Chaii Nastha Sheffield: Wait for food is worth it at popular café serving South Asian brunch
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As Darnall is such a diverse neighbourhood, I've discovered a new cafe that serves brunch like no other - South Asian cuisine that will undoubtedly have you coming back for more.
What was formerly a tattoo parlour on Main Road, Darnall, Chaii Nastha has been operating since December of last year and has been busy ever since.
As I entered the cafe shortly after 11am, most of the tables were already occupied, but no one had received their meal, which I took as a sign that service could be slow.
After seeing how busy it was, I went ahead and placed my order anyway. The food and drinks arrived at my table after around 45 minutes. The full English breakfast (£5.50) included scrambled eggs, toasted white bread, buttered mushrooms, sausage, hash browns, turkey rashers and cheesy beans. I also got a big Asian breakfast (£6) with paratha, desi omelette, and two kinds of chana dhall (split chickpeas and lentils).
The full English breakfast was nothing special, but the cheesy beans were delicious – not like something straight from the tin. However, the star of the show was the Asian breakfast.
Its paratha was light and crispy, making it the ideal complement to the dhall, which exploded in your mouth with flavour. I could taste the spices in the dish, and the chickpeas were so tender that they literally melted in my mouth. Those who cannot tolerate heat need not fret, as it is not particularly spicy.
Unlike the normal omelette, the desi omelette came as a surprise to me. Sprinkled with some chopped coriander and chilli flakes, it was deliciously fluffy and perfect for breakfast. I also went for a small breakfast bagel (£5) that consisted of eggs, sausage, hash brown and turkey rashers with sweet chilli sauce.
The bagel was a delight to my taste buds; the runny eggyolk, grilled sausage and turkey rashers complemented each other nicely, while the sweet chilli sauce gave a nice kick to the overall experience.
I also ordered a fish finger sandwich, which I'd recommend if you're looking for a quick snack. The fish fingers were crispy and perfectly paired with sweet chilli sauce - a simple yet tasty meal.
Moving on to the drinks, its Desi Chaii (£2.50), which was made fresh upon order, was bursting with flavour; I could taste the cinnamon and cardamom, and its creamy but light texture was already perfect. The hint of bitterness from the tea made it a perfect drink to kickstart your day.
I also got to try its Pink Chaii (£2.50) - something that was completely new to me. It was creamy, mildly sweet and full of spices but I’d still prefer Desi Chaii as my go-to drink.
One of the signature drinks the ‘Strawberry Stir Up’ (£2.50) that has freshly cut strawberries, crushed ice, lemonade and a hint of lemon which is perfect for a hot summer day.
Chaii Nastha operates everyday but on limited hours - 9am to 2pm. You may need to wait longer for your order to arrive but I can guarantee it’s worth the wait.