Discovering Tea Centre just two years ago is one of the many minor-yet-somewhat-significant regrets of my life. This restaurant, tucked inside Resham Bhavan building (and therefore, invisible to passers by), opposite Asiatic shopping centre, is one of the hidden gems in this city. You very likely to spot a mixed crowd, like a couple on a date, friends catching up on quality time, elderly folks, and professionals on a business meeting discussing work, at any given time. So, it is indeed a great place for all of the above.
As you enter this place, youre greeted with a sophisticated old-world charm. Spaciously spread out circular tables covered with white table cloth such that conversations held on each table get their own privacy. The atmosphere is quiet with soft lights and instrumental tracks of classic English songs playing faintly in the background (you have to stop talking and listen to the music to decipher which song is being played). Placed on each table is a little bell you can ring (like the ones used during puja) when you want to summon the staff at your service. Perhaps, the best part about the place is that it has a very relaxed atmosphere, unlike any other bustling restaurant. The staff doesnt pester you or hover around the tables for you to place your order, in order to prevent disturbing you during your conversations.
The name Tea Centre is very deceptive as they serve a wide variety of food and beverages. Their menu is divided into sections such as Teas, Breakfast, Snacks & Starters, Continental and Indian Cuisine (including starters and main course in vegetarian and non-vegetarian) and desserts. Since their menu is pretty diverse, making choices can be difficult.
So heres my list of recommendations: Among hot teas, the Hot Buttered Apple Tea (delicious indeed and a sure-shot winner), Banana Caramel Tea, Pudina Chai and Lemongrass Tea. As for iced-teas, the Mojito (my most favourite), Peach, Strawberry and Mango. Other favourites include for Starters, Chilli Garlic French Fries, Macaroni & Cheese Wedges, Murg Chatpata and Cream of Chicken Soup. In sandwiches its got to be Spicy Creamy Chicken and Chargrilled Meditarranean Chicken. Their Bruschetta and Sheperds Pie is delicious. For the Main Course its Pasta Alfredo (very cheesy with Chicken), Prawn Biryani. Sadly, I have not tried any desserts here because Im always so stuffed with the food and beverages.
Recently, I had gone there for breakfast. My friend and I ordered the Executive Breakfast Non-veg (Rs 155) and Executive Breakfast Veg (Rs 125) and French Toast (Rs 95). We couldnt resist ordering some Ham on the side (real pork ham, not that fake chicken ham variety) (Rs 80). The non-veg version of the Executive Breakfast included eggs (either fried, scrambled or poached), one slice of toasted brown bread along with butter and jam as accompaniments and a hot cup of robust Lemongrass Tea.
The veg version of the Executive Breakfast includes the same as above except, instead of eggs, you get to choose between Baked Beans on Toast/Tomato Omlette/Mushrooms on Toast. I chose Mushrooms on Toast, and boy, glad I did. Sauteed mushrooms in creamy, cheesy white sauce with crushed black pepper and freshly chopped basil leaves on toast just made my day. The French Toast was nothing to boast of. I wished it had a slightly crisp exterior accompanied by some maple syrup on the side.
Overall, Tea Centre is a sure-shot winner. The food is quite good, in fact you can blindly order anything on the menu. Their pricing is justified, and the ambience and service is even better. Dont be in a hurry to eat here. Just relax, take your time, and savour the food and beverages leisurely.