“Chai wallah, chai wallah.” The sound of every Indian street corner. But these shouts came not from Mumbai but from the footpath over the M32 roundabout in Easton.
Chai Cafe is a new venture from Indiana Joe Baba, an intriguing character who as well as being a chai wallah is also a chef, poet, artist, and yoga and meditation instructor.
As well as a delicious cup of chai for £1.50 – to which is added a top secret blend of freshly ground spices – Chai Cafe also serves dal, vegetables and rice, with daily specials which on Friday was North Indian goat curry and rice (£4.50).
I had to wait five or so minutes for hot water but it mattered not. The three-year-old passenger on the back of my bicycle was fast asleep and there were a couple of hours before the gates closed at St Werburgh’s City Farm – where we were heading until halted by Baba’s shouts.
During the wait I was entertained by bongos and guitar playing, an impromptu jam session from a few passers-by.