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Restaurant review: A villa of 50 exotic teas in Vile Parle

Tea Villa Café in Vile Parle serves 50 varieties of Indian and international specialty teas, all delicious but expensive

Tea villa cafe
Food: Good
Service: Slow
Ambiance: Hip

Tea Villa Café, we were told, has 50 of the world’s 100 best varieties of tea sourced from suppliers in Dubai. How could we resist? So there we were, sitting in the little café in Vile Parle East, in a neat set up. Little jars filled with exotic tea added to the ambience and we particularly liked the wall, done up with white teacups. We looked at the menu card, which read — Premium teas, and have to admit that the vast menu looked very tempting.

The Love Tea, a mix of green tea, marigold flowers and jasmine flowers, was stellar.  PICS/ SAYYED SAMEER ABEDI
The Love Tea, a mix of green tea, marigold flowers and jasmine flowers, was stellar. Picss/ Sayyed SAmeer Abedi

Since we couldn’t sample it all, we started with the basic Pudina Tea (Rs 70), which we thought was average. Some home chefs could do better. Determined to be more experimental in the next order, we chose the Monkey Chief tea (Rs 495).
The menu mentioned an interesting story about this tea. It says Monkey Chief (Taiping Hou Kui), one of the ten most famous teas produced in China, is picked by monkeys from the shrubs.

The Classic waffles with warm maple  sauce  makes for a good accompaniment for your cuppa
The Classic waffles with warm maple  sauce  makes for a good accompaniment for your cuppa

It was originally a wild tea that grew a hundred miles away from Huangshan Mountain. Birds had transported the seeds on the cliffs of the mountain and eventually as it was too difficult for humans to harvest leaves on the cliffs, monkeys were trained for the purpose. Hence this dark green tea that turns bright green after brewing is called Hou Kui, which means the king of monkeys. Served in a transparent teapot, the tea was mellow and had a sweet aftertaste, with no bitterness and astringency. It also has a relaxing effect.

Monkey Chief (Taiping Hou Kui) is one of the tops ten famous teas
Monkey Chief (Taiping Hou Kui) is one of the tops ten famous teas

Our next pick was a flowering tea called Love (Rs 495). These handmade balls of green tea were rolled and tied by hand. It is presented with an hourglass to keep tab of the brewing time. As soon as we put them in hot water they opened up to reveal an amaranth flower surrounded by delicate jasmine. The ingredients include green tea, marigold flowers and jasmine flowers. We did “love” this one!

The food selection has an all day section, along with breakfast, mains, pizza, wraps and dessert. The Bruschetta (Rs 120) could have used sun-dried tomatoes instead of the regular ones. We enjoyed the Penne Pasta with Cheese Sauce that we ordered from the Pick a Pasta section (Rs 320). The spicy Peri Peri Hummus wrap (Rs 160) is a good pick too. Of the mains we picked the Thai Rice (Rs 195) and the Exotic veggies in Hunan sauce (Rs 225), listed in the Asian Pot Curry section, which were both tasteful. The soft and crisp Classic Waffle (Rs 140) with warm maple syrup was a hit too.

The service was a tad slow. While the team that served us was warm and courteous. We wish they knew a little more about the teas.

Villa Cafe

On: 8 am to 11 pm 
At: Pardhy House, Opposite Jain Temple, Junction of MG Road and Hanuman Road, Vile Parle (E)

Call: 30150842
Tea Villa Cafe didn’t know we were there. the guide reviews anonymously and pays for its meals

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