Food Tasting at Tea Trove, Desapriya Park

While I was outside the country during November 2015 I got an invitation from Tea Trove, City Centre 1, which I missed and hence I was waiting from the next invitation from their management. I didn’t have to wait for long! On first week of December 2015 I received an invitation from the management for their newly launched all-day breakfast menu tasting at their Desapriya Park outlet. I have heard loads about Tea Trove and the food they serve but I never got an opportunity to drop in. So this time I made sure I am there and on-time 🙂 I was accompanied by couple of popular food critics and bloggers in Kolkata and it was one real fun meet accompanied by some awesome food and beverages served with warmth and courteousness of the very dynamic owners Shruti and Rishav. As some of us already know, they have nearly a century-old family run tea business which today ships tea all over the country and abroad. And at Tea trove, you can expect healthy yet innovative range of items on menu; especially the range of beverages prepared using tea is simply amazing and sets them apart from the other cafes in town. If you just want to relax with your friends or loved ones and an ardent tea-lover then surely this is your piece of heaven.
LOCATION – – – – – Broadly speaking, the place is located near Desapriya Park in South Kolkata. You need to take left from Desapriya Park crossing if you are coming in from Gariahat and need to reach the Metropole Hotel, turn right and take the gully just opposite Metropole and you will find Tea Trove few meters away on your left. You need to then take the stairs that will take you to the café.

AMBIANCE – – – – – The relaxed, spaced out ambiance helps you settle down pretty fast when you reach this place. The place has got various seating arrangements starting from tables & chairs, sofas to hanging chairs/swings and floor-seating arrangements on raised wooden platform with comfy cushions all around. Also you’ll get several indoor games here to keep yourselves busy. There are few glass walls and lovely dramatic warm lighting that enhances the typical mood for fun conversations, games and adda. The floor seating is perfect if you want to go for hookah (which is anyway not the best thing to try out here). The open kitchen obviously adds to the customer’s trust in some sense and you can even wish to stand and see your dish being prepared in front of you. The customized Tea Trove wallpapers are quite attractive and trendy that tries out the combination with 3-T’s in several ways, I have some keen interest in logo designing, so it attracts me even more 🙂 Also you are sure to notice the huge mirror at one end close to the hanging chairs/swings. I also loved their crockery and the bottle jars in which the beverages were being served, overall it adds to the trendy and urbane ambiance of the place. Only one thing, the ACs need to be checked a bit since water was dripping profusely from one which had to be turned off, hopefully these minor points will be taken care of and maintained henceforth.

FOOD – – – – – As said earlier we were primarily in for their all-day breakfast tasting, but we were served several other items and beverages which were remarkable. Also we were asked to rate the items which we happily did after tasting them. I went in for the largest spread on the breakfast menu that is priced at INR 350 plus taxes, it can actually be shared by two but anyway I was enough to devour the entire platter myself :). Here are the items we tried:

a) Toast with jam and butter – The nicely toasted white breads were cut diagonally and four such triangular pieces were served in the bread basket. The breads should be consumed first or else they might turn too hard to chew later on. Consume them with the jam and butter which are served in cute little glass bowls.

b) Herb Potatoes [picture below] – Small well boiled potatoes cut horizontally into halves and tossed with spices, aromatic herbs and pepper; the overall dish has a yellowish color to it was tastes pretty good if not mind blowing. I would say perfect to go with the breakfast platter. 

c) Creamy mushrooms – Oh this was some sort of a star item. The only negative – it was served in a small bowl 🙂 It should have been in a big pot or something since it tasted insanely good. The dish was overall like a paste of mushroom, creamy but the granular pieces of mushroom were very much present there which gave it the interesting texture. You need to chew the stuff before gulping down and anyway in the end you will keep on asking for more.

d) Boiled eggs – Two run on the mill boiled eggs were served cut into vertical halves and sprinkled with optimum amount of salt and pepper. Perfect for all who wants to avoid too much oil in their breakfast or in love with the egg whites.
e) Potato patties – The hash browns or the potato patties were really good, just the way they should be. Two potato patties were served and they were tasty and bit moist inside making them very acceptable for my tastebuds. They were flat in shape and perfectly fried to golden brown color.

f) Pakodas – The only thing I didn’t like a bit and infact couldn’t finish. It was prepared with sliced onions and besan, one very Indian or rather Bengali evening snacks item somehow added to this very different English breakfast platter. Anyway the preparation was not good either; it was dry inside with too much besan and very little taste. This should be avoided.

g) Chicken Sausages – Nice cheesy chicken sausages, perfectly cooked and served. Though I personally like peppery pork sausages, but anyway these sausages were pretty good and perfect for all-day breakfast.

