18th August, 2016. 13.30
There is something in the nature of tea that leads us into a world of quiet contemplation
– Lin Yutang
As we wake up, the very first thing we require is TEA. No matter what season is, tea stands to be the most preferred beverage among Indians and that too not from a restaurant or a café but from a small roadside tea stall. The rawness, the aroma and those cute small tea glasses instantly takes you in a deep state of contemplation.
Every hand knows how to make a good tea but still the taste differs, why? Blame it on the variety, the method, the ingredients, and the place that directly affects the taste of it and one wins the game if it touches all the above elements of serving a good tea.
Recently I came across the funky tea café that experiments with chai named, Chaayos. On invitation from Divya Divakaran – Social Media Manager of the café I visited there Powai, Mumbai outlet to taste their new offering in tea and snacks.
Let’s look at the ratings:
I was first served with Loaded Veg Cheese Max that was made up with a thick base of white bread laden with dry gravy made up of jackfruit and chunks of paneer and topped with a spread of cheese. The bread was crunchy and the mixture was fresh though but the flavours were not coming out. Surely, you will not get the sweetness of jackfruit but on the other hand It was bit difficult to judge the taste as it was slightly on the bland side, If the mixture would have been made medium spicy then the taste would create a good difference.
Next, we had Pakora Basket served with green pudina chatni. It was a mix of pakoras that includes Kandha(onion), Methi (fenugreek) Paneer, Corn and Mirch pakoras sprinkled with garlic red chili dry chutney that is usually accompanied with it. Taste wise methi pakora was the clear winner and other varieties lost the rank because of being cold, not even warm but cold. Moreover, mirch pakora was half cooked from inside which actually did not motivate to eat more. Corn, Onion and Paneer were okish but the taste should have been better if served hot. In addition, pudina chatni was fresh and flavorful. They will surely serve you with the pakoras but do ask for it if they miss out.
Next on the go was bun maska, round shaped soft burger bread that was slightly toasted with good amount of butter spread, you can see in the picture. The quality of bread was fresh and it tasted really well along with the chai.
And now it’s time to do some ‘Chai Pe Charcha’ with a cup of tea in my hand. I was served with two varieties of tea one was Kulhad chai and the other was Desi chai. Kulhad chai was milkier than usual chai and with a inclusion of saffron in it, it tasted amazing, the aroma of saffron itself created the magic. The name Kulhad actually comes from the clay pot in which the tea is served. On the other hand Desi chai was made with inclusion of elaichi (cardamom) tulsi ( holy basil) adrak (ginger); all these excellent flavours with the right mix of sugar and with the perfect usage of milk made it a mind blowing tea. Do try it. We were also given ‘Thandi Chai’ that had a ‘Saunf’ (fennel seeds) flavour that was more like a milkshake but released the right flavour of saunf.
Service element is good but can be improved and as per the location, one should be focused on delivering the service in a right way. In one of the instance, when I entered the store I noticed there was no customer at the counter and the guys inside were doing some kind of paper work thing. I stood at the counter for 5 clock minutes without even being noticed by the captains. When I visited the Lower Parel center I was impressed with the kind of good evening shoutout I received as I entered. I was expecting the same here but that did not happen. In the second Instance, there was no serving or offering of water, I waited for 15 minutes and then I asked for it. We were two people but only I was given the water because only I asked for it. So I found a slight discrepancy in service element. I was attended by the store manager Ajay and the captain named Nilesh, they wore a nice smile on their face and guided us well with our queries.
Pricing is premium, as per the location. Loaded Veg Cheese Max is priced for Rs.169/- same is for Pakora basket. Bun Maska for Rs.59/- , Kulhad chai for Rs. 85/- and Desi chai for Rs. 65/- . They do have a tax structure but I feel for Bun maska and Desi chai the pricing is justified.
As you enter, you will get the feeling of vintage café with old style tables and bench sittings that are used to create the atmosphere of a tea stall. Wooden interiors, dark shades on wall and kulhad shaped lamp hangings are used to create the relative ambiance. At the very straight wall there is bicycle hanging with two kettles in it handles and a wall with India’s map with graffiti. It has an open kitchen so you can see your order being made. The area is clean and hygienic. I also loved the kind of soft music being played at the background, usually we get to hear a loud noise but this one was perfect. They do have a washroom facility that is neat and clean.
Overall, it is a good place and as you have all the coffee brands around to meet up and network over a coffee this one is to tea. Moreover, I must say they can scale up easily by focusing on their core product and service
All the very best!
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