Showing posts with label Lloyds. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lloyds. Show all posts

Sunday, 8 September 2013

When Qwikys Coffee Pub opened their first outlet in Chennai in the early 2000’s, it was the beginning of a new era in many ways for Chennaites. All of a sudden there was a euphoria amongst the young, whether affluent or not. This in a way marked the beginning of the coffee shop culture in Chennai, which was earlier a concept only akin to 5* hotels.

But today Chennai has travelled extensively through the journey of time. To such an extent that the very Qwikys is no longer even present in the Chennai market. Such has been the domination of other café outlets that mushroomed taking advantage of this new found hang-out/meeting place concept in Chennai. But with a café in almost every nook and corner, saturation of these places begun noticeably with a dramatic drop in the quality of their food and service. Cafe’s started to lose their essence and eventually became a place where one would go only if all other options were exhausted.

Taking cognizance of this saturation, a team of five closely knit people decided to change the face of café’s in Chennai. With a vision to bring a never before concept in Chennai, Vandana, a home baker decided that Chennaites were ready to experience a true tea house. Backed by Pavan, an investment advisor, Rashmi, an expert in fashion & design, Sunny, the in-house tea connoisseur and Rajesh, the de-facto man in charge of running operations, began a new era in F&B concepts in Chennai. The birth of Chennai’s first dedicated Tea House, the “Lloyds Tea House”, aptly named after the road it is located at while at the same time providing a touch of Englishness, who are known for their beautiful tea houses.

The first thing that strikes you as you enter Lloyds Tea House is the ambiance of the place. They have a nice little cosy lounge type seating in addition to the regular seating. A small library but with loads of books on topics ranging from travel to food to designing. Perfect place if you would like to indulge in some me time. The lounge area also has some charming props from the yesteryears. As we were seated, we were shown with two menus, one for the food while the other exclusively for their amazing Teas. We decided to start with some appetizers and ice tea. Followed it up with mains, desserts and hot tea to complete the evening.

The evening started with their tea of the month, the ‘Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Tea’. The appetizers were ‘BBQ Chicken Fingers’, ‘Vol au vents’ and a ‘Rosti Platter”. I was just curious as to how the flavour of a dessert can be truly flavoured in a tea but they proved me wrong. Right from the first sip it kept knocking me as a dessert rather than a tea. The flavours were perfectly replicated. The BBQ Chicken fingers was one of the star dishes of the evening and a personal favourite for me. Evenly sliced chicken well marinated and served with a generous amount of sauce that tasted amazing even on its own. The Vol au vents was a puff pastry with mushroom and cheese on the top. One of the softest yet crispiest puff’s I’ve savoured in recent times. The Rosti platter comprised of a hash brown topped with creamy vegetables and loads of cheese. Right amount of crunchiness and toppings to make a good appetizer.
(Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Tea)
(BBQ Chicken Fingers)
(Vol au vent & Rosti Platter)
(Vol au vent)
(Vol au vent)
(Rosti Platter)
With the appetizers done, for the mains we had quite a few dishes. To start with was the ‘Margherita Pizza’. A very simple pizza and they got it spot on, served right from the oven hot-hot. The pizza had a thin crust base with a good balance of tomato and cheese. It was wiped clean in a jiffy by all of us present at the table. But for those who have some aversion towards tomato, I would recommend to either order a different pizza or ask for a slightly less amount of tomato. The next up was their ‘Chicken Cheese burger’. You cannot expect a fast food styled burger in a tea house, can you? The gourmet burger that was served to us was just mind boggling. The patty was amazingly juicy and you could savour each and every bite of it. It is again a must try for all the carnivores out there. Being a gourmet burger, it is served with some wedges for sides which again were less oily while being aptly crispy.
(Margherita Pizza)
(Chicken Cheese Burger)
This was followed by ‘Thai Basil Cottage Cheese with Rice’ and ‘Penne Arrabiata Pasta’. The Thai curry was different compared to the regular Green, Yellow & Red curries that one is accustomed to when it comes to Thai. It had some strong flavourings that gave it a unique taste. The Arrabiata pasta was accompanied by a portion of garlic bread and a sumptuous amount of zucchini topped with some chilli flakes. The presence of zucchini made a huge difference to the overall taste of the pasta. It provided a peak tinge that differentiated this pasta from the many that I’ve had over the years. The chilli could be too strong for those who are not accustomed to having very spicy food so make sure you ask for a lower spice quotient.
(Thai Basil Cottage Cheese with Rice)
(Penne Arrabiata Past)
With some great food for the mains, we were a bit confused on if we needed desserts or should we go for the hot tea straight away. Giving into our temptations, we decided to have a portion of ‘Tiramisu’ and ‘Almond Coated Chocolate Stick’. The Tiramisu was crowned with soft ladyfinger biscuits which tasted yummy on their own. The Tiramisu once again disappeared as quickly as it was brought it. The Almond coated chocolate stick was a good pairing for the ‘Blueberry Cheesecake Hot Tea’ that was served at the end of the service. What fascinated me the most was the innovative dispenser that was used for dispensing the hot tea. A timer is also provided to indicate how long you need to brew it depending on the concentration level of your preference.
(Almond coated Chocolate Stick)
(Tiramisu - Pic Courtesy: Llyods Tea House Facebook Page)
(Tea Dispenser)
(Blueberry Cheesecake Hot Tea)
Lloyds Tea House really wowed me during my first visit so much that I’ve started visiting more often than other restaurants in the vicinity. Some of my other recommendations are the Franconnian Peppermint Ice Tea, Rose Petal Hot Tea, Creamy Fusili with Mushrooms with Bechamel sauce and the Chicken Philly sandwich.

Lloyds Tea House is located on Lloyds Road, Gopalapuram adjacent to the DAV School.
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