Shop 4-6, 14-20 Station St East
Harris Park, NSW 2150
When I travel, I am all about that street food. To me, there is no better way to guarantee that what you’re eating is the freshest, most traditional, and most delicious foods a culture has to offer.
But whilst I’ve spent a good amount of my time eating around Asia, my knowledge of South-Asian street food is rather woeful. It comes as no surprise however that the good people of India love to eat, and whilst it’s not always easy to find Indian snacks at a restaurant, Chatkazz is one place where you won’t be left wanting.
Chatkazz means spicy and delicious, and that’s exactly what you’re in for. With over 200 items on the (entirely vegetarian!) menu, it is a guarantee that there will be something new for everyone. In fact, there were so many delicious-sounding things to try on the menu that ordering became a rather painful experience. But not to worry – the bulk of the items here clock in at $10 or less, so it’s very much a low-risk-high-reward situation. And best of all, if you don’t have room for dessert, they have a dedicated sweet shop just around the corner where you can get some packed up to take home – SCORE!
I don’t care what anyone says, I love carb-on-carb. And if you’re in the same boat, the Vada Pav ($6.9) – a spicy potato croquette stuffed into a sweet buttered bread roll. Sure it comes with two chutneys to keep things fresh, but you’re really just going to want to go to town on the bun.
The Chhole Bhatura ($13.4) is a popular dish here, judging by how many people had a serve on their table. And indeed, you’d have to have the hardest of hearts not to be charmed by the rounds of enormously puffed up bread. Crisp on the outside but still soft and steamy in the middle, the bread tastes deceptively light and healthy despite being deep-fried, especially when served with the spicy chickpea curry.
Pani Puri is one of my favourite Indian snacks, so I was quite keen to meet its cousin, the Dahi Puri ($8.9, 6pc). In both versions, you start with a moreish morsel consisting of a crispy deep-fried chickpea puff, which is hollowed out and stuffed with a mix of spiced potato and vegetables. But whereas pani puri is served with mint water, which you tip into the chickpea puff before eating it in one bite, the dahi puri comes topped with yoghurt and tamarind chutney. The result is both more mellow and more substantial, and whilst I think I prefer the brighter flavours of the pani puri, the yoghurt definitely came in handy when things got spicy during the meal.
We almost didn’t get the Khaman Dkokla ($6.4), but I am beyond glad that we did, because this was the best dish of the lot. Described simply as savoury cakes made from chickpea flour, it doesn’t let on just how ethereally light and fluffy it was, nor how scrumptiously the slight sweetness mingled with the pungent mustard seeds sprinkled on top. It’s definitely a one-of-a-kind dish, and one that’s absolutely worth trying should you come across it anywhere.
There is an awful lot to like about Chatkazz. The food is cheap, plentiful, and varied, and… that’s frankly more than enough for it to get a big old tick in my books. But if you care about that sort of thing, the service and ambience is up to scratch too, and definitely one step up from what you’d expect given the prices (extremely cheap) and the location (in a parking lot). And just in case you were wondering, we did indeed swing by the sweet shop on our way home, and I can confirm that both the jalebi and the gulab jamun are top notch.
Rating: 13.5/20 – street food party.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit