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The Early Word on Decatur's Chai Pani

Chai Pani.
Chai Pani.
Photo: Flickr/DDanzig

Indian street food spot Chai Pani opened a month ago, bringing its tasty okra fries, samosas with spicy chickpeas, and dahi puri to downtown Decatur. Locals welcomed the Asheville transplant to the neighborhood with a sell-out first weekend and glowing reviews. Here's the early word on Chai Pani:

The Good News: An Urbanspoon user has a great experience: "This area has a large number of Indian restaurants and Chai Pani is a welcome addition. The menu is based on traditional Indian dishes but slightly modernized. It is not like someone's grandmother prepared it. The spice level is just right. The thali lunches were excellent and we liked the fried okra, perhaps because we've prepared it similarly many times at home and like okra very much. Service is excellent. There is a good selection of beer and wine. Like most places in Decatur it is child friendly." [Urbanspoon]

The Good but Bad News: Blog The Food Abides doesn't think it's worth it: "The portions are similar to small plate servings around town and I actually prefer this as it makes sharing and trying much easier. You may feel like you're getting less food for the money, but I think the slightly elevated quality makes up for that. However, I just don't think the food is delicious enough to keep me coming back as a regular." [TFA]

The Food News: On Urbanspoon, a reviewer compliments the dishes: "Really tasty tapas- like portions of wonderful real deal Indian comfort food dishes. No bad choices here; carnivores & vegans have an equal chance at happiness. The thalis are also excellent and a great way to taste a number of dining options all at once. Being a lover of authentic Indian cuisine, in my opinion you can pay three times more for for fare that wishes it could taste this good" [Urbanspoon]

The Interior News: AJC describes the feel: "Meherwan's wife, Molly, is in charge of the front of the house and the creative design. Together, they've put together an atmosphere that's both colorful and comfortable — sort of Bollywood-meets-contemporary cool." [AJC]

The Crowd News: Creative Loafing applauds the service: "Since opening March 1, the dining room has been packed, the staff superbly welcoming and polished for such a young endeavor, and the kitchen visibly crazed with activity." [CL]

The Flavor News: Atlanta Eats raves about dahi puri: "The taste explosion you get when you eat one of these flavor bombs will have your taste buds working overtime to figure out what the heck just happened." [AE]

The Starchy News: Food Near Snellsville feels the menu could be more healthful: "One thing I'll mention up front is that this isn't the easiest place for a diabetic to be. Most dishes are heavy in starch, and wraps and rolls tend to contain rice. All is not lost. The chicken burgers and lamb "sloppy joe"s are workable entrees and as a not-so-starchy side, I'd recommend Chai Pani's okra fries. There are, of course, large dinner salads, that in our experience, are good." [FNS]

The Too-Cool News: Yelp is put off by the trendy vibe" "While I think it's a solid restaurant idea and I liked the menu at least hypothetically, I will not be returning. I guess it's "hip," but I'd prefer good food to "cool" food. There are plenty of delicious Indian restaurants in and around Patel Plaza with ample parking, no lines, and non-fried options." [Yelp]
— Ashley Mason

· All Chai Pani Coverage [-EATL-]
· Chai Pani [Official Website]

Chai Pani

406 West Ponce de Leon Avenue, , GA 30030 (404) 378-4030 Visit Website

Chai Pani

406 W Ponce de Leon Ave Decatur, GA 30030