Prim Reddy spices up Bloubergstrand with duo of Indian eateries
The Indian Chapter and Chapter Two serve up comforting curries in a warm, welcoming environment
The Indian Chapter started as the result of a bet. After a successful career as a TV and radio presenter and a short spell in the corporate world, Prim Reddy was moving to Bloubergstrand, Cape Town. She and her husband signed the papers on their new house in a neighbourhood where an Indian restaurant that was closing down, and he bet her that she wouldn’t be able to run a restaurant. Unable to resist a challenge, she made an offer on it the next day.
“It’s been an amazing journey, I’m still learning,” says Prim. “The most important thing is that we treat guests the way that I would like to be treated in a restaurant. I went through all of the dishes on the menu; I wanted it to have an edge, the comfort of eating your grandmother’s chicken broth. And that’s what we’ve managed to create.”
It truly is a traditional neighbourhood Indian restaurant; unpretentious, welcoming and warm with a menu that looks to North India for its dishes with a sprinkling of Southern India too.
The original restaurant became so busy that Prim added Chapter Two a year later, a second private dining room style space around the corner, served by the same menu and kitchen, with a roaring log fire in winter. It was full when we visited even on a winter Tuesday night.
We started with beautifully tender Tandoori chicken; they make their own yoghurt for the marinade and a special spice mix, deep orange with Kashmiri chili.
The samosas are Punjabi style, cooked in the tandoor oven, and the substantial onion bhajis are perfect for cold winter days.
Each dish is cooked individually as it’s ordered and there’s something for every palate: from mild, creamy kormas through a varied selection of medium curries, to the hottest spiced with bird’s eye chilies for the chilli freaks.
We were wowed by the Chicken Madras, hot but not blazingly so, fragrant with coconut and mustard seeds, the Lamb Kadhai has the freshness of green pepper and tomato, a thick sauce with excellent quality meat, and the Vegetable Makhni, was pure comfort food, earthy and rich with cream, all mopped up with a really good garlic naan bread.