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’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.
Hit Christmas market stall opens permanently at Piccadilly Gardens
Crunch Korean Gansig has become a must-try foodie stall at the Manchester Christma Markets, now it’s pulled up at Picadilly Gardens permanently.
The hit Korean hot dog stall has wowed visitors over the past few years with its cheese, potato and meat-filled creations.
Deep-fried in a crispy waffle coating and then lightly rolled in sugar, these sausages on a stick come drizzled in sweet ketchup and mustard.
Incredibly moreish if we do say so ourselves, since first making their appearance at the 2021 Manchester Christmas Markets they’ve consistently been ranked one of the event’s best food traders.
Now, thanks to a new permanent stall popping up where it all began for the team, Manc foodies can enjoy their hot meaty and cheesy Korean goodies all year long.
Popular flavour choices include all-cheese, all-sausage and half-and-half versions, with a vegetarian-friendly cheese-filled version wrapped in a potato waffle coating, and halal-friendly options that are made using separate batter and fryers.
This really is a hot dog stand that caters to everyone. With owners having previously said they would work on a vegan hot dog once they got their own permanent stand, we don’t expect the plant-powered gang will be left waiting too much longer.
Sharing the news to Instagram, the Crunch Korean Gansig team wrote: “Hey guys, we’ve got exciting news to share! We are launching a new market stall in the Piccadilly garden street food market from tomorrow.
“After two years of successful Christmas trading, we are ready to take on a new challenge, and love to serve our hotdogs to you guys again!
“So come on down to the market and say hi, we love to see you there! See you soon!”
Fans of the Korean hot dog stall have responded to the news with enthusiasm, flooding into the comments to share their excitement.
One person wrote: “So excited we will have to go!!”
Another person said: “Nooooo stop!!! I’m so happy I could cry”
Officially open as of 1 June, find them at the Piccadilly Garden Street Food Market.
Featured image – The Manc Eats
Food & Drink
All the June Manchester restaurant deals, discounts and offers you need in 2023
There are a surprising number of places doing some big 50% off deals in Manchester this month, and we’re so here for it.
From half-price brunches, tapas and burgers to meal deals under a tenner and set menus for less than £30, use these offers to save a pretty penny and support your favourite local restaurants and bars at the same time.
Keep reading to discover the best dining deals in Manchester this June.
50% off food and drink – Manchester June dining deals