Hot address: Taj Mahal Tea House
Give tea time a luxe, nostalgic makeover
There are times a day can only be saved by a hot cup of tea. Throw in colonial-style prettiness, enough private nooks and some seriously piquant chaat and do you even remember why you were feeling bored and disillusioned with your life? Yes you do, but it feels less bad when you’re sipping on a smoky brew.
Hindustan Unilever’s Brooke Bond Taj Mahal Tea House, settled in the old-worldly part of Bandra, is spacious and quiet and that alone makes it a novel experience for the cramped Mumbaikar. A baithak space, a reading corner, portraits of Hindi classical greats like Zakir Hussain and Niladri Kumar are meant to evoke the tea brand’s legacy. Aside from the laundy-list of teas from all parts of the country. Blissfully, the menu by French chef Gregory Bazire is quite nice, too.
Courteous staff will recommend three-course pairings for your tea, but we’d say stick to snacking. The Arabic falafel chaat with tamarind foam is a good way to dive in – sweet meets tangy to cause good sensations in your mouth. The unusual paneer and spearmint samosas with plum and kokum chutney take some getting used to but are comfortably carb-y eventually. It’s the tea that takes centrestage though. Have a tall glass of fruity energy with the Citrusy Lemongrass, where candied pomelo meets bursts of orange and lime in a soothing green tea, topped with lemongrass. The Smoky Mountain Tea is aptly named for how it transports you – think about huddling in blankets at freezing altitudes and sipping on this flavoursome brew made of tea drizzled with honey and smoked over a fire. Yum.
Enough messing about, you now need a big, bad denouement you can rationalise later? Get the Chocolate Extravaganza, a proper chocolate bomb of caramelised pistachio, chocolate ganache and Magnum ice cream. You’ll need another cup of the Smoky Mountain before you’re ready to get up.
Approx Rs 700 for two. St. John Baptist Road, Bandra West. Open from 7.30 am-11.30 pm.