Mr. Chai Wala Indian, colourful, and authentic

Tuesday, June 06 2023

Opening Times

Daily: noon - midnight


Mr. Chai Wala
Kantstraße 31
10625 Berlin-Charlottenburg
.How to get there


+49 30 922 106 55

price level

Adapting traditional dishes to the German palate while not exposing the audience to too much unfamiliarity is a frequent topic in gastronomy. Whether Chinese, Mexican, Indian or many other cuisines, restaurants repeatedly bow to a particular fear of the new.

Fortunately, Kantstraße is a place where you are less afraid of this and can now find many authentic country cuisines. This is also the case at the newly opened Mr. Chai Wala. The Indian restaurant has made it its mission to serve genuine South Indian dishes that are only adjusted in spiciness.

To this end, owner Vinotharan Inparajah, who also runs Nu in Schlüterstraße, and his manager Sudan have brought a team of Indian chefs to Germany who have a passion for their home cuisine with them. (And are very happy when someone asks for authentic spiciness).

The first thing we notice at Mr. Chai Wala is the colourful yet stylish décor. Lots of wall paint, interspersed with brick walls partly bare and partly covered with snippets of variously patterned wallpaper, and occasional pictures reminiscent of pop art dominate the room concept.

Mr. Chai Wala I Food I 5 I c Ariane Bille
Mr. Chai Wala I Food I 2 I c Ariane Bille
Mr. Chai Wala I Food I 1 I c Ariane Bille
Mr. Chai Wala I Food I 4 I c Ariane Bille
Mr. Chai Wala I Restaurant I 3 I c Ariane Bille
Mr. Chai Wala I Foto Suzi Mue
Mr. Chai Wala I Team I Foto - Suzi Mue
Mr. Chai Wala I Inhaber Vinotharan Inparajah I Foto - Suzi Mue

The menu is emphatically authentic, and Sudan points out dishes that can only be found at their place. Born and raised in Germany to Sinhalese parents, he only knew his homeland's authentic cuisine from family gatherings. Sudan explains that many Germans of Indian origin feel the same way. That's why he was enthusiastic about the idea of a restaurant with true South Indian cuisine.

We are served a selection of tasty and surprisingly filling dishes: Starting with Tamil Rolls, so-called autumn rolls filled with spicy lamb curry. They are crispy and with just the right amount of spiciness. Additionally, they are accompanied by several dips, including a daal, a kind of Indian lentil stew, the remains of which we spoon out with relish.

Also finger food and vegan are the Tamil Vadai. These "original doughnuts" made from fermented Urid Dal dough taste light, fluffy and crispy. The menu at Mr. Chai Wala is rich in variety: baked, grilled, salads and, of course, curries. In addition, there are creative cocktails with or without alcohol. We enjoy a Limoncello Spritz, for example.

Real Indian street food is the essence of Mr. Chai Wala. Sudan serves us lamb kothu, a spiced flatbread salad with egg and vegetables, which reminds us a little of farmer's breakfast or Gröschtl - but with more vegetables and spice finesse. In addition, we try a classic masala dosa, a crispy, crepe-like lentil pastry filled with potato masala, green peas and coriander.

Light-tasting in itself, the combination of street food dishes left us very full - but there's always room for dessert. With a cup of wonderfully creamy chai - the name Mr. Chai Wala, by the way, stands for South Indian tea sellers - we enjoy a couple of exciting desserts: a light pistachio ice cream is combined with two kinds of halwa. The warm, creamy desserts with ghee come in two varieties: beetroot and carrot. The vegetable desserts are one of the big surprises at the end: not too sweet, with a pleasant consistency between softness and bite.

From exciting Indian street food highlights to classic curries, Mr. Chai Wala delivers what it promises: authentic Indian cuisine in a cliché-free atmosphere.

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Mr. Chai Wala – Indian, colourful, and authentic
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