Whilst wandering the streets of Bath, Eleanor and I came across Chai Walla. A tiny independent Indian street food hut, sandwiched between Sainsbury’s and a Peri Peri chicken restaurant on Monmouth Street, the scent of Indian spices could be found from far down the road.
Thankfully we got there as soon as lunchtime arrived and there was no queue, and spent a couple of minutes perusing the chalkboard menu up on the wall. The floor space is sectioned off by a small counter and everything is prepared freshly in front of you. Chai Walla offer samosas, onion bhaji, curry and rice, wraps and more! Everything is vegetarian, and everything but the chai can be made vegan!
I was intrigued by their onion bhaji roti wrap, described as ‘fresh hot onion bhajis placed on top of a layer of mango chutney, covered with salad, tamarind and mint sauce’. This wrap was enormous! Hot, crispy onion bhajis (at least 8) were lined up over a generous helping of sticky sweet mango chutney, and then covered in tamarind and mint sauce. The sweetness of the tamarind complimented the cooling yogurt. It was then covered in crispy onions and a little chilli (but not too much as I am a wimp!). It was bloody glorious. So good in fact that on our final day i went back to take another one home with me for lunch at work the next day!
Eleanor went for the samosa chaat. A samosa was broken up over their delicious chickpea curry and then served with salad and rice noodles, and covered in mint sauce. Again the portion was large and the curry was amazing. Sweet and with a hint of spice, it was perfect to warm you up on quite a miserable day!
The value for money was amazing. My wrap cost £5, but for an extra £1 I could have had a samosa. I am glad I didn’t as the wrap filled me up perfectly. Eleanor’s Chaat was £5 too! Lunch for £5? Even next door in Sainsbury’s it would be hard to get a decent lunch for that. There is no seating inside Chai Walla but there are numerous benches just outside in the square and we sat for a few minutes munching on our lunch and just watching the world go by. But the time we had finished the last bite, there was a steady queue of people waiting to be served. It was absolutely heavenly food, no wonder it’s a popular place. I want to try to recreate the wrap at home soon as it was genuinely one of the most enjoyable lunches I have had. I am just gutted that we have nothing like this in Nottingham.