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Vik's Chaat House recommendations?

cortez Apr 25, 2011 02:15 AM

Going to Vik's in Berkeley tomorrow for lunch. Any Chowhound recommendations for must have dishes? Will be there with one other person who would also like to sample a variety of items.


Vik's Chaat House
2390 Fourth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710

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  1. BernalKC RE: cortez Apr 25, 2011 08:29 AM

    Most of the time I go with friends who order from the daily specials menu. But we always get something for the table. I almost always get the Cholle Batura. Other times we get Pani Puri, Dosa, Uttapam, and Samosas. Oh, and a mango lassi, guava juice, fresh cocnut milk, or a Thumbs Up is definitely called for.

    1. Robert Lauriston RE: cortez Apr 25, 2011 08:44 AM

      I like the chole with paratha.

      1. s
        sfbing RE: cortez Apr 25, 2011 09:13 AM

        I like the fried fish plate. And if they have it, methi paratha.

        1. k
          kmah RE: cortez Apr 25, 2011 10:31 AM

          By tomorrow do you mean Monday or Tuesday? Because I believe they're closed Mondays.

          1 Reply
          1. re: kmah
            cortez RE: kmah Apr 25, 2011 11:38 AM


          2. s
            sydthekyd RE: cortez Apr 25, 2011 11:20 AM

            Tiki aloo.

            1. escargot3 RE: cortez Apr 25, 2011 01:40 PM

              i just be sure to get the cholle.
              Recenlty I had a halibut special that was incredible.
              and a lamb biryani was amazing

              1 Reply
              1. re: escargot3
                vinoareni RE: escargot3 Apr 26, 2011 08:35 PM

                I agree the biryani is the best

              2. a
                asdf1234 RE: cortez Apr 25, 2011 02:57 PM

                You have to get the Samosas. I've been all over india and have yet to find a samosa that rivals the one from Vik's.
                The Dosa is also pretty bomb, awesome chutney and sambar. Nice and crispy.
                The Dahi Pakori is also great, a pleasant cool and tangy contrast to the hot fried stuff.
                Also, get a Thums Up. Really interesting, pleasing chemically soda taste... india in a bottle.
                Too bad you're not going on a weekend or i'd suggest the Pav Bhaji. Enjoy!

                1 Reply
                1. re: asdf1234
                  sydthekyd RE: asdf1234 Apr 25, 2011 03:48 PM

                  Second the samosas. How are their pakoras?

                2. chefj RE: cortez Apr 25, 2011 03:54 PM

                  You should really stick with the Chaat items at Vik's it is what they do well. There Dosi and other items are sub par IMO.
                  Pani Puri, Dahi Pakori, Vegetable Pakoras, Bel Puri and the Chole Batura are all very good.
                  If you you like it hot ask for extra chili other wise it is all quite mild.

                  13 Replies
                  1. re: chefj
                    ...tm... RE: chefj Apr 26, 2011 01:44 AM

                    Agreed, I live nearby and am always satisfied with any two things off the chaat menu, and generally disappointed with the main dish + stuff, or specials menu. Specifically, nothing has been bad, I just wish I'd stuck to the chaat when I'd ordered off the meals or uttapam/dosa/meat dishes sections because they're nothing special, whereas the chaat is harder to find and generally quite good. I like to order the pani puri, dahi papdi chaat or the dahi batata puri. The samosa chaat or the chole batura will get you the chole (chickpea curry) other posters have mentioned. Most first-time visitors are quite impressed with the chole batura (the puffy fried bread0 which includes the chole.
                    Their idli can also be decent, but I think that is only served on the weekends.

                    1. re: ...tm...
                      TopoTail RE: ...tm... Apr 27, 2011 03:20 PM

                      I know others on this board have complained about it, but get a craving for their masala dosa about once a month and have never been disappointed. A while ago someone on this board said I would never return for Vic's masala dosa after I had experience the same at the SF location of Udupi Palace. I did try it at the SF Udupi Palace, and while it's different and perhaps a bit better, it did not dim my enthusiasm for the Vic's version. (The version at Berkeley location of Udupi Palace, on the other hand, ain't so good--lacks crispness.)

