IT’S only when it starts to rain that I question the wisdom of taking a Bombay street feast and a decent bottle of wine down to the lake for dinner.

There’s a thunderous sky, squeezing the last drops of sunset from underneath inky-grey clouds.

I’d been on the hook to write a food review for a few weeks. I had managed to get out of the last one by passing the buck to our politics reporter.

Now it was crunch time. No getting out of it and only a weekend to work out where to go.

So it was a stroke of luck when, last week, a colleague appeared in the newsroom with a few tin foil packets of delicious curried lamb mince and crunchy chaats. He’d brought it back from Kutting Chai.

The restaurant opened in January in a terrace overlooking the Granville Street car park in Swindon town centre. It’s run by a pair with decades working in luxury hotels.

The place describes itself as a Bombay legacy, with the food inspired by the street vendors and restaurants selling hot food to office workers and commuters in India’s largest city.

I’d ended up eating most of the food my colleague had brought back to the office. I was keen to go back.

It was Saturday, my day off. I’d been in the newsroom anyway, trying to finish off a story for Monday’s paper.

The sun had been out for most of the day. I’d worked up a sweat from cycling up the hill by the time I’d handed over £10 for a bottle of white Riesling at Old Town’s Magnum Wines.

Having spent the bulk of the day indoors, the last thing I wanted was to eat there too.

Kutting Chai doesn’t advertise itself as a takeaway. It’s got plenty of seats upstairs, as well as a few barrel tables on a front terrace each surrounded by stools.

Ask nicely, though, and they seem to let you take your food away in little tin foil cartons.

The menu is good value. Most of the dishes cost around £4, although you can push the boat out with a grand afternoon tea (£11.95 per person) that must be pre-booked and comes with lashings of mango lassi and warm chai.

However, a consequence of the relative value is that I over-order, selecting a chicken tikka roll (£4.95), masala paneer roll (£3.95), several chaats, a kind of vegetarian burger called a Vada Pau and a couple of vegetable samosas. Even with that haul, I’ve still got change from £25.

The food is cooked fresh. It’s busy and I have a 20-minute wait, sat outside on a bar stool drinking a small glass of caramel-coloured chai tea that leaves a comforting fur on my tongue.

Half-an-hour later I’m joined at the lakes down at East Wichel by a friend. The wooden fishing platforms by the water’s edge make terrific picnic spots and there’s the added bonus of occasionally catching a glimpse of a rat paddling into the reeds.

The grub smells delicious. There’s a warmth from the spice that goes well with the sweet-salty tang of deep fried food.

The khatti rolls are like a cross between a wrap and a filled naan bread: chewy and flavoursome. The chicken tikka is gently spiced and well cooked, the salad adds some bite and the mint and yoghurt cools the curried meat.

The Vada Pau is a revelation. A deep fried ball of potato or beans, essentially, it crunches down nicely. The garlic chutney adds a bit of flavour and the white roll is reassuringly soft.

However, the chaat are my favourite. Like little balls of deep fried pastry, filled with chilli, chickpeas, mint and onion. It’s a difficult flavour to describe. The savoury chickpea and coriander offset by a sugary hit from what I presume are pomegranate seeds.

I’ve never been to Mumbai, so I don’t know whether this is a true reflection of Indian street food. It’s certainly delicious, with the rolls easily eaten with work-worn fingers. For a light dinner it’s perfect.

The white Riesling – sloshed into pink plastic cups – goes perfectly. It’s light and tastes slightly apple-like against the spice of the curry.

By the time we’ve finished eating, the bats are beginning to hunt above our heads. There’s a smell in the air of fresh rain and the sound of M4 traffic roaring in the distance.

Kutting Chai is open daily, 12pm - 9pm. For more, visit: