Chai pan-asian restaurant – Sitges

c/sant Pau 46
Sitges

Tuesday to Saturday 19hrs – 23hrs

Unlike most UK and US cities, where you can eat any type cuisine you want from all across the globe, whether that be Thai, Japanese, Colombian, French or Turkish, it can often be difficult to find restaurants in Spain where you can eat anything that isn’t Spanish or, dreadful pizza. Barcelona and Madrid are the obvious exceptions.

In Sitges, most restaurants serve Spanish food to Spanish people. So coming across Chai, a restaurant that serves Indian and Thai-style curries with options for vegetarians – is a bit of hoot, let me tell you.

Chai is contemporary although more so in its appearance than its fare. It’s all ever so black-and-white and nicely ponsey with a posh logo and twisty designs on the windows and everything, after all it is catering mainly to the sun dazzled gaylord who wants a bit of spicy Asian fodder after a day topping up his suntan on the nearby beaches and cavorting in the salty waves with exquisite young men.

Where was I? Oh yes, the service is good, exceptionally friendly and professional and there are a number of vegetarian options. So whether you are gay or not, hungry for a Thai curry rather than a sandy cock, Chai is the place for you.

Finding vegetarian-friendly fodder in Spain can be challenging at best and so this place, that caters for those of us that love animals so much that we don’t really want to eat them, is like finding a water fountain in the Sahara Desert after doing two Bikram yoga classes back to back.

Vegetarian starters include vegetable pakora, paneer pakori, a dish that consists of roast aubergine with a coriander dip, and shahi samosas, which is potatoes, peas and a yogurt and tamarind sauce. All starters are €4 each.

For the second course you can pick from a tarka daal, Bombay aloo, saag paneer, okra curry and a mix shabsi – a seasonal vegetable curry. All at €7 per dish. Sadly, there were no Thai curry options for vegetarians, which makes me a bit stroppy.

Basmati rice, tandoori, peshweri and garlic naans and the obligatory popadums with raita and chutneys are available.

For dessert you can choose between traditional ghulab jaman, cheesecake or brownies, and if you are a drinker, there are even organic wines. We didn’t try any of the desserts, because after popadoms, naan and curry, we were full up. And we don’t drink anymore either so we didn’t try the organic wines.

The owner is hands-on and exceptionally welcoming and her chefs do a fabulous job. It’s some of the best vegetarian Asian food I’ve ever eaten, and what with the warm welcome and the proximity to the beach, it was a very welcome retreat one rainy night in Sitges and a delightful change from the usual offering for vegetarians in Spain: pan con tomate and patatas bravas.

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