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Khan Chacha is a modern Indian restaurant that does a fusion take on Indo-Persian cuisine, marrying curries and heady spices with Western dishes. Don’t turn away! Keep reading! It’s way more interesting than it sounds.

Indo-Persian Cuisine at Khan Chacha

Khan Chacha, modern Indian restaurant in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

The first location of Khan Chacha opened in September 2019 in Westgate Mall. A second location followed in February 2021 in the Parkson mall on Huaihai Zhong Lu. (That’s directly across from where Five Guys is located.) And they’ve just updated the menu with some new dishes.

(Both openings flew under my radar. Having just discovered this restaurant, I consider it “new”!)

Khan Chacha, modern Indian restaurant in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

If you’re unfamiliar with Indian food, there are some defining differences between northern and southern Indian cuisine. Northern Indian tends to use more butter and cream, breads like chapatti and roti are more commonplace, there is a strong Arab and Persian influence, lamb/mutton are staples, and the spice is more intense. Not to mention the use of the tandoor clay oven. Southern is lighter, dishes use more coconut (freshly grated and steeped to extract the milk), curry leaves are also prominent, rice is more common, and there’s more seafood (closer to the ocean) and vegetarian dishes.

Khan Chacha, modern Indian restaurant in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

Khan Chacha’s chef patron Jibin Arjunan hails from the south and spent time in the north of India, and not only does he feature both hemispheres of Indian cuisine, but he also adds his culinary experience from French cooking school into the mix, and borrows inspiration from 17 years of growing up in Qatar. Lots of spice meets re-imagined dishes.

Khan Chacha, modern Indian restaurant in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

What’s On The Menu

So what happens with you combine all those cuisines? Here are some of the dishes on the menu to give you an idea.

Chicken tikka poutine. Khan Chacha, modern Indian restaurant in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Chicken Tikka Masala Poutine (¥68) – Sweet potato fries with cheddar and masala. The masala sauce is punchy—sweet, savory and spicy. It really brings out the aromatics of the smoky chicken.
Dosa. Khan Chacha, modern Indian restaurant in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Chennai Mackerel Dosa (¥78) – A hearty helping of mackerel on a fluffy dosa. This is mild in spice with a sparkle of tamarind. Dosa is made with fermented rice batter, and the texture might be unusual if this is your first rodeo. Take it in stride.
Beef tongue taco. Khan Chacha, modern Indian restaurant in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Beef Tongue Masala Taco (¥78) – Similar to the dosa, but on naan. Mild in spice, tender beef tongue. Huge portion, great value.
Cheese naan. Khan Chacha, modern Indian restaurant in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
I’d say, if you’re ordering dishes to share, get the plain naan or the 3 Cheese Naan (¥40), folded with blue cheese, cream cheese and emmental, topped with olive tapenade.
Butter chicken. Khan Chacha, modern Indian restaurant in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
China’s Best Butter Poussin Chicken (¥108) – I’m a stickler when it comes to butter chicken. And I think this trumps my previous favorite. (I shan’t name names.) Poussin (young chicken) is cooked in the tandoor on the bone, imbued with smoky aromas, and doused with spicy, buttery tomato-based curry.
Lamb curry. Khan Chacha, modern Indian restaurant in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
The Khan’s Festive Sikandri Raan (¥248) – Another must-order. Tender cubed lamb with a lingering spice. Get some plain naan or rice to finish up the curry.
Roasted lamb. Khan Chacha, modern Indian restaurant in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Another lamb dish is the Kolhapuri Champ (¥98) with cumin potato salad. Lamb chops that cut like butter, coated in an aromatic, smoky dry rub. Different styles completely, both lamb dishes are excellent.
Hasselback potato curry. Khan Chacha, modern Indian restaurant in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Don’t miss the Hasselback Aloo Dum (¥68). The sauce on this is absolutely addictive. My favorite curry of all these dishes. The mildly spicy curry is boosted with fenugreek and mustard oil, and is oh-so velvety.
Khan Chacha, modern Indian restaurant in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Chettinad Chicken Vol Au Vent (¥78) – This is a fiery curry is from the southern region of Chettinad. It is made with roasted spices, onions, coconut and red chilies. A classic Indian dish meets buttery, flaky French pastry. (It could do with more coconut aioli, though.)
Khan Chacha, modern Indian restaurant in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
The Kheema Ghotala w/ Pav Bread (¥88) is another street food inspired dish, this time from the streets of Mumbai. It’s a spicy lamb mince fortified with cumin seeds. It’s gives off that desirable chesty burn. If you like spice, this is right up your alley. The egg is like the icing on a cake. I’m all in.
Semifreddo. Khan Chacha, modern Indian restaurant in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Vanilla Pista & Honey Semifreddo (¥68) – A combination of Indian dessert usual suspects; soft and creamy vanilla pistachio, rose and honey semifreddo with bold cardamom flavors.
Khan Chacha, modern Indian restaurant in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Saffron cardamom frosted festive rum fruit cake (¥68) – It’s like a Christmas fruit cake with saffron-cardamom frosting and pistachios.
Alphonso mango and coconut tiramisu. Khan Chacha, modern Indian restaurant in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Alphonso Mango & Coconut Tiramisu (¥68) – If you had to choose one dessert, it’s this. I’d definitely order this again. Sweet mangos between layers of Malibu-soaked ladyfingers and coconut cream, topped with Iranian pistachios.Served chilled, a great way to end the meal.

In Summary: It’s New & Exciting

The curries are much more distinct, at least from what I’ve had from other restaurants in Shanghai. One way to put it is that the curries are “fuller” and heady with fresh spices. I was pleasantly surprised. Some dishes are exciting, like the Hasselback potato—you take a simple ingredient and make it great with a unique sauce—and the butter chicken is fantastic.

Khan Chacha, modern Indian restaurant in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

Not everything was a favorite for me, but Khan Chacha has legs. There’s plenty to explore for both novices and fans of Indian food. Plus, there’s even a section for Persian food. I’ll have to save that for another visit.

Favorite dishes: Butter chicken, three cheese naan, The Khan’s Festive Sikandri Raan, Hasselback Aloo Dum, Kheema Ghotala, Kolhapuri Champ and the tiramisu.

Khan Chacha, modern Indian restaurant in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

There are two locations of Khan Chacha. The new location is in Parkson—fastest way is from the Shaanxi Nan Lu entrance/elevator. Don’t let the mall location deter you. It’s worth trying. Also available via delivery.


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Khan Chacha
Parkson: 8/F, 918 Huaihai Zhong Lu, near Shaanxi Nan Lu 淮海中路918号8楼, 近陕西南路
Tel: 68808885
Hours: Mon-Thu 11am-2:30pm, 5pm-9pm; Fri-Sun 11am-3pm, 5pm-9pm
Westgate Mall: Unit 501, 1038 Nanjing Xi Lu, near Jiangning Lu 南京西路1038号梅龙镇广场501室, 近江宁路
Tel: 62185018
Hours: Mon-Fri 11:30am-2:30pm, 5pm-9pm; Sat-Sun 11:30am-3pm, 5pm-9pm