“I say let the world go to hell, but I should always have my tea.” ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky

As a teaholic  tea lover, it gives me immense joy that there is some kind of  a ‘tea rooms’ revival going on in my city Delhi.  For years, serious tea lovers only had the Oxford Cha Bar, which served a wide range of teas with accompanying light food. Now, we are spoilt for choice – there is Anandini HimalayaTea Room in Shahpur Jat, Pooja Mittal’s tea lounge in Mehar chand Market and ofcourse Oxford Cha Bar.

The newest entrant to the tea story of Delhi is Mister Chai, the tea restaurant at Shangri-La’s Eros Hotel. Me and the husband spent a lovely weekend evening at Mister Chai and quite liked this new offering by Shangri-La’s.a unique concept that has beencurated to give patrons a local ‘tea shop feel’ focusing on regional Indian street food and beverages with a strong focus on tea.”

Walking in through main entrance in Shangri-La’s, I found that Mister Chai is located in the ground floor itself and has a very vibrant, yet relaxed ambiance. I loved the décor, especially the wall of teapots (the teapot lover in me couldn’t stop clicking!). As with their all day dining restaurant, Tamra, the décor here has been designed by Stickman Designs and it’s quite well thought out with the concept of tea restaurant/room.

The Menu has been kept concise with not too many teas, which I think is a good idea, as barring ‘chai’, teas still are a acquired taste & knowledge for most Indian clientele (tea lovers like me are rare, especially in North India). While I opted for a Darjeeling tea to start off my ‘hightea’, the husband went in for his regular ‘cutting chai’. The accompanying food menu is very innovative, with a lot of regional street foods of India given a quirky makeover. While the husband though the cutting chai could do some more ‘edge’, the Darjeeling tea was perfectly brewed and a classic. Over conversations with Anjori Kumar, Director of Communications – Shangri-La’s Eros, we were told that they have tied up with Dilmah Sri Lanka for the teas; that actually reassured me that the quality of the teas would be impeccable (except maybe the green teas, for which dilmah isn’t  quite known for).

In the foods, we thought that the Ajwain Ka Dabba was a nice concept, wherein one can opt for any three snacks in a tiffin/dabba (for INR 349). We loved the channa jor garam and curry patta peanuts in our dabba.

I quite liked the Vada Pao and the husband found the Goan Chorizo Pao to be soft & flavourful.  However, what he loved most was the butter chicken samosa, which he thought was unique! The combination of crunchiness of the samosa and the spicy, soft butter chicken inside was wonderful in his opinion.From the Chaat Pe Charcha section, we tried (i) Corn Bhel – spicy, tangy and crunchy, and (ii) SPDP  – which were basically golgappas stuffed with yoghurt & spiced potatoes, this was my favourite item on the menu; totally kickass spicy and perfectly balanced the darjeeling tea I was having.

I also tried the Sri Lankan single estate tea, however, I found it mild in taste. I think as far as green tea is concerned, nothing beats Kangra green tea and if Mister chai includes it in their tea menu, they would have the ‘perfect’ tea menu!

The Menu at Mister Chai also has a good offering of coffee and just to clear my palate from the teas I was having, I had a cup of Mocha coffee. It was perfectly brewed to my taste – strong (but not too strong) and choclatey. Oh by the way, Mister Chai has a very talented Barista – Manisha, at the helm of affairs.

In the desserts, we quite liked chocolate toast – it was a simple dessert of white bread toast lathered up with melted dairy milk silk.

I know I would be coming to Mister Chai again and totally recommend it for all serious tea lovers (and for non-serious tea drinkers – go there for the food!!).

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