Well, this is exciting! Chaiiwala of London has opened its first BC outpost in Abbotsford, with 5 more to come (in Surrey and Langley) in the near future. With 43 locations already in the UK (and 2 more in Toronto), this brand which has proven itself has arrived here and we are not sorry about that!Located at the corner of South Fraser Way and Gladwin Road, parking is not immediately evident. There is some behind the Scotia Bank accessible off Fraser Way via a driveway to the west, or in the strip mall off Gladwin Road to the north. Try not to piss off the strip mall tenants. The process inside is to order at the counter, find a seat and they will buzz you when your food is ready.
Chaiiwala of London
The whole point of this place is chai. We tried a couple (they look the same but were quite different) of hot beverages. One was a Karak coffee (not chai at all) which was served Indian style, hot, creamy and sweet. They didn't ask how we wanted it which is fine as it was very nice but be aware. If you want black coffee, I'm not sure if you should ask for it that way or if it is elsewhere on the menu. The other was a Dirty Chai which was a combination of coffee and tea which was amazing. It is served chai style with cardamom, milk and sugar! There are too many choices to mention here.
Breakfast seems to be the specialty here and obviously, that means Indian style. We ordered Halwa Puri which was chana, halwa (a semolina pudding that was sweet and rich) and a couple of freshly fried puffy pieces of bread, a little like a delicate pita. I could eat this every day!
We tried a few snacks as well starting with a Karachi Bun Kebab. This is a minced lamb patty wrapped in an omelette with mango chutney and tamarind. This was satisfying and very tasty and the tamarind and mango were highlights!
There is also a nice selection of chat. I think this was Aloo Tiki Chat although, I can't find a very good representation of the complete CoL menu anywhere on their website or on Uber Eats to confirm that is what it was. Lots of potato, chickpea and assorted flavours made a nice spicy and rich snack.
The one item that we had trouble getting excited about was the Butter Chicken Roti. It was tasty enough and nicely grilled but it was a little lean on filling. It was like my common complaint about restaurants serving butter chicken namely a lot of sauce but very little protein! Still, at $6 you can't complain very much.
Chaiiwalla is beautiful inside with hanging pendant lights and art on the walls.
There is not a huge amount of seating on the first floor but there are some tables on the second floor as well. There are a lot of interesting things on the menu that we would like to try. The staff are freindly and helpful.
They are all in on sustainability but their disposal station is actually a little confusing (what goes where is the bins?) and they served us with paper cups (all the photos show glass which would have been nice). They also didn't check our vaccination status but as a coffee shop maybe there is a different standard (?).
Anyway, these are minor quibbles and we really enjoyed this place overall.
Food 3 1/2 out of 5
Comfort 3 1/2 out of 5
Service 4 out of 5
Value 4 out of 5
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