Monsoons beckon an automatic craving for warm beverages, especially tea for Hyderabadis. We visited Chit Chat Chai to check out what the team claims to be India’s first specialty tea bar, offering cold brews, kombuchas, tea gastronomy and mixology based beverages. The ambience was centered around the experience of tea drinking, with pretty tea pots and vibrant tea leaves used as décor.
We called for an Exotic Tea Scented Chicken Salad to begin our meal. With smoky grilled chicken served on a bed of veggies marinated in a lemon vinaigrette and a hint of black tea, the salad satiated our early evening hunger pangs instantly. The Ashwagandha Tea (Ashwagandha Mint Cold Brew Tea)brewed overnight paired well with the salad.
Next came a hearty portion of the Bombay Veggie Toast, paired with two drinks — the Cutting Chai and the Jamun Gin Cocktail. The open toast sandwich garnished with sev inspired nostalgia instantaneously, with the cardamom rich Cutting Chai elevating the flavours. We also tried the Jamun Gin Cocktail rimmed with black salt. The sweet-sour concoction was reminiscent of kala khatta popsicles from back in the day. “Despite being the second largest consumed drink in the world, the potential of tea is untapped as compared to coffee that has several variants. We want to showcase the vast variety of concoctions and drinks that can be made from tea, using non-alcoholic spirits to highlight the taste profile of the drinks. We make all the cordials, bitters, shrubs, breads and marmalades used in the beverages and dishes inhouse to retain superior flavour profiles,” says Vidya Valluru, co-founder and tea sommelier at Chit Chat Chai. With her partner Poorna Tej Valluru, a certified mixologist, the couple aims to offer high quality tea blends from across the globe. For mains, we tried the Ulavacharu Spaghetti, blending a rustic Andhra gravy dish made from horse gram with an Italian classic. The fusion dish caught us off guard, with a distinct Ulavacharu aroma wafting through the pasta. “Since Ulavacharu is traditionally paired with cream, we infused the creamy Alfredo sauce with the gravy to create a unique sauce,” says Vidya. The Chicken Makhani Pizza had a distinctly pleasant taste too.
We tried the Apple Rosemary Spiked Tea, garnished with a cinnamon stick that was lit at the table. Rendering a rugged smokiness, the drink enveloped us in a wholesome sensory experience as we polished off the mains. For dessert, we had the Baba Au Rum, served with fresh fruit and Masala Chai infused cream. The dessert was served with a Rum fueled flambé, making it a heady note to end the meal on.
Rs 2,200 for two. At Kondapur.
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