Chowpatty Chat: Good Food and Bollywood Decor

Panoramic View of Chowpatty chat  interiors Photo : Vanshika Vipin

Panoramic View of Chowpatty chat interiors Photo : Vanshika Vipin

By Vanshika Vipin

SUGAR LAND: If you’re craving for some mouth-watering chaat, all you’ve got to do is hop on to your cars and drive to Sugar Land. After the grand success of Kurry Walah in Katy, Chef Nirman Shah has done it again. He has successfully opened a second restaurant in less that one year, Chowpatty Chat. Chef Nirman is a graduate of Indian Hotel Management (IHM), Ahmedabad. Before arriving in US, shah earned accolades working as Chief Chef at famous Rambagh Palace Hotel in Jaipur, a former residence of Maharaja of Jaipur and now a luxury Taj Palace Hotel.

Chef Nirman Shah with the chaat spread at his new restaurant, Chowpatty Chat in Sugar Land

Chef Nirman Shah with the chaat spread at his new restaurant, Chowpatty Chat in Sugar Land

Chowpatty Chat is not just an Indian restaurant with street cart style dishes, but a unique concept that brings the best of Indian cuisine and culture together to Houston. Chef Nirman Shah is a huge Bollywood fan and watches one movie everyday and this is very evident as soon as you enter the restaurant. Chowpatty’s interior theme is inspired by famous Bollywood movies and stars with more than 180 Bollywood movie posters of different eras covering the walls of the restaurant (See picture on page 1). The food and the theme are guaranteed to take you on a little escape to Bollywood. The restaurant has an inside seating capacity of sixty people and has a cozy feel to it. Chowpatty’s menu offers world-class quality, and authentic taste of famous Indian street cart dishes, seasoned and cooked to perfection by Chef Nirman. The uniqueness about the menu is, the names given to the food from different parts of India. The items from Mumbai are called Bhai Log ki 1st Choice, various chaat items are called Chamak Challo Chat, items from the south are called Rowdy Annas Choice, and the Chinese menu is called Chandni Chowk to China.

A typical chaat stand serves its products on disposable plates, but at Chowpatty Chat, the food is presented in a fine dining style. Chef Nirman believes that the presentation of the food adds more value and taste to the meal and more than that; the warmth with which it is served should be genuine. Every dish at the restaurant has a unique presentation style, and the person behind this is the chef himself.

Many chaats are deep-fried, like pakoras, bhaturas and samosas, and they may be sweet or savory. Therefore, they can’t be made in advance, they have to be made and served fresh. This is the approach Chef Nirman follows. All the ingredients are fresh and made from scratch. In addition, he always asks his customers about their preference in spice level as chaat uses a wide variety of spices. They prepare the dish according to the customers spice level and make the dish accordingly-spicy, medium or mild.

The restaurant had its soft opening a month prior to the Grand opening. I asked him for the reason for doing this as we always see others start right away with their grand opening. Chef Nirman Shah was nice enough to share his business strategy secret with me. He said “No matter how much I train the staff, which I personally do, the real experience happens while dealing with the clients, and therefore, to have a successful grand opening I always want my staff to train in real time situations for a month first, in which they get to know each others working style, learn to rectify their mistakes, and finally are ready for a high quality service on the grand opening day.

Chowpatty Chat celebrated their grand opening on Sunday, March 3. The specials included buy one get one free on any item. The restaurant served more than 1000 people from 1-5pm. The Music Masala radio crew entertained the gatherees in Masala Style. The guests were also entertained by a Bollywood dance performance by Mahesh Mahbubani and his crew of Naach Houston, a Bollywood dance company.

Raj Kachori

Raj Kachori

Chef Niram Shah was very happy with the turnout and would like to thank everyone for their love and support.

The restaurant was full when I arrived at 6pm and people kept pouring in. As per Chef Nirman Shah, the highest selling items at the restaurant are Chole Bhature, Mysore Masala Dosa, Bombay Grill Sandwich and Raj kachori. They are his favorite too. This small anecdote will vouch for it. During the interview with him, a young couple walked to us and with a big smile on their face said, “Wow, we have never had such delicious bhatura’s before, we just moved from Dubai and really miss the food back home. Thank you so much for serving such amazing food.” This definitely made the Chef happy. And now after tasting the Chole Bhature, they are my personal favorite too, a must try at the restaurant.

When asked about his success for this restaurant, he got emotional while talking about this dream project. He mentioned cooking and serving people is his passion and he cannot think about doing anything else. He wanted to do this come what may, because this was originally his dad’s dream project but unfortunately his dad passed away a month before the opening of the restaurant. He is now happy that he has fulfilled his dad’s dream and firmly believes that his dad must be happy looking at the success, the restaurant has achieved in a months time. In addition, like the saying goes behind every successful man there is a women, the same applies for Chef Nirman, and in his case it’s not just one but four of them, his wife Niyati and three daughters Manushi, Aayushi and Shreyanshi. He had a big smile when he spoke about the unconditional support they have shown him, “Without their support and especially my wife nothing would have been possible, said the Chef.”

Chef Nirman Shah also added “My aim is to bring the best food in the entire Houston area.”

Chole Bhature

Chole Bhature

Therefore, after the success of his Katy, Kurry Walah location, and Chowpatty Chat, he is now venturing into opening Kurry Walah – 2 in Sugar Land. It is located right next to Chowpatty Chat. It will be a multi cuisine restaurant. All the three restaurants offer catering services as well. They specialize in making fresh chaat at events as per the requirements of the guests. Chowpatty Chat is open all days except Tuesdays, with extended timings on the weekends. So if you have not visited the place yet, its time you try it.

Chowpatty Chat is located at 2319 Williams Trace Blvd, Sugar Land, TX 77478. For more information, visit or call 281-565-1375.

Kurry Walah is located at 1830  S. Mason Rd., Suite # 165, Katy, TX 77450. For more information, visit www. or call 832- 437-3800

For catering and specials,  call Chef Niram Shah at 214-998-7277.

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