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“great eating experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Chai Pani

Chai Pani
22 Battery Park Ave., Asheville, NC 28801-2715 (Downtown Asheville)
826 254 4003
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Ranked #13 of 628 restaurants in Asheville
Price range: $5 - $15
Cuisines: Indian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Local cuisine, Dining on a budget
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Takeout, Late Night
Neighborhood: Downtown Asheville
Description: Innovative, fun, affordable, delicious, mind blasting Indian Cuisine featuring "chaat" - crunchy, spicy, sweet, tangy, brightly flavored Indian street snacks and "Thalis" - traditional family meals highlighting India's amazing culinary diversity. Recommended by the New York Times and GQ Magazine.
Bristol, Virginia
1 review
“great eating experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2013

great food in a neat place located in downtown asheville! it has a great selection for vegetarians and non vegetarian meals. the service is great.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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369 reviews from our community

92% Recommend
    244
    99
    17
    8
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Usa
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Tasty Food. Sloooooooow Service.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2013

First, the taste buds. Absolutely. They were thrilled to meet real 'street' junk food in India. This is what you crave when you are at 'Chowpatti' in Mumbai. Someone back there knows what they are doing.

Location: Very nice. Its in the middle of what you would call 'Ashville Restaurant district'. Huge parking garage is about a block from it. You can walk around the city from there and enjoy city's little treasures.

Decor and Environment: Excellent! The restaurant is well designed, walls covered with huge photographs of India, its natives, colors, spices, and a lot.

Plates and silverware: Simple, stainless steel plates. Pretty much what you would want from a 'street' fast food place. Tables and chairs are decent. Not too cramped, and not too spacious either.

Service: Terrible! Maybe it was a bad day there. When we went, there was a line for table. When my turn came, I was told about 25 minutes. We returned in 20 or so. Waited another 30 minutes after that. Here is the problem - (and the restaurant owner should thank me for this insight) - it is not that the restaurant is so popular that people have to wait almost an hour to get a table. Thats actually a compliment that people have to wait so long. The trouble is, the turnover of tables is sooooo sloooooooow.

In this industry, in any given session (lunch or dinner), you pick one table, multiply that by number of guests that dine on it and count your profit. The higher the multiple, the better off you are. The key here is that once the guest leaves, the table needs to be cleaned in like one second and by 5th second another party should be there. While I was waiting, I noticed a table would be empty with dirty plates, just totally ignored. Maybe they were understaffed that day.

Not just that, when we finally got our table, we had to sit there for another 15 minutes or so (seriously, not exaggerating) until someone asked what we would like for drinks. When we finally ordered, it took an unexpectedly long time for it to arrive. C'mon you are not actually cooking 'Sev Batata Puri' when I order it. All it takes is lay the puri, sprinkle the ingredients and ring the bell. We were hungry for more after the initial order, but decided against it since it would take another decade to get it. I can go on and on, but you get my point. No wonder I had so much time to appreciate the interiors :)

Bottom line, consider off peak hours or days. Certainly worth the wait though.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Carolina
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Simply Great!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2013

If you like Indian street food, than in Asheville this is the place to go. Friendly owners and management. Good food. Great location downtown. Pleasant atmosphere.

Visited May 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ellijay, Georgia, United States
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Great Food!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2013

This was the first time my girlfriend had tried Indian food. Had coconut curry chicken. It was marvelous! She loved it and is now ready to go back again!

Visited June 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Love love love this place!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2013 via mobile

This was such a great find! Best meal I had in Asheville and it was hard to not go back every night!

  • Visited May 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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