To begin with, a lot of people hold their ‘Chai’ very, very dear. This sacred cup helps restore and maintain sanity through night and day. Having said that, the word ‘Chai’ resonates a vibe which the word ‘Tea’ can never match up to.
Chai signifies a vehement sense of comfort. Something to begin with and also something that you go back to at the end of the day. Tejas Degwekar, owner at Chai has caught this ‘tea-desire’ hook, line and sinker. His café is a break that you seek to break mundanity and yet, its home.
The crowd that the place attracts is a clear depiction that nothing appeals more to the Indian tastebud, than their ‘garam chai ki pyali’. The café is easy to spot, a fancy double storeyed space with all elements of quirk and style in place. The ground floor is more breezy while the upper floor narrates a different story. Their interior game is strong and on point. Take a look and mark the spots. We know you know where you want those viral selfies to be taken! Hai Na?
The Adrak wali chai has to be my favorite here. I’m predominantly a coffee person but the ginger legit gives me a kick. My Americano could be traded just for this (which is rare, but rightful). They have a Chai pe Charcha platter, which combines serving portions of a masala chai and adrak chai. Something for everyone at the table.
Among other beverages, the Masala Milk Frappe is highly recommended. A perfectly blended mug of spiced milk, chilled and frothy. A sheer delight to have found something like this. People who make their food know it well, thank you Tejas for recommending this.
Moving down to the menu, its a finely curated list of comfort food in place, quite in sync with the concept at Chai. When I say ‘comfort food’, I mean it to the T. There’s Palak Dal Khichdi served with papad and drizzled with desi ghee. Quite reminds you of mom’s food served on a gloomy monsoon afternoon.
There’s Mutton Keema Toast which is dream level good. Rightly spiced and packs a punch and a lot of meat.
We tried a Hummus with Pita and a Classic Mushroom Pizza. To each their own, but I wouldn’t be at Chai if I was craving some pizzas. They were good, but there’s better stuff on the menu.
The Thecha Mayo fries were surprisingly good. You would expect a ‘tongue on fire’ situation but it’s not even close. It’s more of a pleasant, palate pleasing spice level, something they should level up slightly because thecha sets your expectations pretty high.
The Chicken a la Kiev is a preparation of diced chicken in a creamy base, served with some herbed rice on the side. A complete meal and a good one.
There’s also a whole range of Maggis, some great breakfast options (read sausages and pancakes), pastas and ta-da some bhajiyas! It’s pretty light on the pocket, a great space and warrants a visit. Go solo or crash in with your gang, Chai makes you pretty comfor(tea)ble!