Winters are somehow all about indulgence. Given the weather when the temperature drops, one can getaway by giving in to one’s guilty pleasures. More calories are needed to generate body heat, we are told, so we all gladly embark upon that task. Sadly, Mumbai does not gift us real winters, yet, we unabashedly gorge on some winter delicacies.
Another thing which is synonymous for everyone with winters, is a hot brew-tea or coffee. I love my tea and when a winter menu is about tea and food, naturally I am ecstatic.
Brooke Bond Taj Mahal Tea House (TMTH) has curated a new Winter Menu, using the most exotic and fresh produce of the season. TMTH has handpicked season’s popular ingredients and created an interplay of flavours to intrigue the diner’s taste buds.
Irresistible this sounded, so I set about to explore it one evening.
As I settled in, I discovered each item on the cleverly crafted menu, was aptly complemented by one of their signature tea blends.
The falafel chaat arrived on the table and was paired with a pink guava and kaffir lime tea. The tangy chaat with palate-teasing flavours, was delightful. After a sip of the light tea, the flavours came alive with a vengeance. I was off to a good start.
Next was the salad with paneer and the tea to go along, was a delicate Oriental Jasmine and rose. A unique blend of the East and West- a romantic tea, which uplifts your mood instantly. It did just that. It perked my taste buds and I found myself enjoying the hearty and crunchy salad even more.
Teas being paired with every course, I thought was an exciting thing to do in order to enhance the dining experience. And it really worked wonders.
Risotto infused with Sambar was served next but the watered down version did not entice me enough. The silver needle and berries tea paired with it though, took me by surprise. Fruity and flavourful, it was comforting all the way and yet, added zest to my palate with its intoxicating flavours. Who needs wine with teas like this around?
The Idly Crust with Pomfret was the piece de resistance. Fresh fluffy soft fish with a delectable crust was a treat for the taste buds.
What can I say about the matcha semifreddo. It bore ample testimony to Chef’s mastery over his craft. The matcha tea flavours, lend themselves seamlessly to this dessert and in fact enhanced the taste. Layers of Matcha cream and cake covered with grilled almond slivers and served with chocolate sauce. Truly decadent. Paired with the robust mocha tea this course was truly memorable. Assam chai with a rich coffee cream crown and finished with cracked roasted coffee beans. Whew! I had tasted nothing like this ever before.
There is Chai cheese cake tart too, for dessert lovers, which I have to head back to try.
This menu is truly innovative and offers something for every palate. A special treat for the Vegans is using the winter staple Ragi in a contemporary Vegetable Quiche. Vegetarians can relish the Multigrain Hari Matar Burger, while carnivores will enjoy the Baked Irani Lamb Kheema – Aubergine parceled shells baked with lamb kheema inspired by Dhansak flavor and glazed with Béchamel sauce, among others.
I left the place with a smile as the manner in which teas had been paired with food, especially the fish course was a true revelation. And I had sampled the very best of teas and food. It does not get any better than this. Winters had set in for me this evening, and I was not complaining.
Rating : 4/5