What is Chowki? Is it
a) An Indian Restaurant just off of Piccadilly
b) A root vegetable notable for for being halfway between chicory and potato
c) Where Jonathon Ross gets sent when he breaks the law.

It is of course a), and the schtick is that every month it presents a new menu from three different regions of India. February is the actually oft traveled Punjab, Kerala and slightly more unusual Sikkim. I’ve walked past it loads of times on the way to the Piccadilly from the UGC over the road and thought, hmm – poncey Indian. But then I thought, must try it, I can wear my ponce disguise after all. And whilst we were seated in the cold bit, the waiting staff were snappy to run us through the motions.

There is a piece I’ve been meaning to write on subcontinenental 660ml beers (Three Coins, Tiger etc…) but that will wait. But the Punjabi sourced one was very nice. So I stuck to the Punjabi menu and had the lamb shank with spinach. My companion went lamb kerela style. You can do a ‘10.95 three course meal perming three items from the locality – including the oft fear Indian pudding – but this time we just went mains. Next time I’ll go whole hog for the value. You don’t just get your curry for the asking price, you get appropriate rice, dhaal, side orders and bread. And the food was great (espeically sucking the beautifully curried marrow out of the bone).

Chowki is a friendly place with a very friendly ever changing menu (website at shows you whats on and what is coming). The only frightening bit was the toilet, which with its full on chrome is like pissing in a saucepan. But the food was great and the ambience almost completely drowned out the three travelling salesmen two seats down regaling the restaurant with their prowess in selling sandwich making machines. Just looking at that menu makes me want to go back again to try the Sikkim. And I’ve got a week before its all change in March with Mangalore, Rajasthan and Hyderabad. Hmmm.