Everyone knows where they stand with a McDonald’s drive-thru.
Fries that are either cold and droopy or so hot they singe chip-shaped lines into the roof of your mouth. Burgers with inexplicably sweet buns and a single gherkin lurking off-centre. Milkshakes so thick the veins pop out on your head when you try to suck them through the straw.
It’s a classic, but in recent years other brands have started to join the drive-thru brigade and blown your ‘I’m-hungry-but-I-don’t-want-to-leave-my-car’ options wide open.
The latest to join the fray is Chaiiwala, serving Indian-inspired fast food from a former petrol station forecourt.
First founded on the streets of New Delhi in the 1920s, Chaiwala first began life as a small tea stall (hence the name) but today has 50 sites in the UK and even more abroad.
At its new drive-thru in Bolton, there are burgers, chips, wraps and sundaes, just like a Maccies, but these ones all feature an Indian twist.
The prices are comparable, too – you’re not looking at paying more than £3.25 for a burger here, whereas those golden arches are charging £4.59 for a Big Mac these days.
So it’s hard not to lose your head when you pull up to the familiar drive-thru system (which we did in a Tesla, because a posh drive-thru deserves a posh car).
We ordered a decent selection of Chaiiwala’s ‘first-of-its-kind’ drive-thru menu, including a portion of Gunpowder Masala Chips (£3.25), served wrapped in a newspaper-style paper cone, slathered with a tangy and sweet sauce and spring onions.
Chaiiwala cheese naan. Credit: The Manc GroupAt Chaiiwala’s drive-thru in Bolton. Credit: The Manc GroupLotus Biscoff wrap. Credit: The Manc Group
Chaiiwala’s crispy Punjabi samosas come stuffed with potato and chickpea, and then those samosas come stuffed into a bread bun and loaded with slaw, onions, tomato, and tamarind sauce. I can’t imagine ever choosing a McChicken Sandwich again after this samosa burger (£3.25).
We also grabbed a cheese naan (£2.50), that gives one of the most satisfying cheese pulls you’ll ever see when you tear it open to stuff your chips inside, and a Lotus Biscoff roti wrap (£2.75).
There’s plenty more to come back for, like a butter chicken roll, and a cheese and jalapeno pasty, and pani puri, and samosa chat, and a chaii frappe.
You can eat it parked up outside Chaiiwala’s drive-thru, where your view is of… a McDonald’s.
And what a smug feeling it is to tuck into your freshly-made, reasonably-priced samosa burger, looking at the queue across the road of disgruntled soggy-chips eaters.
Costa is adding new cinnamon bun lattes, KitKat frappés, and loads of Easter treats to its menu
Cinnamon bun lattes, KitKat frappés, and loads of Easter sweet treats are just some of the things forming part of Costa’s new spring menu.
The popular coffee shop chain is known and loved for its limited-edition menus every time a new season rolls around – and 2024 is proving to be absolutely no different, as Costa has decided to welcome in the sweetest time of the year by announcing a whole host of new and returning drinks, and some tasty food options too.
After welcoming its latest winter menu, the spring menu will be launching at Costa branches all across the UK this upcoming Leap Day (Thursday 29 February).
And one of the stand-outs on the menu has to be the new Cinnamon Bun Latte.
Available to add into to a wide range of barista-made drinks, both hot and cold, the new Cinnamon Bun syrup is apparently set to “elevate the Costa coffee experience” with sweet flavours that are reminiscent of a freshly-baked cinnamon pastry, and you’ll be able to order it from all Costa stores nationwide, as well as at Costa Express machines too.
Costa has unveiled its 2024 spring menu that’s set to launch across the UK tomorrow / Credit: Costa
Elsewhere on the limited-edition menu is the return of the fan-favourite KitKat drinks range, with both the KitKat Mocha and KitKat Hot Chocolate making long-awaited comebacks, as well as a brand-new KitKat Frappé joining the party.
The KitKat Frappé is an indulgent and creamy blended chocolate frappé that’s topped with whipped cream and KitKat pieces.
And, of course for a little Easter seasonal touch, all the drinks in this year’s KitKat range come served with a cute wrapped KitKat Bunny Mini on the side.
There’s new cinnamon bun lattes, KitKat frappés, and loads of Easter sweet treats on the lineup / Credit: Costa
When it comes to the savoury food options, there’s a handful of mouthwatering newbies being added onto the menu this year – including the Halloumi and Chargrilled Veg Toastie, and the Chicken N’Duja Toastie, as well as the Roast Chicken and Bacon Sandwich.
But, of course, Easter is all about the chocolate, isn’t it? For those of you with a sweet tooth, Costa has well and truly got you covered.
There’s a brand-new Blooming Lovely Chocolate Cake made up of layers of scrumptious chocolate frosting and finished with white chocolate flowers, a new and improved recipe for the beloved Carrot and Walnut Cake, and the return of the indulgent KitKat Chocolate Muffins to accompany the popular drinks range.
There’s also some new toasties, sandwiches, and snacks joining the party too / Credit: Costa
The fan-favourite Mini Egg Cookie, and Chocolate Cornflake Nest topped with mini chocolate eggs, are also making a comeback.
So there really is something for everyone to tuck into.
Costa’s new 2024 Spring Menu will be launching tomorrow (Thursday 29 February), and will be available at the chain’s over 14,500 branches all across the UK.
Featured Image – Costa
Food & Drink
New Wave Ramen’s new takeover series is spotlighting the best noods in the game
Manc favourite New Wave Ramen recently launched a brand-new takeover series spotlighting other knowledgeable noodle heads and soup specialists from around the UK, and it’s going down an absolute storm.
The ramen game in Manchester continues to grow year after year and we’re lucky enough to have a plethora of broth-brewing pros right on our doorstep, with New Wave being one of the most popular anywhere in the city.
Making a name for themselves over in Mackie Mayor before building on that success to open up their first brick-and-mortar site over on Tib Lane last year, they’ve become a cornerstone of the cuisine and overall Japanese scene here in 0161, so it’s no wonder other contemporaries have noticed.
After catching eyes all over the country, New Wave held their first collaboration of 2024 earlier this month, inviting Cardiff’s highly-celebrated Matsudai Ramen ’round for the first of many kitchen takeovers and, suffice to say, the gaff was completely packed out. But that was just the start…
The two have teamed up before but it’s still a huge deal to have the two ramen masters teaming up for the new Tib Lane takeover, with New Wave set to welcome their fellow brothy brethren on 17 March and given the success of the previous event, we expect spaces to full up just as quick.
Here’s what you can expect to be slurping if you sign up for the next iteration of the takeover series: all the good stuff and plenty of it.
They say ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’ — utter nonsense in this case, sorry.
We will happily sit back and watch some of the greatest ramen restaurants in Britain collide to bring their expertise together in wonderful little bowls of flavourful umami bombs and drink up every last drop until we burst, thank you very much.
The New Wave x Kanada-Ya crossover night takes place from 12-10pm on Sunday, 17 March and those interested are urged to book HERE if they want to make sure they don’t miss out on a seat.
We’re really excited by this takeover series and, if you’re a fan of noods (not that kind, cheeky), you should be too; plus if you’re looking for the very best ramen in Manchester, you can check out our list of the top 10 in full down below: