Review: Rola Wala – Indian street food that’s full of flavor

Rola Wala, an Indian street food restaurant with a twist, is celebrating their second year anniversary at Trinty Kitchen with the launch of not one but two creative new dishes: the Vegan Keralan Cauliflower and the Nagaland Lamb.

Located at the entrance of Trinity Kitchen you can’t help but stop and try their innovative food creations. It may be considered “fast food” (seriously, I was tucking into my meal within two minutes of arriving, despite the queue) but for a mere £5.95 (20% student discount available) you can only hope to find a healthier, fresher and more exotic meal somewhere else.

Rola Wala was the first restaurant I tried when visiting Leeds for an open day a little over a year ago, it was difficult to not ogle at their interesting food combinations while walking by. Fast forward to now as I’m trying their brand new vegan dish that includes a colourful mix of (deep breath) sweet potato, pineapple, coconut, chickpeas, coriander, chili, tamarind and is garnished with turmeric, cumin and mustard seeds. Now that’s a mouthful! The lovely staff members recommended I try it with the cauli bowl, one of the three “carb” options, the other two being the vegan naan bread roll and the rice bowl for a fiber boost.

Non-spicy lovers rejoice! I had previously tried the Vegan Sweet Potato Lentil Gobi dish and despite the menu illustrating but one chili pepper next to the dish name, my mouth was on fire. This, however, is an explosion of flavours without the spice (unless you wish to add it of course. Rola Wala offers mild, medium and spicy chutney with each dish as well as a yogurt dressing). With the addition of red cabbage, pickled red onions, coriander and a dash of lemon, the dish was both vibrant in colour and taste. It was somewhat sweet and like nothing I’ve ever tasted before.

In order to give a more convincing review, I asked my good Indian friend to try the Nagaland Lamb, wrapped in the naan roll, spiced with mustard, cumin, fenugreek seeds, red wine vinegar and Naga chili. She was blown away, (at least that’s what I’m assuming she was as she took her first bite and her eyes widened). The meat was juicy and tender, the naan tasted homemade and she added that if you would have given this to her on the streets of India she wouldn’t have given it a second thought; it tastes that authentic. Despite Rola Wala’s description of the Naga chili saying it is one of the world’s hottest, her only minor complaint, or comment let’s say, was that it was not spicy enough. I should have expected this coming from a true Indian.

As we all know, it can be difficult to satisfy the entire friendship group when it comes to eating out. But Rola Wala now offers eight unique dishes that cater to both vegans and meat-eaters, as well as having gluten free options, not to mention that they have also partnered up with Deliveroo, so you don’t even have to leave your bed to experience a flavorful, budget-friendly meal.


Irina Roman

Image: Irina Roman

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