Apna Chaat House

Apna Chaat House Surrey  5

From its origins in the streetside stalls in Uttar Pradesh, chaat cuisine has become ubiquitous throughout India and its diaspora. Due to chaat’s popularity with Indian truckers as truck stop food, this cuisine spread quickly and established itself along the extensive Indian network of highways; evolving and regionalizing as it picked up dishes and techniques along the way. Chaat restaurants are now destinations not just for truckers and wallahs but for families needing a quick cheap bite.

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Intrinsically, chaat is a fast food eaten to refuel; more a snack than a full meal. It has very distant similarities to the fast food we can get in the west with its emphasis on carbohydrates and deep fried ingredients. Chickpeas, potatoes, samosas, an assortment of crunchy cereal-like toppings made from fried legumes are mated with a variety sauces, chutneys, and yogurt to create an array of contradictory dishes that somehow all work.

Run by the former owners of Bombay Se (located in the same strip mall), Apna Chaat House serves perhaps the best representation of this cuisine here in the Greater Vancouver Area. The menu is extensive; and the flavours and textures of the dishes are spot on – tasting very much like a roadside meal in India.
Apna Chaat House on Urbanspoon

 

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7 Comments

  1. A la carte - August 13, 2013, 9:12 pm

    Looks great, fmed. Were the gol gappas and pani puris separate menu items? AFAIK, they’re the same snack, just different names in different parts of India. Did you try a kulcha? Will have to head over there soon…

  2. Fmed - August 13, 2013, 9:34 pm

    They are the same item – I mislabelled the picture of the big urn full of puri and called it pani puri. I did not have a kulcha. I definitely will be returning and will eventually work through the entire menu. (Been four times now).

  3. Foodfirst - August 13, 2013, 10:15 pm

    Would a chowdown work?

  4. Fmed - August 13, 2013, 10:28 pm

    A minidown might work. Most of the tables are 4 tops.

  5. GoaGirl - August 14, 2013, 7:07 pm

    The khati rolls are also very good there…specifically the mutton one. I’ve tried a few of the Indian Chinese items there also but personally wouldn’t bother with them again.
    I was at a house party on the weekend….about 80 people! Besides other food, they catered some of the food from Apna Chaat. It worked out very well with various stations set up in the garden and dining area. Everything tasted very fresh as you assembled your own plate just before eating so all the fried items remained nice and crispy.

  6. Fmed - August 14, 2013, 8:50 pm

    We’ve only tried the chicken khati. I will have to try the mutton next time. I like how the food at Apna Chaat tastes fresh. So unlike most of chaat houses I have been to here.

  7. A la carte - August 14, 2013, 10:28 pm

    A mini down sounds great, or maybe I just have to haul myself over there one of these days. Thanks for the heads up about the Chinese dishes, GG, but I’m not surprised considering the owners seem to be Punjabi. Even the Green Lettuce guy (who is bona fide Calcutta-Chinese and speaks way better Bengali than I do) doesn’t get it quite right (or maybe he’s westernizing, which is an interesting concept in itself: Indian-Chinese adapted to North American tastes). I still haven’t found anything here that comes even close to the traditional Calcutta Chinese cuisine I grew up with, now hard to find even in Calcutta, but a good mutton kathi roll will go a long way towards making up for that lack. I’d also like to try the gol gappa/pani puri/phuchka although it seems weird to eat ‘em off a plate…

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