“Some people will tell you there is a great deal of poetry and fine sentiment in a chest of tea,” Ralph Waldo Emerson in his Letters And Social Aims, and I would heartily agree.
Tea, for me, is more than just an everyday thing. It is a ritual. It is a thing that brings comfort and solace. It is me time. It is a rejuvenation of the body and soul. It is time for introspection. It is time spent bonding with near and dear ones. It is time to reflect over things trivial and deep. It is time to ponder over your day or life. It is a break from routine. Oh, I could go on and on and on.
Considering the love that I accord to tea, I was thrilled to discover this place called Chai Galli, in Brookefield, that is dedicated to tea. A swarm of food bloggers descended upon this place recently, on an invite, to check it out. This post is all about our experience at Chai Galli.
Location and ambience
Chai Galli is located in Brookefield, alongside a couple of quirky-sounding eateries. It wasn’t difficult to find at all.
Inside, the place is done up beautifully, with simple furniture, but with bits and pieces of colour and quirk thrown in here and there. Indian-style cans of milk deck the ceiling, and the lights are made of glasses of chai. Posters on the walls pay tribute to classy Indian films. A distressed chest of drawers adds oodles of charm to the place. Colourful teapots hold spoons, knives and forks, on each table, at the same time speaking about famous Bollywood movies. One wall is dedicated to that lifeline of India called the Indian Railways. I loved the fun and youthful, yet comfortable vibe that Chai Galli gives off. This is the sort of place where you can sit and have a conversation with friends or family over a cup of tea and some snacks – there’s no rush.
The place is decently sized, and seating is comfortable. Natural light is ample.
There is a lovely outdoor sitting area, too, where you can watch the world go by as you sip on your cup of tea. We chose to sit indoors, though.
Chai Galli, of course, serves chai, and a whole lot of it, too. For the tea lover, there’s lots here to choose from – teas from the mountains of South Africa and Darjeeling, saffron-infused tea from Rajasthan, simple ginger tea done in the style of road-side stalls, and so on. For those who aren’t really into tea, there’s coffee, milkshakes and a variety of juices.
The menu also has on offer some quick bites that you can grab with your drink of choice. There are a few varieties of Maggi, the quintessential maska bun and jam bun, sandwiches, poha, pakoras, pasta, lasagne and chaats. There is some quirky stuff in there too – like pizza made with Gujarati khakras. What attracted me most, though, was khamni, a typical Gujarati dish that isn’t so easy to come across in Bangalore.
The food and drinks story
Now, let’s get on to the nitty-gritties, shall we?
First up, I sampled a Pasta In Red Sauce, which was well done. The pasta was cooked just right, there was a generous amount of veggies in there, and the sauce was tasty.
Next, I tried out the Khamni, which, I am told, is one of their best-selling items. It wasn’t exactly the khamni that I have grown up eating in Ahmedabad, but was not bad at all. It was quite tasty, in fact.
I also sampled a Khakra Pizza, veggies and cheese and sauce spread out over a khakra and baked. This was decent, but the taste didn’t really stand out. I love the idea of this kind of pizza, though – pizza, definitely, but one that isn’t heavy on the stomach.
Then, I opted for a Desi Tadkewali Maggi, Maggi cooked with Indian spices, which came generously garnished with fried onions. It was simple and mild, yet delish.
From the teas, I chose a Ginger Tea, which came in a little white teapot, along with a couple of glasses and a pack of Parle G biscuits. Ah, nostalgia! I loved the way the tea was done.
For each of the dishes, presentation was simple – I liked how they have kept things natural, instead of going overboard trying to project dishes in a quirky fashion. Portion sizes were decent for one person, as a snack. The teapot of ginger chai was good enough to serve two people, generously.
The prices here are mid-range, neither too low nor too exorbitant. Chai for two, along with three or four snacks should set you back by INR 600 or so.
Chai Galli is a lovely place to head to for a cuppa and some simple eats. It is the sort of place I would go to to unwind and recharge my batteries, as well as for some bonding with loved ones.
Do visit this place if you are in the vicinity!