both super tasty and really fun to eat: adjust the sauces to your perfect spice level.
We were excited to see Vada Pav, one of our favourite street food dishes. It’s a spicy fried potato ball on a soft bread roll served with chutneys. We opted for a Szechuan variety, which came covered in a sticky and spicy sauce. Totally delicious. It took us back to our travels.
Livla Kachori was a new dish to us. Crunchy golden spheres were filled with spiced lentils and also served with chutneys. We tasted curry leaves, mustard seeds and cloves. I’d definitely order these again.
Many of the menu items are different flavoured versions of staple dishes. And you can often order a platter with multiple versions. We had the dosa platter, which came with a chilli dosa, a herby dosa and one filled with delicious spiced potato. This was accompanied by our favourite coconut chutney, a chilli chutney and small vegetable soup. We needed a refill of the coconut – it is the best.
We couldn’t resist a trip past the sweets cabinet on our way out. My friend is a connoisseur of Indian sweets and she recommended a chickpea flour ladoo, spongey milk-based ras malai, and I was intrigued by the colourful carrot halwa. We took these sweets home to enjoy later. Be prepared to order in bulk (most of them are sold by the kilo!)
We were told that most of these sweets are made in-house or at Chatkazz’s dedicated sweets kitchen in Sydney.
With so much of the menu still to try, you can bet we’ll be back for more, maybe for a weekend breakfast. You can also get Chatkazz catering!
Whether you’re coming for a nostalgia trip or trying dishes for the first time, Chatkazz is seriously good.
Chatkazz is located at Level 1, Gungahlin Marketplace, 30-33 Hibberson Street, Gungahlin. They are open from 11 am to 10 pm on weekdays and from 9 am to 10 pm on weekends. Visit their website or follow Chatkazz on Facebook or Instagram.
Original Article published by Lucy Ridge on Riotact.