There’s a noticeable nip in the air, and restaurants, still reeling from the pandemic and restrictions, are doing all they can to bring in customers, with many having recently come out with special tea time snack menus to drive away the winter blues.
Umang Tewari, from Local in Connaught Place says, "Chai is incomplete without a good accompaniment. As the name suggests, Local is my ode to casual food and ours is a quality controlled version of street food and home style khana. With the chill in the air, there is a lot one can enjoy with chai, like our Little Bombs, in which Gol Gappas are presented on a platter with shot glasses filled with pani, as well as our Aamchi Mumbai Pao served with kadak chai."
There are also fruit platters with a tandoori twist, and new items like Double Maggi Magic Masala, and Chana Chaat, served in a canapé style.
Chef Anas Qureshi, Molecule Air Bar notes, "Chai is a signature drink for Indian and winter comes with people calling for garam chai with garam snacks. Our inspiration comes from the fact that Evening snacks already hold a big place in our hearts as Indians and are almost seen as comfort food. At Molecule, we focus on staying true to the taste and texture, presentation and technique to put an interesting spin on our dishes like Pav Bhaji Fondue which we recommend you take with hot tea."
At Nukkad Café & Bar, the Chai Chatori menu has become a hot new favourite with the young people dropping by after work for a quick snack and hot drink.
Kanishk Tuteja, Founder, says, "It has become almost mandatory that restaurants include the dishes in the menu which stirs nostalgia and bring back fond memories. At Nukkad, we have introduced some Tandoori Chaats for our Chai Chatori specials, while Tandoori Momos has become a crowd favourite, especially when served with tea."
Kundan Lal Jaggi, the grandfather of one of the co-founders of Daryaganj restaurants, and the creator of dishes like Butter Chicken and Dal Makhani, also introduced the Chicken Pakoda to Delhi at a time when people were used to eating only vegetarian ones.
"Once during the late autumns, while enjoying vegetable pakoras with masala chai, he thought of creating a non-vegetarian version of the pakoda for himself and his friends, being a hardcore meat lover from Peshawar. He used some marinated tandoori chicken lying in the kitchen and fried the pieces coated with gram flour batter, and called it Chicken Pakora," recalls Daryaganj co-founder Amit Bagga, adding, "It was a big success and was soon added to the menu permanently. With the chill in the city these days, Chicken Pakora with Chai is a popular combination enjoyed at Daryaganj."
Chef Mahabir Singh, from Made in Punjab, says, "People who live or have been brought up in Delhi know the importance of chaats from the Delhi markets; it’s delicious on the street and all restaurants aim to replicate the same taste for their customers cooked in clean surroundings, along with winning the trust of the customers who hesitate to eat on the streets, especially in the pandemic. We try to maintain the same taste with quirky presentations of these beloved dishes and what better way to eat these than with a hot cup of chai?"
In a nutshell
Restuarants have recently come out with special tea time snack menus to drive away the winter blues