Tea rooms are the new coffee shops. It is the latest trend in the city, that aims at elevating tea drinking, from the cutting chai that one has at local stalls to an elaborate, finer affair. Newer tea rooms have been setting up shop all over the city and older ones revamping themselves. The latest tea room to join the Bandra bandwagon is The XVII Tea Room situated on Turner Road. A few friends and I decided to skip our regular evening coffee routine, and meet up over tea instead. Our experience was so lovely, I decided to share it with you’ll. Stick out your pinkie finger, take a sip, and read on.
The rectangular space is done up with purple, velvet upholstered chairs and carpets to match. Opulent chandeliers hang from the ceiling and give company to a hand painted Alice in Wonderland-ish mural complete with teapots, cats, and a girl on a swing. There’s even an adorable pet cat napping at the entrance, who greets you with a meow. Très adorable!
The XVII Tea Room was empty the evening we visited, with only the aforementioned girl on the swing to give us company. The menu is very well priced, and covers a variety of brewed teas, flavoured teas, traditional desi chais and iced teas. They also do hot and cold coffee, but then again, why come here to have that? Their snack menu is all vegetarian…gasp! But their enticing Dutch pancake and dessert menu makes up for that loss.
My Strawberry Basil Tea (Rs. 120/-) was a lovely strawberry flavoured tea which was not cloyingly sweet, and had a lingering aftertaste of basil. The Spicy Guava Tea (Rs.120/-) was a lovely combination of guava and desi spices – perfect for when you’re under the weather. Both teas were well brewed and came with delicious biscotti. My tea was slightly lukewarm instead of piping hot, as I prefer it to be. But they do interesting signature tea combinations, which are absolutely worth a try in addition to the regular Assam, Nilgiri, Sancha, white, and green teas. Our white tea (Rs. 120/-) was a light, refreshing, mildly infused tea.
The food menu albeit being limited, does a few interesting items. The Dutch Pancakes or poffertjes are smaller miniature pancakes, that resembles mini idlis. Ours came floating in maple syrup, and were delicious and worth the hundred bucks we spent on it. I’m going back to try their salted peanut butter topping which was unavailable the evening we visited.
The Mediterranean Sandwich (Rs. 180/- for a full portion) had tomatoes, basil leaves, and olives smothered with hummus and mozzarella. The combination of the hummus and mozzarella together made it a tad bit salty, which we had to mask by adding ketchup. The Smoked Chilli Cheese Toast (Rs. 150/- for a full portion of four decently sized pieces) was delicious, with stringy cheese, jalapenos, olives, and chilli. So much better than the versions of this snack we eat at regular coffee shops.
We paid approximately 250 rupees per head (including tax) which is what you would pay for a moderately sized coffee at Starbucks. The entire meal was well priced, and something I would definitely return for.
I’m hoping we become more open to drinking tea on our evenings out, rather than looking at it as a beverage we enjoy only at home. I do see that positive trend emerging, and I’m sure places like XVII may help foster that trend.We left stomachs satiated but minds pondering over the reason for the unusual name, the answer of which I later found out. Ask me nicely over a cup of tea at XVII, and I’ll tell!
The XVII Tea Room,
Shop 1, Darvesh Royale,
Turner Road, Pali Hill, Bandra West, Mumbai.
(The author dined anonymously and paid for her own meal.)