By taking inspiration from the snacks and delicacies offered by India’s street vendors, Urban Choola offers a tasty and authentic Indian menu that’s a little bit different from the rest.
Urban Choola landed on Sheffield's London Road in 2013, in a small and unpretentious place where cartoon illustrations of Indian street food life adorned the walls, giving it a fittingly modern feel. At the end of 2016 it made a move to its current, bigger place on Ecclesall Road – keeping the same friendly staff and relaxed, informal atmosphere.
It’s the menu that really sets Urban Choola apart. As chef Rohan Karkhanis sees it: "the tastiest food in India is found not in fine dining restaurants but in small street shacks where even a poor person eats like a king!" The cold servings of puffed rice bhel puri and hot ragda patties with tangy chutneys are both excellent examples of traditional street-side snacks, and they make a great starter. In fact, it’s easy to fill up on the generous portions and struggle to make room for your main.
And it’s worth saving space for the restaurant’s main attraction: its thali meals. For the uninitiated, each plate comprises small bowls of different flavours – a sort of a taster menu. Delicious and regularly updated, these are the perfect choice for us food enviers or menu ditherers. With several different flavours you’re bound to find something that really tickles your fancy. In amongst the assortment of dishes there’s even a sweet bowl for dessert.
Alcohol is not served, but if you want to bring your own tipple you are welcome to. And for those looking for an authentic Indian soft drink option, the yoghurty lassis are good (although we haven’t tried the salted option, as yet).
It’s good value too. Prices might seem ordinary on first inspection, but a closer look reveals that all the plates come with the accompaniments included.
It’s closed Mondays, and on Friday and Saturday nights you're best booking in advance – otherwise its fairly easy to drop in.
- Words by
- David Jackson
- Images by
- Gemma Thorpe