If you like your snacks simple but filling, and don’t mind paying a slightly indulgent price for it, head on over to Chapati & Karak in Knightsbridge. Once you’ve negotiated your way past the groups of men who seem congregate outside, you’ll find a traditionally Arabian decor, parathas (layered South-Asian flatbread crispy on the outside, soft and crumbling on the inside), and masala chai that is arguably the best in London. And that’s it! Literally that’s all they have on their menu – two types of parathas (sweet and cheesy) and a few different kinds of chai. It’s all that’s needed – on weekend evenings, you can wait up to 40 minutes for a table. It’s our go to place for a post-Royal Albert Hall concert takeaway of sweet caramelised paratha and the cardamom karak.
We can’t of course not note what a fine example of globalisation Chapati & Karak is. A Qatari initiative, it’s a reflection of the influence of South Asian culture on the local food culture there. And so, while the environment (and clientele) is overwhelmingly Arab, the food (and many of the chefs) are unquestionably South Asian – a further reflection of the (not always honoured) contribution that diaspora workers make to the Middle East.
Where: 144 Brompton Rd, London SW3 1HY
When: 9am – 11pm Mon – Sun
Website: Chapati & Karak
Top photo: Chapati & Karak
Posted on: 11 November 2015