Maybe it’s the dreary weather and the cool climes that make the British reach for a warm cuppa on a chilly day.
Throw in some spices like crushed cardamom and cloves and the tea becomes nowhere near dull. Here are our top picks for where to drink a steaming cup of masala chai in the buzzing city of London.
Sleek and chic, this restaurant pays homage to Mumbai’s Iranian community and has a few locations scattered around central London. Wait times are usually long, but it’s worth it to be able to step inside and see vintage newspaper articles and relics from a time gone by. This is the place to go when you want to avoid the smaller hole in the wall Indian food joints and have an actual sit-down meal. The chai has a hint of spice and is enjoyed with crispy okra. Even a few cocktails are infused with tea leaves making Dishoom a fun starting point for a night out on the town.
After exhausting yourself shopping in the iconic Selfridges department store, take a few steps around the back side of the frenetic energy of Oxford Street for some Indian street bites, washed down with a soothing cup of Chai. This canteen style eatery serves up the Chai in glass cups and you will be very anxious for it to cool down to get a taste of its smooth sweetness.
The afternoon tea in this swanky department store in the stylish Knightsbridge neighbourhood, includes a variety of South Asian inspired teas in an elegant setting. Teas from Sri Lanka and India’s Darjeeling growing region are paired perfectly with dainty sandwiches and scones with fresh jams and clotted cream. A truly British experience. Cheers to that!
Not only is this cute restaurant (come for the decor, stay for the food) located in Covent Garden, but the chai is a warming delight on a wet London day. Pair a warm cuppa or two with a delicious array of papdi chaat topped with burst-in-your-mouth bright pomegranate seeds and pani puri.
The best chai award goes to Nani dearest. Granny does know best when it comes to chai. We can still picture her pouring the scalding hot, dark brew onto a shallow plate to let it cool. After, she would sip it carefully taking in the rich flavours from the motherland. We have tried to recreate her chai- even begged her for the recipe, but despite our efforts, its just not ever the same. It’s probably that extra ingredient of love that makes it so belly and heart-warming.