                      I will admit that the last time I tried Vics' uttapam it struck me as rather greasy.

                      I also love Vic's pakora, and have never tasted a better version of mango lassai.

                      1. re: TopoTail
                        cortez RE: TopoTail Apr 27, 2011 04:56 PM

                        OP here: tried way too many options but came away loving the colle bhatura and the aloo tikki. Saw others enjoying the masala dosa which made me jealous. Will definitely try that as well next time. Great place.

                        Thanks so much for the recs.

                        1. re: cortez
                          chefj RE: cortez Apr 27, 2011 07:38 PM

                          If you regular the southern area of the east bay or south bay you have many more high quality options for Tiffin than Vik's provides.

                          1. re: chefj
                            Robert Lauriston RE: chefj Apr 28, 2011 09:51 AM

                            I've heard people say that a lot, but so far haven't actually found anyplace that was significantly better than Vik's.

                            1. re: Robert Lauriston
                              chefj RE: Robert Lauriston Apr 28, 2011 03:21 PM

                              Tirupathi Bhimas, Milpitas
                              Udupi Palaces, except for the Berkeley branch.
                              Dosa, SF
                              Woodlands restaurant, Newark
                              Madura Indian Vegetarian Cuisine and Madras Cafe, Sunnyvale
                              All are much better at Tiffin than Vik's. Some of the ones in south bay also have very good South Indian Thalis

                              Tirupathi Bhimas
                              1208 S Abel St, Milpitas, CA 95035

                              1. re: chefj
                                Robert Lauriston RE: chefj Apr 28, 2011 03:25 PM

                                I didn't find Tirupathi Bhimas or Dosa better. Tirupathi Bhimas seemed quite similar to the Berkeley Udupi Palace to me.

                                Tirupathi Bhimas
                                1208 S Abel St, Milpitas, CA 95035

                                1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                  chefj RE: Robert Lauriston Apr 28, 2011 03:49 PM

                                  I do not know what to tell you. I find them completely different.
                                  I completely gave up on Berkeley Udupi Palace years ago after many truly bad dosa with awful accompaniments. I cant believe that you can not tell the difference between them and Tirupathi Bhimas. Udupi Palaces(Karnataka) is regionally different than Tirupathi Bhimas (Tamil Nadu).
                                  As for Vik's their sambar is one dimensional, under spiced, over tumericed, same goes for their coconut chutney. The dosa themselves are OK but inconsistent at best and there is no variety in batters to choose from or other tiffin.

                                  Tirupathi Bhimas
                                  1208 S Abel St, Milpitas, CA 95035

                                  1. re: chefj
                                    Robert Lauriston RE: chefj Apr 28, 2011 03:54 PM

                                    I never order dosas. I never get sambar at Vik's, I like Udupi's a lot.

                                    1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                      chefj RE: Robert Lauriston Apr 28, 2011 03:55 PM

                                      If you never order Dosa then what are you talking about above?

                                      1. re: chefj
                                        Robert Lauriston RE: chefj Apr 28, 2011 04:28 PM

                                        Some of my favorite dishes at Vik's are parathas and cholle, lamb baida roti, and various puris.

                                        1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                          chefj RE: Robert Lauriston Apr 28, 2011 04:41 PM

                                          South Indian Tiffins refers to Idlis,Dosi,Uthappams,Vadas, Pongal and the like.

                                    2. re: chefj
                                      osho RE: chefj Apr 28, 2011 04:00 PM

                                      Viks is one of those board favourites that I would not recommend to anyone. I remember writing about Viks in a post in 2006.

                                      Years ago (maybe 2001), when they were a little shop behind a grocery store, their chaat was outstanding. Everything else I have had in recent years has been beyond terrible.

                                      Bhaturas dripping with oil, cold cholle, the list goes on. And I shudder at the thought of eating Dosa at Viks.

                    2. p
                      petpuja RE: cortez Apr 28, 2011 11:45 PM

                      Viks has great choley bhature (I hear everyone else say they find it greasy - that is the very nature of bhature..) and great lamb kathi roll..

                      I will stay away from the chai, and the utappam.. their pav bhaji is pretty good too..

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