Botiwalla is chef Meherwan Irani’s homage to his life long love of kababs and Irani Cafes. In his hometown of Ahmednagar, India, his grandfather owned Sarosh Canteen, the only Irani Cafe in town. Irani Cafes were originally tea and kabab houses run by Parsis - Zoroastrians that emigrated from Persia to India in the late 19th and early 20th century (Meherwan’s great-grandfather Sheriar was one of those eponymous immigrants). With a strange and wonderful mash-up of Victorian decor and Indian sensibilities, they catered to the English colonialists’ love of high tea and afternoon snacks. Even after the British left India, Irani Cafes survived, adapting their menus to Indian tastes, serving a unique style of Indo-Persian (Parsi) cuisine and becoming some of the most iconic and revered dining institutions along the way.
Chai Pani literally means “tea and water.” It's slang in India for going out for a cup of tea, a tasty bite, a snack, or “a little something.” In Downtown Asheville (and now in Downtown Decatur) it means innovative, fun, affordable and delicious Indian cuisine. We'd go so far as to say it's “mindblasting.”
Some of the best food of any country is its street food, and Chai Pani features chaat - crunchy, spicy, sweet, tangy, brightly flavored Indian street snacks. And because there's nothing more comforting and delicious in any culture than a home cooked meal, Chai Pani also brings you thalis - traditional family meals highlighting India's amazing culinary diversity.
MG Road is the basement bar of Chai Pani, located one floor down, with an entrance on Wall Street in downtown Asheville. Designed to be a great place to get a drink while waiting to be sat at Chai Pani, or a great place to have a big night out with some close friends dancing under a complete canopy of electric Bollywood wonderland. MG Road prides itself on getting on the weirder side of Indian culture and on the best side of contemporary cocktails.
Buxton Hall Barbecue
It would be difficult to find business partners with backgrounds more different than Elliott Moss and Meherwan Irani. Their partnership hinges on the passion that food invokes: the history it recalls, the techniques it uses, the shared experiences it produces. After meeting at a Blind Pig Supper in 2013, their mutual love of food and Asheville inspired them to team up and open Buxton.
Buxton Hall finally opened in August of 2015, with Moss tending the pits, and Irani bringing his experience as a restauranteur to the operation. Together, they're revitalizing Carolina barbecue history, demonstrating that tradition tastes good.
Chai Pani can also mean a small bribe just enough to get a bite to eat. Well at Chai Pani Decatur, you won’t have to bribe us for innovative, fun, affordable and delicious Indian cuisine.
Some of the most tasty, fun and affordable food of any country is its street food and Chai Pani features chaat – crunchy, spicy, sweet, tangy, brightly flavored Indian street snacks. And since there is nothing more comforting and delicious in any culture than a home cooked meal, Chai Pani also brings you thalis – traditional family meals highlighting India’s amazing culinary diversity.
Hop in a rickshaw, your home away from home awaits.
829 Riverside Drive Asheville, NC 28801
Spicewalla is our brand new spice company just down the road from Chai Pani in Asheville. The sourcing, selection, and blending process is personally curated by the master of spices himself, Meherwan Irani, along with his culinary team led by chef de cuisine, James Grogan. Spicewalla has been featured in Food & Wine Magazine, Star Chefs Magazine, Asheville Citizen Times, Edible Asheville, Southern Living, among others. Spicewalla can be found in the kitchens of award winning chefs throughout the country.