Located in Patel Plaza, an Indian shopping plaza ten minutes away from Emory by car, Chat Patti is a vegetarian Indian restaurant that specializes in North Indian, South Indian, and Gujarati food. Although the restaurant is in Decatur, I felt as if I had left Atlanta for India while dining at Chat Patti.
The restaurant’s atmosphere is bright, colorful, and clean. Upon walking into the restaurant, one is greeted by a colorful variety of Indian sweets sitting behind a glass display case. At Chat Patti, there’s always a big crowd. The food is fantastic and cheaply priced, so it’s logical that the restaurant is extremely popular with Atlanta’s local Indian population. When we dined at Chat Patti, our party was the only one with non-Indian patrons. At Chat Patti, I ordered Mysore Dosa and sugarcane juice. Our group also consumed a variety of Indian sweets.
The Mysore Dosa reminded me of a French crépe, but it was savory instead of sweet, crispy instead of soft, and made with rice flour instead of wheat. Dosa comes from South India. The dosa itself was crisp and extremely thin. It was folded in a triangle shape around a mixture of potatoes and Indian spices, and lightly dusted with chili powder. Chat Patti serves their Mysore Dosa with two traditional accompaniments: Sambar (a South Indian vegetable soup), and coconut chutney. One is meant to eat the dish with one’s hands, incorporating each component into every bite. The Mysore Dosa tasted fantastic, but I cannot compare its taste to a more familiar item.
The sugarcane juice was made fresh-to-order on site, and seemed to be an item exclusive to this restaurant, based on the way it was advertised. The drink was not as sweet as I had originally expected it to b, being that it is made from pure sugarcane. Instead, the drink had a strong ginger taste, likely from the addition of fresh ginger. Still, it was very refreshing, and I would order it again. Because of its dark green color, I told myself that the juice I was drinking might somehow be healthy (instead of being pure sugar).
Lastly, our group decided to sample a variety of Indian sweets, some of which included gulab jamun, rasgulla, and milk cake, among others. While some of the sweets were colorful, they were not what I had originally expected: they were not that sweet. Although Indian cuisine is loved by many Westerners, I now know why India is not well-known for its desserts.
Chat Patti has a parking lot outside. In terms of service, one goes up to a counter to order one’s food, which is then brought to one’s table by a waiter. In addition to an extensive printed menu, there are photos of menu items located on the wall behind the counter. We came to the restaurant at around 4:15PM, but it was still quite crowded: Our group of six had to wait around five to ten minutes for a table. The restaurant does not seem to accept reservations.
Overall, dining at Chat Patti was a fantastic experience. The food is well-made, fresh, and inexpensively priced. The restaurant is authentic, else it would not be so popular with the Indian crowd. I would love to return soon.