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TEA TIME

Budget bites

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Chayoos is a mix of the word 'chai' (tea), and the name of Nitin Saluja's wife — Yosha.

The gleaming DLF cyber city towers now have a new address for tea addicts - the intriguingly named 'Chaayos'. The founder of this swanky, yet surprisingly economical tea boutique, Nitin Saluja, offers a simple explanation : Chaayos is a mix of the word 'chai' (tea), albeit spelt differently, and the name of his other half - Yosha.

Soft lighting welcomes you into the warm, wooden ambience of this kiosk that offers more than 35 varieties of tea. From the good ol' simple desi kadak chai with a variety spices to choose from, you can also try out Irani Tea or the Suleimani variety - all of which have one aim: to convert a non-tea drinker into one. After all, as Saluja lets on, they all come freshly brewed, and not in dip form. What's more, the pricing, he insists, is pretty nominal. "We want to make the experience of drinking tea outside the home, pleasurable and hygienic, " he says.

The rose cardamom tea is a real balm for the senses. Cardamom steeped in the first flush of Darjeeling tea with some rose water added just before serving is an outright winner. With the scent of rose and the flavour of cardamom calming the senses, it's perfect for a relaxed, lazy afternoon.

Another reason why Chaayos has already warmed up to office goers is simple : the eats seem straight out of your kitchen at home - unpretentious and wholesome. The sandwiches have familiar flavours such as Falafel, Chicken Hawaiian, Chilly Paneer, Green Chicken and there's even a 2-minutes Maggi sandwich.

While all these may sound simple, the ingredients have been well put together to make each one taste just right. The accompaniments gel with the global yet essentially Indian palette - mint and cucumber dip, tomatoes and green chillis, honey and ginger, and a pepper-based mayonnaise. What strikes one is that it is basic food given a smart twist, which is why, a 200 gm sandwich leaves you feeling full, yet light and energised.

With sandwiches, you have the choice to customise the spices to suit your taste. Saluja, who has spent some time in Houston, has added one of his favourites, Burritos, to the menu. He calls it 'Houston Burritos'. The wholesome one-piece meal is again perfect for someone on the go. The grilled tortillas with scrambled eggs, jalapenos, beans topped with salsa make for a tasty treat.

To round up, you could choose from a selection of ice teas, such as passion fruit and strawberry that taste nothing like those commonly available. The flavour comes from syrups by the French brand, Monin. Do not expect the same sweetness but the overall experience will surely leave you asking for more!

Timing: 8am to 9pm, Budget- Rs 300 for two, Address-Tower B, Ground floor, Building 5, DLF Cyber City, Gurgaon, Contact: 9971098656

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