This new Harlem restaurant has brought a taste of India to Lenox Avenue. Upon walking in this chic new place to eat, with immediacy you are greeted by the staff like you are a celebrity that they have been waiting for all day and with quick courtesy ushered to a table to sit. The very capable waiters “Holly” and “Peter” will defiantly see to it.
The staff is so friendly and attentive; you cannot help but feel special. The converted brownstones first two floors and garden in the back provide an ambience that is both relaxing and pleasurable for a lovely dining experience. The bartender “Jazi” always has a smile and lighthearted conversation for everyone at the bar as well as customers entering and leaving this new Harlem hot-spot.
Anita Trehan, the CEO and owner of Chaiwali, has created something Harlem has never seen before, Authentic Indian hospitality and delicious Indian fusion cuisine. Diego Balarezo her business and romantic partner is a perfectionist, and can be seen at any given time behind the bar, in the dining area upstairs or anyplace in the restaurant making sure everything is, well just perfect.
The restaurant occupies the first two floors of Anita’s Harlem brownstone home. The decorative style is very pleasing to the eye, and the backyard dining area is crowned with a lovely gazepo, with lamps hanging in the center.
The upstairs dining room reminds me of a trendy living room in an upscale Manhattan apartment, complete with bar. Beautiful paintings and embellishments set the tone for a romantic dinner. (My favorite spot)
Adriane Mack the weekend general manager is a true professional and an asset to any service industry, due to her high business acumen and friendly social grace.
The food is a delicious eclectic collection of Indian fusion created by Anita, who is very hands on in the kitchen (and still manages to walk onto the dining room floor looking fabulous)
The lamb chops is to die for! Now lamb chops is one of my favorite dishes, and Chaiwali’s Vindaloo lamb chops tasted like heaven on earth. With just the right amount of spices and medium rare (how did they know?) just the way I like it. The mustard mash potatoes and peas, and Walnut chutney round out this dish to perfection! The Delhi Smoked Eggplant Mash & Flat bread is equally delicious, perfect for our vegan Harlemite’s! In fact most dishes on the menu are Organic, Vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free. Both healthy and tasty, just about everything on the menu has a high nutritional value, and prepared with great care suited for every pallet.
The price point for the wonderful fare that Chaiwali offers is low to mid-range and very reasonably priced. So if you want five star cuisines, atmosphere and service, at two-three star prices? Chaiwali is the place to go! I look forward to returning to try the breakfast, brunch and lunch menus. I give five stars in all categories. Harlem has yet another jewel in her crown.