‘Cha Bar’ promises fusion like its name, with the very desi concept of a traditional Bengali’s ‘cha’ punched with a bar instead of a parlour, or a cafe… With a baffling variation of teas, it might be a difficult task for one to order, nevertheless, some of the famous and beloved flavours are highlighted in the menu to help one through the process. Hailing from Kolkata where tea/cha is synonymous to the warmest form of welcome at any hour of the day, anywhere in the city, Connaught Place’s Cha Bar’s Masala cha didn’t strike my memory chords. Even though it was quite good in comparison to several other cafes in the Capital, this individual’s taste buds expected better. As compared to their Kolkata outlet, Delhi’s Oxford Bookstore is larger, and the Cha Bar seems to have a wider range in their menu. (Haven’t been to the Kolkata store since February, 2017)
In case you are not fond of tea, you can definitely try their yummy cold coffee, or other cool drinks. Now, to accompany your cuppa, you’d crave for some snacks and little bites – here’s a huge variety too. They have recently launched their new range of refreshed menu with an Indian twist and now you have Kori Sukka Popiah Rolls, Chicken Koliwada, Matar kulcha, Karari Aloo Tikka, the famous Vada Pao, and Hindustani Vegetable Burger with fries and salad, to hog upon.
Apart from the desi inspiration they have some international dishes adjusted in between — Lamb Albondigas (Spanish meat balls with garlic bread), Burrito (Mexican roll with salsa dip) and Greek Salad to cool your composure during the humid days, and a new pack of amazing sandwiches.
Once you’ve had your drinks and little nibbles, and had a hearty conversation with your friends, you might think of what to order next to seal off the entire evening’s chatty and colourful meal. The thought of a lingering sweet essence post meal is so inviting, that no matter how much one wants to avoid sweets it comes crawling back to you. Before you end your culinary ride simply take a quick peek in to the dessert section, and if you don’t it would be a shame if you step out of Cha Bar without tasting any of their desserts – Palmier cookies, Pineapple pastries and Flury’s Famous Rum Balls being some of the many devilish fetishes one might come back for.
Shopping is fun for bookworms when you have a corner to hide from the rest of the world and read your book in exchange for some peace and quiet. But that can be a challenge here, owing to the loud music and incessant chattering in the cafe. In fact at times, during the evening, you might have difficulty hearing what your friends on the other side of the table have to say! It is advisable to visit the bookstore more in the afternoon than in the evening when gradually the crowd in the cafe increases and it gets difficult to read.