Indian street food at Chaat Street

Finger lickin' good Indian tapas will open your mind and fill your belly

Where

Victoria Street

Location

99 Victoria Street
Te Aro

If you head to Chaat Street expecting to order your favourite curry, you'll have to think again. Owner and chef Vaibhav Vishen is opening Wellingtonian's eyes to Indian cuisine, and its wide-ranging street foods, one tapas dish at a time.

In the centre of bustling Victoria St, the cosy restaurant with its open kitchen has a steady stream of hungry Wellingtonians for lunch and dinner. You'll likely be greeted by a smiling Vaibhav when you arrive, whose passion for delicious, authentic cuisine has translated into an equally excellent and welcoming dining experience.

Finger lickin' good

Chaat are a traditional savoury snack sold by Indian and South Asian street vendors, and are packed with flavour and spice.

“These traditional dishes from the streets of India are a combination of textures, spice and a variety of complex herbaceous flavours that are so good that you end up licking your finger - that is what 'chaat' literally means, to lick, and it’s a blanket term for street food in India” says Vaibhav.

Chaat Street's menu changes monthly to reflect the seasons, and showcase a new dish or flavour from the hundreds of street-style foods enjoyed in India. The tapas-style dishes come either hot or cold (and some a mix of both), and there are plenty of vegetarian options alongside meat and fish.

The menu is designed to be shared, which works well for groups big and small. The diversity of taste, texture, and flavours means you'll want to try one of everything. There is also a FOMO-inducing weekly specials board of delicious, limited-time dishes, dreamt up by Vaibhav.

The drinks are equally intriguing. Cocktails, like a chilli margarita or bubblegum martini, are sure to keep the tastebuds guessing, while street-style drinks like milky chai continue the traditional flavours.

I love the satisfaction out of seeing people happy and cooking is the best way to achieve that

Vaibhav Vishen, owner

From pop up to permanent

Chaat Street was a highly successful pop up restaurant at 2021's Visa Wellington on a Plate. After serving over 2000 dishes across two days, it turned out Wellington had an appetite for tapas-style Indian food, and the search for a permanent space was on. Vaibhav kept two of the most popular dishes from the pop up on the restaurant menu. Aloo Tikki Chaat, a skillet potato with crunchy lentils and a flavour-filled sauce, and Kashmiri Kanti, a pan-tossed dish of marinated lamb and vegetables bursting with chillis and coriander.

Chaat Street is open Tuesday - Sunday for lunch and dinner. Walk-ins only (bookings required for groups of 10+).

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