Name: Chai Wali
Location: Beach Avenue, diagonally opp. Salt & Pepper Village
Specialty item(s): Zafrani chai
First things first: I don’t know about you but ever since Chai Wala started this whole ‘modern dhaba’ trend, I’ve had my fingers crossed for a Chai Wali to enter the scene. So, imagine my excitement when I discovered that it was finally happening! Images of cool truck art depicting desi girl power and quirky menu items like ‘anti-patriarchy paratha’ came to mind. I may have gotten a little ahead of myself but come on, can you blame me? Okay, don’t answer that.
Anyhow, now that I’ve sufficiently bored you with my inner thought process, let’s talk about the place. I could attempt to guess any questions you’d have about it and then answer them but I have a feeling that wouldn’t go super well (given my lack of extra-sensory perception) so I’ll stick to talking about what I liked/didn’t like.
Stuff I liked:
- The location is perfect. While most other dhabas are located at random street corners, this one is right opposite the ocean, on Beach Avenue. That means you get to sip your karak chai with your garma garam paratha while watching a stunning sunset and enjoying the sea breeze. It doesn’t get better than that.
- As a huge fan of female entrepreneurship, I love the fact that it’s owned by a woman (hence the name).
- The chai. I’m not a huge chai connoisseur or anything and rarely a chai drinker (don’t disown me) but I thought their zafrani chai (which is their specialty) was quite good.
- The chicken-stuffed paratha. Had lots of filling and was quite flavorful. Also, the raita served with it had a lovely, thick texture just the way I like it.
- These pretty, little tidbits they distributed at the soft launch (I’ve developed a crush on that tiny notebook):
- There was no anti-patriarchy paratha or girl power truck art 🙁
- The chai was served in paper cups as opposed to Styrofoam ones. That made it difficult to hold on to it while it was hot. However, I don’t know if the paper cups are a regular deal – may have just been used at the soft launch.
Verdict: If you’re looking for everything your current dhaba offers but with a better view, then visiting Chai Wali is worth a shot. Just don’t go lookin’ for a paratha that can stand up against the patriarchy.