Friday, April 17, 2015

Very spicy chai at Cafe Leila

Cafe Leila on Urbanspoon
In search of interesting eats, while I was in Berkeley in early 2015-April, my friend in Berkeley directed me to Café Leila for breakfast because of their signature "spicy chai".

Chai ($?)
  • It's just listed as chai on the menu, and you can have it hot or cold. I recommend hot.
    • The cold one isn't (fluke mistake?) mixed for you and obviously comes with ice.
    • The hot one tastes better -- you get more of the experience of flavours including chai spices, hot-spiciness, and sweetness.
  • You can also apparently have varying degrees of "spicy", which may be independent of the 11 secret spices used. The hot-spiciness of the chai is not a burning on the tongue, but a peppery bite at the back of the throat. If you like ginger beer, you'll probably like this a lot.
  • There is also quite a sweet aftertaste (from honey as a sweetener, I think).
Date Omelette ($10.95) fancy medjool dates, feta cheese, toast, fries
  • It came with what appeared to be squashed and seared whole seedless dates plus feta cheese folded inside a large, thin omelette. Served with "fries" (pan fried potatoes), four half slices of toast (you can choose from various types of bread), and two small wedges of watermelon.
  • Toast was lousy - two slices overdone to too much dry crispiness, and they were barely buttered and only in a spot on the toast. No butter or jam on the side.
  • The omelette itself was interesting for its composition, but otherwise unremarkable. As breakfasts go, for $10.95 your plate is on the heavier side of breakfast so if you want a lighter breakfast, maybe ask them to hold the toast.
The cafe front looks small, but it stretches deep, all the way to a garden at the back, with seating.

Price is OK, food is OK. Some interesting things like their spicy chai, but otherwise not very special unless you count the "invisible" factors indicated on their website: "We specialize in healthy, tasty food, at affordable prices. When you visit us, you’ll find foods prepared on-site daily. We use organic ingredients and chemical free foods.  We offer you dishes that are naturally low in fat and cholesterol, yet high in taste."

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