Review of 'chaiiwala Brick Lane'

We were in London to experience a bit of Christmas and stayed on Brick Lane as it is always an interesting place to be. The hotel was offering the same-old same-old for breakfast so we headed out to see what our options were and, frankly, I did not hold out much hope as I always feel this is more of a lunch/dinner/snack type area but I was pleasantly surprised to find (literally) opposite the hotel a small, modern café “Chaiiwala” which is a chain offering it's namesake (Chai) and other assorted Indian street food dishes including a section of the menu called “All Day Breakfast”.

A good sign.


The small, modern, slightly upmarket fast food-style interior is quite different than many of the surrounding restaurants which are most definitely “old school” (English) Indian restaurants with bright white tablecloths and hot and cold running waiters. Chaiwalla is much more of a do-it-yourself affair which suited us fine. At just after noon on a Friday it was about half full with two groups just sitting and chatting with their tea joined later by a group of young men who dug into their kebabs with relish. It had a very warm and welcoming feel to the place.

The menu is split into three main sections: All Day Breakfast, Kids Meals, and Streetfood with side sections for Roti, Desserts, Cakes, Ice Cream then flip it over for hot and cold drinks. The menu feels quite Indian with options here that we have seen in more “authentic” Indian restaurants.

My companion and I opted for the “Desi Breakfast” (£7.45; “Fresh Masala Omelette with your choice of topping, delicious side and selection of breads” along with a drink) over the “English-ish Breakfast” (£7.95; “Masala Omelette with masala beans, 2 lamb bacon rashers, 2 sausages, and 2 slices of toast”) as it seemed a bit more interesting. When ordering I mixed things up a bit with one with “Chana”, described to me as “chickpeas in gravy”, and the other with “Daal”. On the flatbread side for one order I had “Paratha” (one of my favourites - a buttery, flaky pastry) and the other was with “Roti”.

I ordered, was given a flat electronic “buzzer” and returned to my seat to wait for the food to be ready. Only a few minute later I was buzzed. Each dish was served simply on a small (very hot) metal platter with no utensils as you tear off pieces of the roti to pick up the sauces.

Desi Breakfast - Chana

The omelette was light and delicious with the occasional heat of chilli pieces to make things interesting. The Chana and Daal were wonderful – Not too spicy and not too huge a portion either. The roti were perfectly cooked and fresh, delicious.

Desi Breakfast - Daal

My companion's chai drink was delicious - Sweet and creamy - While my “mint tea” was simply a standard (English) tea bag in hot water with a single leaf of mint so quite disappointing.

The staff were so wonderful here, helping with the ordering and being very accommodating with my ordering the different variations for the meal. At £16.40 for two people, it was a good value for such different, and delicious food. Will certainly be looking out for them again to try some of their street food as it looks really good as well.

Rating: “I have absolutely no complaints”

Review Date: 2022-12-30

Cuisine: Indian

Address: 55 Brick Ln, London E1 6PU ENGLAND

Public Transport: TUBE Aldgate East TUBE Liverpool Street

Location: London (England) - Spitalfields



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