The joy of monsoon is incomplete without the perfect cup of chai. My search for the perfect tea has led me to sample the drink at tea houses big and small. For me, a perfect cup of masala chai has to have the right blend of spices, milk, sugar and water without any overpowering flavours or notes. That soothing, heartwarming concoction, the taste of which draws you back to its place of origin over and over again.
The cutting chai at Mister Chai ticks all the right boxes. The signature house blend is poured from reinvented old school kettles into traditional cutting chai glasses with all the ‘chai wala outside your college day’ nostalgia memories packed into one heartwarming, comforting drink that this dreamy weather makes you crave for.
The specially crafted monsoon menu which I sampled along with a friend pays tribute to street side offerings during the rainy season while infusing them with the restaurant’s innovative and unrelenting endeavour to reinvent itself.
The Akuri toast is a beautiful amalgamation of the right spices packed into scrambled egg and has just the right heat to balance the sweetness of the tea. The Ram Ladooo has potential but could have done with better presentation perhaps. The Paneer Pakoda is another favourite for me as it comes layered with plum and chilli sauce adding just the right hint of spice to the softest chunks of gram flour coated cottage cheese.
My friend particularly enjoyed the grilled and steamed Bhutta or corn on the cob which is marinated to perfection with cajun spices, herb and lime.
But if there is one thing you can’t leave Mister Chai without trying, its the Aloo Tuk. These little baby potato fritters hit all the right notes and are an explosion of flavour in your mouth with the garlic aioli on the side enhancing the sensory experience.
The ambience is cheery and inviting with hand painted tea pots and an exquisite array of eye-grabbing desserts vying for your attention.
The regular menu is bursting with quirky reinventions of street classics such as Vada Pav and Corn Bhel among others celebrate the culture of snacking within different regions in our country and pay tribute to the good old Dabbawalas and Bun Maska from Mumbai which I miss bitterly after years of studying and working in the city
The uniqueness of the menu and the warm hospitality of the staff really stand out for me. The entire experience was made memorable by their promptness in explaining the dishes on the menu, their knowledge of each dish even on the new menu and their warm attitude towards diners.
The flip side: Mister Chai’s delectable menu satiates you to a very high degree. So you might want to skip lunch as this high tea pretty much indulges you with its generous portion sizes and the exquisite tea selection to choose from.
I’m heading there later this week to dig into their intoxicating masala chai with mouth-watering brioche smothered with Nutella ( Chocolate Toast).
This one sure hits all the the right notes and has me supremely excited about my subsequent visits to this hidden gem within the Shangri-La Hotel.
The special monsoon menu is available until the 31st of August
Mister Chai Shangri-La’s Eros Hotel New Delhi19, Ashoka Rd, Janpath, Connaught Place, New Delhi, Delhi 110001
For reservations call : 011 4119 1919