I’m currently working from home from Lucknow. Yes, it doesn’t feature in the list of remote working destinations in India that I wrote earlier, but that’s fine. When you talk about Uttar Pradesh and food, Chaat is the thing that UP is famous for and today I’ll share my experience of having Basket Chaat at Royal Cafe Lucknow.
Each and every state in India has its own speciality when it comes to Food. For instance, the moment you hear Vada Pav, your mind says Maharashtra. The moment you hear Aloo Paratha, your mind says Punjab.Thanks to the rich cultural diversity that we have which has allowed us to have so much variety.
Royal Cafe – The Chaat Destination of Lucknow
When you talk about food and cities, there are some iconic restaurants, eating joints that are associated with the city. For example, Paradise in Hyderabad, Kesar Da Dhaba in Amritsar, Ram Tiffins in Bhubaneswar and so on. Similarly, one of the popular names when it comes to Lucknow is Royal Cafe.
Located off the busy shopping street of Hazratganj, Royal Cafe has been a landmark for years now. I’ve seen it when I was a child and my mother has seen it when she was growing up too. So you see how old this place is. In fact the location of Royal Cafe in Hazratganj is such that, it divides the street into two halves. Plus with Lucknow Metro running, one of the exits of Hazratganj Metro station opens right in front of the cafe, so you cannot miss out on eating here.
They do have a proper dine-in setup where they serve multicuisine food, their chaat dishes are relished in the area overlooking the cafe. Basket Chaat at Royal Cafe Lucknow is THE dish for which people flock from far away places.
When I had Basket Chaat at Royal Cafe Lucknow
This wasn’t my first visit to Royal Cafe. I remember visiting the place a couple of times earlier too, however, this was my first time having the Basket Chaat here. Had it once earlier but it was parcelled and bought home (not recommended though) Just as fancy and vibrant the dish is, the creator Hardayal Maurya – The Chaat King – is no less.
A jovial person in his characteristic Gandhi topi, apron and a neat french cut, Mauryaji is often surrounded by people requesting selfies. He is a wonderful person to talk to, so whenever you are at Royal Cafe, meet him and give my reference I’m sure he’d love to dish out some Basket Chaat for you too! Also, you might get lucky if he posts a photo with you on his Instagram 😉
Delicious Basket Chaat
Coming to the Basket Chaat, it’s the epitome of Chaat. A rich, flavoursome and colourful dish that’s made just for your tastebuds. If you’re wondering why this is called Basket Chaat, then know that the basket in basket chaat is made from deep-fried potato. This basket is then topped with Chole, Vada, Aloo Tikki, spices, curd, various chutneys, and some mixture along with pomegranates.
It’s one of the most flavoursome chaats I’ve had. I had requested him to make it a little less spicy, which he did, But I’d advise you to take it as it is. It leaned more towards the sweeter side. The best part is that once you dig into the Basket Chaat, you get distinct flavours from each of the items. The fiery chole, the soft vada or the crunchy Aloo Tikki, each of these elements bring their own flavour that makes the Basket Chaat exciting.
While the basket chaat at Royal Cafe Lucknow is top class, that small little dollop of Hajma paste that is served with the Basket Chaat is the best way to end it. It’s a chawanprash made from all the ingredients that aid digestion. It gets hot and spicy after a few bites, but it makes the happy ending happier!
Final Verdict: Don’t Miss The Basket Chaat at Royal Cafe Lucknow
Whether you are a meat-eater or vegetarian, Chaat is a dish that you cannot say no to. Basket Chaat on the other hand is a must-try. Priced at Rs 200 per for a full basket, it’s worth every rupee. If you don’t have a large appetite, go for the half basket or go along with a friend who can help you finish. Also, the basket chaat in itself is a complete meal and you absolutely need nothing after it. While it’s a carb-loaded dish that your trainer will probably ask to avoid, you can have one cheat meal, can’t you?