My parents are from Kolkata, for years my mum has told me about “college times, the food, the Kwality ice-creams, the boat rides…
One of the things she used to talk about was a chicken roll. Well, as a child this conjured up a picture of a bread roll (bap for the welsh of us), with chicken breast. BORING. She then made us a chicken roll. Oh my. It wasn’t just delicious it was exciting. She wrapped the spiced charcoaled chicken in its paratha coat, in paper, like they would have been in the 60’s when she ambled along College Street. We were little and overjoyed at the fact that we didn’t need plates.
Years later, driving down Crwys road, I saw the brightly decorated exterior of Kati Wok. Kathi kebabs galore. Basically the Chicken roll I’d never been able to eat anywhere but home. The shop is brightly coloured with inviting seats and Bollywood decoupage walls. It’s on the right as you drive towards the delightfully nicknamed “death junction”. It looks like the kind of place that should serve that bubble tea from Japan.
We ordered in great quantities. I loved the Karachi Shami kebab, the meat is mutton, it was delicately spiced, and the ginger, lentils and numerous other spices were balanced beautifully. We ordered the medium (I like to taste my food not ignite my tongue), the paratha was soft and left the slightly caramelised flavour of good ghee in your mouth, the roll was filled with fresh coriander and red onion. It was really good. Best of all it came wrapped in paper. The Chicken Mumbai Tikka was just as good. At £3.99 per roll they are steal. Last time they delivered I let the guy on the phone know how happy I was that they existed. Because I really am.
I gave mum a Chicken Tikka kathi to eat the other day; she is INCREDIBLY hard to please when it comes to food. I suppose when you are so good at it you’re allowed to be. She said it was good, not brilliant, but good. Apparently the paratha wasn’t ‘quite right’. To be fair she hasn’t made me a Chicken roll for about 20 yrs, I haven’t ever got to eat a Nizam’s roll, so I’ll be sticking with Kati Wok.
Address – 53 Crwys Road, Cathays, Cardiff, CF24 4ND.
Telephone – 02920 376222