h) Cheese Cherry Pineapple skewers – As the name suggests you get to taste cubes of cheese, pineapple and one cherry in a single bite. The overall fusion is quite acceptable and kinda refreshing with bit substance in it because of the cheese cube.

i) Grilled veggies – I absolutely loved it. On most Sunday mornings I prepare for myself this kind of sautéed veggies for breakfast and here I felt it was prepared just to suit my palate! The veggies had babycorn, carrot, beans, sweet corn, etc in them and were perfectly tossed with pepper sprinkled on top.

j) Baked beans – I absolutely loved the small pot of baked beans, infact I thought of asking for a refill but then there were several other food items waiting in front of me to meet my digestive system! The baked beans were bit spicier than expected, not sure maybe to suit the Indian palate, but nonetheless they tasted pretty awesome. The beans were perfectly stewed in the bit tangy sauce and perfect to go with some scrambled eggs and bread.

k) House special salad – The salad is to be tried for the perfect crunch and freshness of the veggies in them, the salad included cubes of tomatoes, lettuce, onions, yellow and green bell peppers, etc and brought variety in that breakfast platter. Though I would say it was not very amazing kind of a stuff, maybe our tastebud looks for a bit more oregano or herbs to enhance the taste, but anyway for the breakfast a bit less oregano or dried herbs can be accepted, though it might be criticized for lack of taste.  

l) Indian fusion – Actually this was served in the very beginning, something like a welcome drink! This drink is very light and healthy. It is basically chilled green tea with peppermint, basil leaves and ginger blended in it. Maybe one of the best variants of green tea tried so far 🙂

m) Cranberry juice – I opted for this juice with the breakfast platter. Guess cranberry juice has got some medical benefits (it limits the ability of E. coli bacteria to grow and reproduce) and is very healthy to be consumed in the breakfast. The super chilled sweetened cranberry juice was just perfect to quench the thirst and wash down the huge breakfast platter.

n) Five deadly sins [picture above] – This was another star beverage which was served since it is one of the signature items of T3. It was served in a transparent glass mug and we could see the layers consisting of individual ingredients which were all infused to render one delightful soothing final taste. The whipped tea with cold coffee in it had ice cream covering that gave the final expert touch to this item which was topped with choco chips. It is surely one insanely good beverage with loads of twists in it.

o) Popsicles – We were served several popsicles. I tried the Tiramisu flavored ice popsicle or ice lolly. This one is really creative, I have never tasted such Tiramisu ice popsicle before. The simplicity and joy of our lost childhood comes back in a jiffy when we find ourselves sitting with sticks of ice lolly in the end 🙂 I guess the tiramisu flavored tea liquor is poured inside popsicle moulds and then placed in freezer to get the final product, which is then wrapped in plastic covers and served upside down in glasses. Perfect end to the meal for sure, the flavor was mild and please do not expect any ultra strong flavor or real grainy bits of any ingredient in this. I opted for the small variant of the popsicle since I was already very full!

p) Chocolate fondant with vanilla ice cream [picture below] – This was actually served to my friend Shahbaz in which we all digged in to finish it off 🙂 The stuff looked awesome and I remember last time I had tried this at the Raj Spanish Café about a year back. It is one gooey entertaining dessert that is so tasty and enjoyable, especially with friends. The outer crust was bit dry but when it was broken the molten chocolate mixture and the scoop of vanilla ice cream together made it irresistible. Though this can be served with caramel sauce by the side, but anyway we were not missing it 🙂

SERVICE – – – – – Well, no doubt Shruti left no stone unturned when it came to hospitality and service. Her enthusiasm, proactiveness and dynamism left us spellbound and we felt extremely at home. Our every small need was taken care of and the service time was also good enough. Every order was accepted properly and there were no goof-ups whatsoever. When it comes to service, no doubt I will rate this place very high (which I normally don’t get a chance to do at every other place I visit).

SUMMARY – – – – – Here are my granular ratings:

Food quantity: 4/5
Food quality: 4.2/5
Food presentation: 4.7/5
Value for money: 3.8/5
Ambiance: 3.8/5
Service: 4.5/5

My overall rating comes close to 4.2 out of 5. This place has been a paradise for tea lovers and most of the foodies who are looking for innovation when it comes to food and beverages. In the coming days this place is sure to revolutionize the casual dining scenario in Kolkata with more branches and bigger customer base. The price, service, food, ambiance everything is class apart, which is required to stay strong in this business in the long run. I wish them all the best and surely they will keep doing well, always. Big thumbs up from my side.

Cheers!

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