I’ve only heard rave reviews about Chandani since it opened in Woodstock a few months ago. Unfortunately that raised my expectations quite a bit, resulting in a slightly disappointing experience. Not a bad experience, just not as good as I was expecting.
Woodstock can be a little dodgy (just heard last week about someone being mugged when leaving the Neighbourgoods market), but Roodebloem road is busy and well lit so it’s not a problem. A renovated house provides the venue for Chandani, and two lovely trees and some lights give the entrance a welcoming look. The decor did not disappoint, you can see they have made a lot of effort and invested quite heavily. The result is a very cozy and authentic looking venue with a warm and relaxed ambiance. This makes a pleasant change from the appaling interiors at places like Kabab Mahal and The Jewel of India.
Chandani touts itself as an Indian and vegetarian restaurant. They are not trying to trick you. The vegetarian selection is almost as big as the non vegetarian section (which is labelled non vegetarian) and the dishes sound fantastic. We didn’t have any herbivores amongst us so we didn’t try any of the vegetarian items but I’d recommend Chandani to all the vegetarians out there. Chandani serves North Indian Cuisine, the menu is not expansive but there are enough options to keep everyone happy. I had the the Kadai Gosht (R65) which was a hot lamb curry with green peppers and onions. It was tasty, although the lamb could have been more tender. We also tried the Rogan Josh (R65), quite good but I’ve had better. The last dish we tried was the Murg Makani (R55) which is basically a butter chicken. The indications of hotness are quite accurate. Mine was marked as hot, the Rogan Josh as Medium and the butter chicken as mild and we all agreed that they were exactly that. There are one or two very hot options on the menu for the sadists.
We mopped up the curries with naan breads (R13) and a bowl of steamed rice (R15). The food was good, but not amazing. I’ve had better curries around Cape Town. I was disappointed with the amount of meat though, 5 cubes of meat in a serving is just a little parsimonious for my taste. At least the prices are reasonable. Bukhara also gives you about 5 cubes but charges you double. We apologised to our tounges with some cool desserts. The Mango Lassi (R20) was ok, I prefer mine a bit cooler. The Kulfi (ice cream – R15) was not great.
We didn’t drink wine, but I had a look at the wine list. It’s short and quite pricey, everything was above R100. I find that I don’t appreciate my wine properly when I’m eating curry, so I prefer to just wash my food down with a couple of beers.
Chandani is a great place, whilst the food is not mind blowing, it’s reasonably priced and the ambiance makes up for it. I’d probably go again.
85 Roodebloem Road, Woodstock
Tel: 021 447 7887