The Indian Monsoons are not just summer rain. They invoke joyful emotions of romance, bonding – and cravings for piping hot chai and pakodas, samosas and other such. So on the first full-blown rainy day in Delhi, with overcast sky and a not-stop drizzle, we found the answer to our cravings at Mr Chai, the 24-hour coffee shop in Shangri-La’s Eros Hotel in New Delhi. Heading out on our way to the Oxford Book Store in Connaught Place for a book launch, this was the perfect stop, to check out Mr Chai’s special Monsoon Menu.
The ambience at Mr Chai, which is merely a two-step elevation in the main lobby, fenced in by a railing running along the side, is a cosy setting. Indoors, out of the rain, and clutching glasses of hot cutting chai poured from a metal tea-pot, served from a ‘Chai Ki Tapri’, I read the special menu which had its tag line bang-on-target ‘Drizzled with love and showered with nostalgia’.
A tray of assorted hot pakorabhaji served with mint and sweet tamarind chutney took care of the nostalgia factor. Going with the recommendations of Rishikesh, we tried the Bun Chapli, both the non-veg version with minced meat patty in a bun and the veg version with potato, pierced with a chutney filled dropper, which was more nostalgia packaged differently. Ditto for theDelhi special Ram Laddo or moong dal pakodas served with grated daikon. All this and several cups of cutting chaiwere very satiating. By the way, the Cutting Chai is complimentary. There was more on the menu, but over-eating was not an option. Another rainy day perhaps to check out the Kutchi Dabeli, Aloo Tuk, KathalKulcha ‘Panini’.
The Monsoon Menu is available from 3-5pm, for the duration of the season.