What: Tea Trails
Where: Chandra Choodeshwar Building, 4th Avenue, Ashok Nagar, Chennai
Other outlet is located at ECR, Chennai.
Cuisine: Cafe, Desserts
A disclaimer seems like the best way to start this post before getting to my experience at Tea Trails. And being a South Indian I feel blood and coffee share equal proportion in my body. Any day it's coffee over tea and chai over tea. Yes, the addition of milk and spices brings in the difference between chai and tea; of course the version with milk (chai) is what I love. There are tea enthusiasts at Chennai and the blooming cafes with equal significance to tea and coffee is one evident example. With an ardent tea fanatic at home, I have started to develop a connection with my cup of tea. It was also hard to content my excitement when the outlet of Tea Trails made their way to Chennai.
And the icing to the cake was the tasting session where I got the insight about their different types of tea. What impressed the most is the Food pairing in accordance with the tea. Also differentiating the varieties of tea isn't an easy job. So the idea of matching the tea and food impressed me the most.
Let's get down to the tea business, Silver Needle is a White Tea with mild sweetness and olive's fragrance that was complimented perfectly with Bun Maska. The bun maska is a sole winner, a simple combination of fruit bun, butter and sprinkle of sugar.
Next came the most famous Green Tea, I never knew there are different varieties of green tea as well as it never interested me, maybe the word 'healthy' that comes along with green tea doesn't excite me. I did taste the Kashmiri Kahwa and I liked it, the hit of spices and addition of almond flakes did make it taste good. This tea was paired with Burmese Tea Salad, the crunch from the nuts along with lettuce, veggies and fermented tea leaves is a nice combination but I needed seasoning except for the hint of olive oil I couldn't taste salt or spice. Did it go along with the tea, maybe but without seasoning I lost the interest in the dish.
I couldn't interpret or sense any unique taste in Oolong Tea and it was served with Smoked Paneer Sandwich (Chicken for the non-veg counterpart). I don't enjoy smoked flavour so this was a no for me. And the Tea Marbled Eggs was one of the best and is paired rightly with Earl Grey Black Tea; a combination I loved the most.
That was overdose of tea and I needed something Indian, but before I could get a taste of Chai there were two more teas. The Red Zen falls under the Tisane tea type, the intense hit of honey and cinnamon made the flavours standout. Finally came the Buttered Apple Tea and there was nothing I liked about this one; the infusion of butter is something that didn't impress me.
The smiles were back when I saw mud pot carrying (Kullad) Chai along with a plate of crispy and hot Pakoda. This combination is a default hit. And to make it more Indian, I tried the Vada Pav and Kheema Pav. The Vada Pav is a total failure for me, I missed the spiciness from garlic-chilli chutney and it wasn't the Mumbai style vada pav I would hope for. Though they reasoned about designing the food differently to go with the tea, it was hard to convince my mind as it is fixated to the authentic taste. The Kheema Pav was good though it looked dry it tasted well with the pav.
Ok! It isn't over. The Bubble Tea (which is cold tea) isn't my cup for sure, out of the two I tried, I would say Lychee Bubble Tea is better than the Tapioca Bubble Tea. The Better Wife mocktail proved to be much better than the name and Egg Kejriwal - the pav topped with fried egg is the kejriwal you would definitely love. Of course the Pound Cake and Dutch Truffle were yum.
|Tapioca and Lychee Bubble Tea|
One of the cafe in Chennai that really makes a great effort in serving some delicious tea. And I appreciate the way they present the tea with details like name, ingredients, steeping time and health benefits. Overall a tea-licious experience.
|Different Tea Types|
|Here's how they present it!|
Location & Parking: Locating and parking is definitely easy.
Ambience: Positive. Exactly how a cafe should look and it's done so well.
Food Variety: Positive. Ample and ample. The concept of pairing tea and food is brilliant.
Taste: Good. There were definitely glitches but there were some standouts that shall make you forgive the negatives.
Quality & Quantity: Positive. The quality of tea and the style of presenting along with the quantity gets a thumps-up.
Service: Negative. This is one thing they should work on. Definitely the staffs must be trained more about the food and they should be prompt instead of waiting for a customer request to clean the table or serve food.
Price: NA. The cost for two is Rs.600-700 INR approximately. Considering the complete experience and taste the pricing is reasonable and totally worth.
So my Verdict!
Tea Trails! For a tea-licious experience. The concept and food are crafted well. With a cosy ambience, warm tea and comforting food this is one place that would even impress the non-tea lovers.
P.S. On-the-house invite for tasting session at Tea Trails. Remember, no two person's palate can be same.