A restaurant chef preparing a dish




Botiwalla is chef Meherwan Irani’s homage to the lively Irani Cafes* of India – tea and kabab houses run by Parsis* who immigrated to India in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Meherwan’s great grandfather owned Sarosh Canteen, the only Irani Cafe in his hometown of Ahmednagar, India. With a strange and wonderful mash-up of Victorian decor and Indian sensibilities, Irani Cafes 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 taste and becoming some of the most iconic and revered dining institutions across the country.

The other inspiration behind the menu of Botiwalla is the late-night street food scene of India. His mission with Botiwalla is to bring the streets of India to life — the glowing charcoal sigris*, the sizzling meats, the aromas of chaat masala*, and the crispy, crunchy, multi-textured street snacks — in the most delicious way possible.

*See below for our helpful glossary of terms & photos of historic Irani Cafés!


MEHERWAN IRANI is the Co-Founder, Chef and CEO of Chai Pani Restaurant Group. Through his restaurant and spice empire in the South’s most essential culinary cities, he is changing the perception of Indian food in America. He's been named a Game Changer by Food & Wine and one of Time Magazine's 31 People Changing the South.

MOLLY IRANI is the Co-founder and Chief Hospitality Officer. She is responsible for CPRG's groundbreaking culture, management style, community engagement and “mindblasting” hospitality.