Round rotis… the ultimate test for any Asian female! This is something that I haven’t quite achieved yet (apologies future husband)! I remember the days when I was little and my grandma would teach my aunty how to make the perfect round roti. While she was having lessons, I’d get a bit of dough all for myself and I’d make my very own unique and weirdly shaped rotis! My aunty would then cook it for me, slather on some ghee and a very generous sprinkling of sugar. It was my FAVOURITE. 17 years later, sugar and roti is still one of my guilty pleasures. So when I found out that ChaiiWala, a very famous cafe from Leicester was opening up their first branch in London, and were serving sweet rotis/parathas and karak chai… I had to make a trip there ASAP!
Chaiiwala opened its doors this Wednesday and is situated in Walthamstow. I went yesterday and it was already jamming and packed with people. Pretty impressive!
They have quite a large menu consisting of various chais, breakfast options, rotis, street food and desserts! After a long debate, this is what we ordered….
SWEET PARATHA GLAZED WITH HONEY (£1.50)
Of course I had to try this! It was flaky and delicious and definitely fulfilled my cravings, however it would have been better if it was more buttery!
TARELI ROTI (£1.25)
For those of you who aren’t familiar with tareli roti, its a crunchy fried roti and is a family favourite for breakfast! My mum and grandma both enjoyed theirs!
BOMBAY SANDWICH (£2.25)
This sandwich is filled with warm potato, coriander-mint chutney and a slather of their special masala. It tasted very homely and was enjoyable, but I felt that it was quite bland and more chutney/masala was needed to give it some extra oomph.
MASALA CHIPS (£2)
These chips were delicious and reminded me of the epic masala chips you get in South Africa! They were a bit soggy (just like they should be) and had a bit of a tang. I liked the addition of spring onions because I haven’t had this on my chips before. If I’m being extra picky it would have been great if it was a tad spicy!
BUTTER CHICKEN ROLL (£2)
This was a bit disappointing for me as the chicken was quite dry and it lacked that usual creamy butter chicken flavour. However, I still finished it and it wasn’t bad (just not what I hoped for)!
KARAK CHAI (£1.95)
The karak chai here was excellent and is definitely one of my favourites. It’s sweet which I love and you can also opt for different variations such as karak with cinnamon, mint or saffron; the latter being my personal fave!
GAJAR HALWA CHEESECAKE (£3.75)
I was excited about this but unfortunately it just tasted like a vanilla cheesecake! They have another dessert option – chocolate chai mousse. I’ll give that a try next time!
Overall the bill amounted to around £4-5pp. The food at Chaiiwala isn’t perfect, however if you’re just coming for chai and roti (and don’t forget the masala chips) then I think it’s great. Service was a little slow however they just opened and are already super busy so it’s understandable. I’m really happy Chaiiwala has opened up in London and I can’t wait to visit again!