Project Chaiwala Dubai is the brainchild of two tea enthusiasts – Emirati Ahmed Kazim and Indian Justin Joseph. Ahmed and Justin first met in Dubai whilst working in the financial sector. Where they would often take a chai break between meetings together, to step back, relax and recharge. They both realised a gap missing in the city’s chai offering and set to work to fill it and Project Chaiwala was born…
The duo embarked on multiple trips to tea gardens in Darjeeling, India to source the best quality organic teas, which they brought back to Dubai and crafted into their signature chai concoctions at 20+ pop-up events, serving over 20,000 cups of chai.
24 months later and Project Chaiwala is all grown up and now boasts its own cafe concept, created as a Chai diner of sorts, which is nestled inside Cinema Akil (more on that here) in Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz.
The vibes here are hard to beat thanks to the cool art house cinema feels from Cinema Akil and the funky, retro aesthetic of Project Chaiwala, not to mention the cool and chirpy folks that work here. It’s hard not to feel inspired.
This little gem first opened its doors on September 28th in 2018 and seats 30, although visitors are welcome to make themselves comfortable in the cinema space during the day before the movies start too. The menu features five chai concoctions – Karak (12AED), Masala (15AED), PCW Signature (15AED), Zaffrani (15AED) and Suleimani (10AED). There are also organic loose leaf teas (12AED) and a homemade Iced Tea (12AED), alongside Raw Matcha (15AED) and Matcha Latte (18AED). The two specials are Nimbu Pani (10AED) and a Turmeric Latte (15AED).
Food-wise, Project Chaiwala offers three breakfast menu items alongside 6 ‘Chai Toasts’, bites, ‘smashmosas’, salads and wraps, making this the perfect spot for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a quick pre-cinema or work fuel snack.
The Huntr sampled and recommends the Chili Cheese Toast (20AED) – spicy, cheesy and buttery toasted bread, and the Vada Pav (15AED), a Mumbai street food delicacy, which is crafted with veggies, spices and potato and served inside a bread bun.
Insider tip: Project Chaiwala are working on another cafe concept, which is set to open soon. Stay tuned – The Huntr will keep you posted.