It has been a while since we arrived in the beautiful country Norway. It has taken us some time to adjust to the climate & culture here. Stavanger is a beautiful place. I love it as it’s not too cold or harsh. Although it rains here almost every day, you get used to it.
Usually, when we go out, we love to sample local food or at least try something new. Sandnes has a couple of Thai, Sushi, Steak houses with regular Pizza & burger joints. I am on the lookout for more varieties. Apparently just this once we decided to give a try to the local Indian Restaurant- Chai Nashta by Mogul India. ( You don’t want to try a cuisine you cook every day at home At least not the kids.)
What did we order at Chai Nashta by Mogul India?
I visited the restaurant in December 2019. It was a cold evening thankfully not raining. The market place was lit up with Christmas lights. Beautiful decoration, tall Christmas trees, especially done winter front porch decor for the Christmas, Red & Green colors dominating the scene.
As always, we didn’t plan the evening. We were just strolling & enjoying our first winter in Norway. As it happened that we walked passed this restaurant & got a whiff of Indian Aromatics. The next thing we knew was that we were sitting inside the place checking out its menu. Aroma has such a strong effect on your appetite.
Usually, in all the Indian restaurants the portion size of starters is adequate for two persons. It could be more in some places but hardly less. Here at Chai Nashta by Mogul India, it was not a starter but more like a sample size that we see at the Supermarts for promotions.
Prawn fry was served in a Steel basket that looked like a tiny shopping cart, lined with a paper & exactly 4 PIECES OF TINY PRAWNS inside. We were four people at the restaurant. I am not too keen on seafood hence I passed & rest all tasted had a taste. ( exactly that – A Taste)
Butter Chicken ( Chicken in Tomato gravy cooked in butter)
Butter chicken has won hearts the world over. It is not possible to go wrong with this dish. Almost everyone in my family loves butter chicken. The rich red tomato gravy with choicest of aromatics smeared in butter is like a piece of heaven on a plate.
Chai Nashta by Mogul India didn’t disappoint here. Though a tad sweeter than it should be but the gravy was a winner in terms of presentation, flavor, consistency & color. The chicken was neither overcooked nor dry but was tender & full of flavors. We enjoyed the dish!
Palak Paneer (Cottage Cheese in Spinach Gravy)
It is supposed to be tangy, rich & earthy in flavor. It is quintessentially a Punjabi dish that has many versions popular throughout north India. It is one of my favorite dishes that I order often whenever I go to Indian restaurants. But most often than not they do not hit the mark.
Palak paneer at this restaurant was not how it should be. It was more like a dry Saag ( preparation of leafy vegetables) missing all the key factors like tanginess, creaminess & earthy flavor. It falls flat on the palate. Paneer was not marinated & tasted bland. The heavy-handed use of ginger julienne neither added to the taste or proper garnish.
They served a bowl of rice with the gravies. We ordered a few Garlic Nan & Butter Nan to go with the gravies. Again, the size of the nan was the same as Chapati not like usual oval nans we get at restaurants. You might need to order a couple of these for sure.
Things we liked
As you walk in the restaurant, you feel the warmth & a relaxing vibe. The decore is not over the top or too ‘Desi’, a cliche’ that I find in most of the Indian restaurants where they go overboard with artifacts, fancy fabrics & a splash of color everywhere.
The dark wood furniture is set against bright colored walls balancing it out perfectly. The tables didn’t have any table clothes or mates which I didn’t mind. There were no flowers or any other decor on the tables, just a little candle at the center. They surely followed ‘Less is more concept’ & it works for them.
Chai Nashta by Mogul has set up a small corner at the other end of the restaurant for kids. It had a few crayons & pencils, a set of table & chairs for kids. You can send your kid to enjoy some coloring time while you relish your food.
The place was generally clean. Cutlery, tables, floor were spike & span adding to the good dining experience. Even the menu card was not bad considering it didn’t have lamination to protect it from the oil smears.
I have a habit of checking the restrooms of the restaurants I dine in. It is one place where you can judge the cleanliness of the establishment. Thankfully, it was well maintained, clean & odorless.
Χ Average Taste
I enjoyed the butter chicken but the rest of the preparations were just average. It didn’t match up to the authentic taste of Indian cuisine. Whether the taste is modified to match the palette of locals ( lack of punch) or was it lack of flavors, in general, is a question you might ask?
Χ Plastic in the food
Well, this is the biggest Deal breaker for me, no matter the taste, ambiance, cleanliness or any other criteria. As a customer, I expect a certain degree of professionalism & caution from the establishment when they serve the customers.
I found a big piece of PLASTIC in my Palak Paneer gravy. Eventually, the gravy was cooked & served with the plastic in it the whole time. Thankfully, it was on my plate & I chew my food. Had it been in any of my kids’ plate, they would’ve surely overlooked & consumed it. I think it is gross negligence at so many levels.
When you prepare a dish, you clean the vegetables & dishes so many times. Even while cooking & serving, the cooks must be careful to maintain the hygiene level. When the issue was brought in the notice of the attended, she took the plate inside the kitchen & came back with it.
She handed me the same plate with plastic & apologized for the ‘piece of plastic’ that somehow landed on my plate. She left for me to continue eating in the same plate with the same gravy. I called her again to at least change the plate!!!
It was my first time at the restaurant. I hoped for a better dining experience.
Info about Chai Nashta by Mogul India
|Price||Average of 200 Kroners per person ( without drinks)|
|Meals Served||Lunch Set & Al Carte|
|Credit Card Accepted||Yes|
|Address||Vågsgata 16, 4306 Sandnes|
Would I recommend Chai Nashta by Mogul India?
Will I go back to Chai Nashta by Mogul India? Probably. Maybe I will give it another go to check if the ‘not-so-good’ experience I had was a one-time thing or they are lethargic towards the customer service?
If I leave aside this episode, I would say it is an average food restaurant with a limited menu. I hope they come up with more variations on the list. I say, give it a shot!
I will give it 2.5/5 Stars