I would like to say “Tea or rather Chai is the new Black” with the opening of Chai Times in Singapore. Perhaps I sound lame saying this, but Chai Times is a new chic tea cafe, modern yet vintage and preserving all the authenticity of the traditional tea cuppa from India. In fact I was walking down the Shenton Way one hot sunny afternoon and a server working at “Chai Times” stopped me, handed me the pamphlet of their new store and convinced me to at least come check out the exact location. To be honest, I felt I was being dragged and fooled by a sales girl. However it was so hot outside and the server was trying so hard to advertise that I felt at least I will go cool myself inside the air-conditioned cafe and perhaps order some chilled drink they might be serving.
I was pleasantly surprised by the ambiance – It had the galvanized steel chairs that I would think, they are trying to mimic the tapris or dhaba joints of India. (Best explained as road side shops frequented by truck drivers enjoying beedis). But this place is a pleasant contrast to an actual tapri tea stall. It is a beautiful cafe with those rustic galvanized chairs, air-conditioned with some western music playing in the background, office goers sipping on doubled layered glass kulhads filled with freshly brewed tea and feasting on some really fresh eatables. Again the glass kulhads are similar to the clay kulhads or clay cups used in ancient times to serve tea and perhaps even seen in some remote areas of India in this day of age.
I looked at the menu and was thrilled to see a wide variety of teas. Chai Times serves different blends of the teas with various spice mixes – ginger, lemon grass, cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves – they have all the spices you want. Have the tea simple black or some spicy masala chai or a warm chai latte or the typical English breakfast tea. Choose between various teas from each of the tea producing regions of India- Authentic Upper Assam teas, Darjeeling teas, Nilgiri teas or Sikkim teas. Seriously you have to go numerous times to try out all the blends since all of them have different flavors, different spices and a different cuppa for each occasion. Yes the prices are bit steep ranging from S$5.8 – S$7 but the quantity is huge – Almost like having a tall sized coffee! And more than the quantity it is the excellent and flavorful quality of the tea that you pay for.
As if the teas were not enough, they serve the some of the best cake slices. The orange cake and the lemon cake are both moist, soft like butter melting in your mouth and have some excellent orange and lemon rind used in them. My nostrils tickled with the whiff of citrusy orange as I bit into the cake slice you see below. Really Yum I must say. The fruit cake is a sweet fruity cake with tons of raisins and fruit in it. These cakes are egg-less , freshly baked and sell fast especially when they offer it as “A slice of cake + Brew of the day @ S$6.5″ from 3 pm – 5 pm everyday. This one is ideal and has become my latest tea time favorite.
The samosas I must admit are super fresh – soft potatoes, peas, coriander and other spices all mixed well and not oily at all. I am surprised at this one since most places I have noticed do sell them with stale smelly potatoes or they are super oily. These samosas were served with a fresh home made mint yogurt chutney and a tomato-tamaraind chutney.
Don’t miss these pretty tin boxes seen below of the various blends of teas that Chai Times sells as well. I wanted to buy them all 🙂
I really find it difficult to find faults with Chai Times – Perhaps have always enjoyed the food there and found all the servers so cheerful and happy. It does make your day talking to happy people.
Here is more information on the brand Chai Times and what it is all about, its origins back in India and much more . Click here
And for all you tea aficionados who haven’t checked out this place, do give it a try:
AXA Tower, 8 Shenton Way, #B1-02, Singapore 068811+65 6423 1155
Opening Hours: 8 a.m – 6 p.m (Monday-Friday)