We were heading home after picking up a guest from Chennai Central, and since it was already past 21:00 hours, we decided to have dinner on the way home.
It was a Saturday and there was some restriction to eating meat, so it had to be a vegetarian dinner. As we drove along, the first place that I spotted was Novelty Tea House on RK Salai. About a year and a half ago, we had a not-so-pleasant incident here, and since then I have never had the interest to visit this place. I thought to myself, c’mmon, why hold a grudge for so long, and immediately decided to step in.
They have a valet parking and thats helpful. We entered into a reasonably packed restaurant and there were just a few tables free. We chose to sit in one of the better-lit tables so i could click some okayish pictures. As soon as we settled down, the next ten minutes, we were just waiting for someone to notice our hungry faces. There were a few waiters right in front of us, but didn’t seem interested to ask if we were ready to order. Probably they were giving us ‘more’ time to settle down. Finally one person came over and gave us the menu cards and served us water.
We ordered Manchow Soup, Tomato Soup and Sweet Corn Vegetable soup, all of them to be served ‘one by two’, Paneer Tikka and Cheesy Corn Balls for starters. Also asked for a couple of Roasted Masala Papads. We were looking at the menu for options for main course, and pretty much decided that too in a few minutes.
Food was served in reasonable time and we were more than eager to pounce on it. I tasted all the soups, and all of them were good. I loved the Manchow soup with fried noodles better than the rest. Roasted Masala Papad was topped with generous amounts of tomatoes and onion and sev and tasted good. Cheese Corn Balls were good, but the chat masala or something similar sprinkled on the top didn’t complement it too well. Paneer Tikka was decent, but I have had much better ones elsewhere. So there was nothing that stood out, but all of them were decent.
Ordered one Garlic Naan, 3 Rotis (as Phulkas were not available), 1 Paneer Butter Masala, 1 Kashmiri Pulav for the main course. The breads came piping hot and good, the Paneer Butter Masala was good, but not ‘wow’. It had an overpowering tangy taste which probably was because of the tomato, paneer pieces were soft. It was pretty decent with the breads. Kashmiri Pulav looked awesome 🙂 very nicely presented and tasted as good. It was slightly sweet and perfect for the kids. Again, main course was good too, but was there anything that was mind-blowing, I would say not.
We were too stuffed for desserts, just ordered a Gulab Jamun with Ice Cream for my daughter and a Masala Tea for myself. The gulab jamuns were tiny and a little bigger than glass marbles 🙂 and ice cream was good and my daughter finished it pretty quickly. The tea was verrrrry sweeeeeeet ! Surprised that a place with ‘Tea’ in its name couldn’t make a perfect tea! All I could taste in it was the sugar. Not that I am thinking about the prices always, but that’s when you wonder if this small cup of over-sweet tea is worth 45 bucks.
The person who waited on our table, Suraj, was very polite and pleasant. He was very good at his job and the service couldn’t be any better. Finally, we paid around 1.9K for this meal and was a decent experience overall. However, there was nothing complelling that would make me go back to this place again. In my opinion, there are many other places that would beat this place hands down for good North-Indian food.