Tea is the elixir of life – Lao Tzu
The ancient Chinese philosopher brewed the philosophy of Taoism the way we try to brew the perfect cup of tea. So, what can be so extraordinary about the most mundane of activities – drinking chai?
Find out as you make this must-do stopover at the new tea bar and restaurant by a Gujarati entrepreneur family called the Kettlery. Apart from the 75 types of teas that this bar offers, the one thing that makes it special and stand out in the crowd is a specially-curated menu by celebrity chef Vicky Ratnani (yes, no other than the one and only Vicky Goes Veg host!).
We were invited for the launch party of the Kettlery tea bar and restaurant and we were not going to give it a miss for anything. For one, I am a tea lover if not a connoisseur yet and was looking forward to taste some of the diverse varieties of teas offered on the menu.
The ambience of the restaurant, located at Hotel Horizon in Juhu, was chic, stylish, warm, and very welcoming. It’s almost like we had just stepped over for a high-tea party at the neighbour’s. We weren’t lost for which teas we should try because chef Vicky himself suggested we taste some of the best brews on the menu.
We started with a cool Hibiscus Kiwi detoxed iced tea (crisp hibiscus petals with kiwi and berries create a fruity blend), which soothed its way onto the palate with no effort at all. Later, we also drank the White Queen (which is low on caffeine and high on antioxidants), followed by the Baklava tea (tea leaves blended with the tasteful bits of almond, rose and pistachio, inspired by the middle-eastern dessert) which, according to me, is the most-recommended tea on the menu. Each concoction was chosen and prepared to delight the diners.
From their signature dishes, we tried the Asian Spiced Bajra Cakes (herb-infused millet cakes served with thecha mayo), Beetroot Shikhampuri Kebab (with a soft, tangy, melt-in-your mouth center) and Chai Puchka (all-time favourite paani pooris with peppermint and Maldives tea fillers). After this, we had the very uniquely pleasing Black Rice Khichdi for the main course. We relished these delectable dishes as much as the chefs at the restaurant enjoyed and took pride in making them for us. Topped up the evening with some Orange Oolong Tea Cake, chocolate pastry and light and soft-textured mango cheesecake (infused with chunks of succulent mangoes).
We had never imagined a menu that could be so inspired by tea and herbs – healthy and delightful summarise our outing. All in all, we had an evening well spent in good company, good taste, and perfect ambience. That’s what I call a perfect cuppa happiness-flavoured tea!
Picture courtesy: Team India Beckons