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Satya Chai Lounge Opens a Second Outpost on K' Road

With the same charm and drunk munchies as the original drinking hideaway.
By Stephen Heard
June 29, 2017
By Stephen Heard
June 29, 2017

What started as a hangout in the garage of Sammy Akuthota's family restaurant has evolved into one of the most popular drinking spots in the city, with the second outpost of Satya Chai Lounge now permanently open along Karangahape Road.

The new opening arrives in place of the family's original South Indian restaurant, Satya — a staple of the student BYO scene along the strip. Those still intent on washing down dahi puri with a bottle of cleanskin can find another Satya outpost one kilometre away on Great North Road.

Like the flagship Sandringham version, the K' Road outpost is purposely full of mystique. Those without details of the exact whereabouts of the venue would have trouble finding it if it wasn't for the original Satya signage hanging above the street — even then the entrance is perplexing. The bar is shrouded by a fake wall that when pushed uncovers all that you would expect from Chai. Coffee sacks and plants line the roof, rugs cover the walls beneath mismatched lumber, long hand-crafted benches and stools run down the narrow space and the fridge is bursting with craft beer. First-timers are obvious from their dumfounded reaction slinking through the coffee sack curtain; it feels like you've just uncovered your own secret drinking hideaway.

Instead of having to walk into the kitchen to look at the beer range, the K' Road spot offers table service. The beer menu offers all the local greats: Garage Project, Liberty, Yeastie Boys, Behemoth, and a range of international varieties. There's also the $40 can of VB that was once rolling around in the boot of Sammy's car.

The cocktails are made in partnership with a former Mea Culpa mixologist who concocts the hard spirits before the bar staff add fresh ingredients and the finishing touches. The negroni is a definite crowdpleaser, as well as Sammy's guilty pleasure, a Frangelico mule. For something different, try the hard chai — a fragrant and alcoholic version of the classic enhanced with rum in the warmer months, and Cognac in winter.

The menu features all the mouthwatering snacks under the 'drunk munchies' banner, like Satya's champion dahi puri, the mashup of Japanese fried chicken and Indian spices — 'Kurryage', the ridiculously addictive Manchurian vegetable dumplings, Chicken 65 and lamb koftas. New additions for the uptown location include Mushroom Magic, Chicken Pakora and Paneer Triple Five.

Future plans for the K' Road storefront — currently being used for extra seating — include an Asian-style coffee shop. Forget single origin flat whites, the shop will utilise traditional brewing methods — expect sweet and spicy. There are also murmurs of accompaniments like banoffee pie and candy floss.

Find Satya Chai Lounge at 277 Karangahape Road. It's now open 11.30 - 2.30 and 5 til late.

Images: Florence Noble

Published on June 29, 2017 by Stephen Heard
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