The menu at Chai Pani features several popular Indian snacks. Besides its çhaat, which has amassed a fan base in the region due to its mix of spicy, sweet and tangy flavours — the affordability factor (at the time of high inflation in the US) also played a role in clinching the top honour.
Indian cuisine, once stereotyped in the West as all curry, is increasingly becoming a go-to option for food lovers. And now, a North Carolina-based restaurant ‘Chai Pani', which serves affordable Indian street food, has been named America’s best restaurant. The food joint, situated in Ashville, was named America’s most Outstanding Restaurant at the James Beard Foundation Awards in Chicago on Monday.
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The menu at Chai Pani features the popular Indian evening snack chaat’ The snack has amassed a fan base in the region due to the mix of spicy, sweet and tangy flavours that it offers.
While the dish is extremely popular among all ethnicities, observers point out that another major factor that helped Chai Pani emerge as the best restaurant is the fact that it’s affordable. Moreover, the award ceremony comes at a time when US citizens are reeling under high inflation and are paying the highest prices for food in four decades.
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This recognition also comes in the wake of Hollywood actor Johnny Depp celebrating his trial victory over his ex-wife Amber Heard at a Birmingham-based Indian restaurant. The 58-year-old actor racked up a bill of around $60,000 during the celebration. According to the restaurant owner, Depp relished chicken tikka masala, shish kebabs, and king prawn starters.
In view of the growing popularity of Indian cuisine in the West, actress Priyanka Chopra opened her first restaurant Sona in New York in 2021. The restaurant serves a range of Indian dishes, including vada pav, paani puri, dosa, kulcha, and even samosa.
Nearly two months after Priyanka Chopra opened her restaurant, hotelier Anjan Chatterjee launched a Bengali cuisine restaurant in London – Chourangi. The restaurant offers dishes like prawn and crab parcels, and Bengali delicacies like slow-roasted kosha lamb, Calcutta lamb shank biryani, aam achar hilsa, lal murgi and banana flower croquettes.
Besides, other Indian restaurants like Campton Place in San Francisco, Pickle in Dublin, Kutir Chelsea in London, and Rasa in Burlingame (the US), among others have also earned a name in the West.
In 2019, a study conducted by US-based economist Joel Waldfogel had revealed that Indian food is the fourth most popular in the world after Italian, Japanese, and Chinese. Indian cuisine is a big hit in the United Kingdom, South Korea, Thailand, Japan, Germany, France, and the United States.
(Edited by : Sudarsanan Mani)
First Published: Jun 15, 2022 10:49 AM IST
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