Opening Hours 11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. & 7:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. (weekdays) and Noon to 3:30 p.m. and 7.00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. (Fri& Sat)Call Now
Team Y is impressed by an eatery that punches well above its weight with a welter of Mumbai-based marvels.
Straight-from-the-pot hot food, served up with delectable chutneys on the sides, and with a tint of spice to keep your taste buds on the edge; you’ve got to love traditional Mumbai cuisine and how it flies the flag for India’s foodie scene.
It’s probably with that in mind that the restaurant Chatni – a take on the word ‘chutney’, which is best described as a sauce accompanying an Indian dish – goes about its business.
The newly-opened resto packs quite a punch and carries over the Mumbai theme, too, starting from the logo design, which is designed in a mix of yellow and purple; and the décor, which is fittingly crafted in bright (but not overpowering) hues of yellow, blue and red.
It’s a great place to be in and is easily the best version of a Mumbai eatery in Muscat that Mumbaikars (natives of the city) can be proud of.
Seating was plentiful on the late Sunday night that we’d planned for our supper but customers kept flocking in even past 9pm.
Despite the rush, our waiter was diligent and handed us the elaborate menu within minutes of our being seated and explained each dish in detail.
For starters, we had a vegetarian platter and a plate of sunehri prawns, and glasses of kala kata and aam panna mojito. The dishes arrived within five to ten minutes, and we found ourselves gorging on the paneer tikkas, tandoori aloos (potatoes) and broccolis; and the veg seekh kebabs from the vegetarian platter.
Standing out were the succulent home-made spicy paneer tikkas; the malai (cream)-filled, tandoori broccolis; and the vegetable kebabs. Flavoursome to say the least, we loved everything from the freshness of the ingredients to the presentation of the dish.
This could also be said about the sunehri prawns. Marinated in spices and grilled in a tandoor oven, the king prawns were grilled to perfection. We particularly loved the mild tanginess infused from the ginger and herbs.
Meanwhile, the kala kata (a sherbet squeezed from blackberry) mojito was zesty despite the sugar syrup while the aam panna (raw mangoes) mojito was cold and refreshing, as you’d get from a roadside stall in Mumbai.
For the main course, we selected a plate of Goan fish curry, dal makhani, chicken badami chaap; and a serving of steamed rice and rotis to go along with it.
Arriving 15 minutes later, the piping-hot dishes arrived prepped and faultlessly cooked. We also found the dishes to be light on oil and grease.
The goan fish curry boasted a healthy dose of coconut milk, and the soft and steamed fish added to the overall flavour of the curry. Without hesitation, we downed it with the rice and a spoonful of the dal makhani, the latter of which was done as you’d expect to see in India; a relishing gravy thickened by the cream and enriched by well-steamed lentils and kidney beans.
The star of the night by a long way was the chicken badami chaap. Cooked in an almond paste, the curry emanated a smoky flavour and fragrance that were enhanced by the richness of the gravy.
Spiced just right, unlike several eateries that do just that to induce tears, the curry was the perfect side for a basket of rotis. Our rotis were fluffy and stayed fresh even after they had cooled down, unlike some that turn hard in the space of a few moments.
Lastly, to cleanse our palate the Indian way, we ordered a plate of ras malai and gajar ka halwa (carrot halwa).
The ras malai, which is originally a Bengali dish, was nothing short of divine. Best described as a rich cheesecake without a crust, the chhana balls were soft and spongy but not overly so that they fragmented with the accompanying milk cream.
We voted the dish to be the best we’d ever had, even when compared with most Indian sweet shops in Oman before finally slurping every bit of the malai down to leave the plate spotless.
The gajar ka halwa was a lovely follow-up to the ras malai. Sweet and peppered with just enough almonds to steal a crunchy bite with every spoon full of the grated carrot-based base, the halwa was superb too.
Chatni’s take on authentic Mumbai-style soul food has left us with our tummies replete and with smiles wider than those of a Cheshire cat.
The jury is out on whether or not it’s one of the best restaurants serving up local Indian cuisine as we haven’t tried them all.
But, with prices that give rival eateries a run for their money and presentation equalling those of top-rated restaurants in Muscat, it’s hard to fault Chatni at all.
Sultan Qaboos Street, Ghubra, Muscat
11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. & 7:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. (weekdays)
Noon to 3:30 p.m. and 7.00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. (Fri& Sat)
Contact: (+968) 9041-1411
(A heavy) Supper for two: RO21
Do you have a favourite restaurant that you’d like to see reviewed? Let Y know at firstname.lastname@example.org