High Tea at Hamsa

Hamsa, the fine dining vegetarian restaurant at Adyar is now the setting for a high tea experience. Subdued lighting and the cool interiors of the restaurant make a hot cup of tea (or coffee) and a bite (or three) a very welcome proposition.

The concept of high tea brings to mind the English setting of a tea room - chintz curtains, delicate China teapots, cups and saucers, tiered stands holding scones, clotted cream and jam, wafer thin cucumber sandwiches, dainty cakes and tarts to nibble on amid murmured conversations. However at Hamsa, they like to do things a little differently.

Delicious platters

A group of us bloggers were invited to review the High Tea. We were warmly welcomed by the owner, Nithin Kalkiraju before being led to our seats. On another table, platters of the High Tea specials were being arranged, social media experts and Instagrammers were busy clicking pictures of black platters that held vadais, cutlets and other snacks along with accompanying dips.

The spread; from masala vadais to biryani arancini and everything in between!

Standing beside the display was not helping anyone. Beautiful aromas wafted around the room, all of us had skipped lunch in anticipation of a heavy teatime experience. Soon, the table was filled with the most vivid colours and 8 delicious treats. Each platter represented a full portion of the snack.

Tasting portions. The first bite of the biryani arancini was promising. Beautifully crisp shell, full flavoured biryani and a heart of melting cheese. But with the second bite, the flavour of rice was overpowering and the flavours were not balanced.

After clicking to our hearts' content, we were served tasting portions. How pretty the miniature versions looked.

Paneer aloo cutlet; misal pav

The paneer aloo cutlet was very soft and I guess the chefs would have had a difficult time shaping them. Neither main ingredient could be tasted and although it had been fried, no trace of oil remained. The misal pav was tangy and tasty, the buns were deliciously soft.

Khanda bhajji & pav. The onion fritter in the pav was a bit of a letdown. 

Laccha samosa

The laccha samosa had a yummy filling of mashed potatoes, onion and peas but the deep-fried crisp pastry stole the show and I can only imagine the hard work that would have gone into shaping it. I loved the look of the samosa in this avatar.


Ragada pattice

Chatpata dahi chaat

Both ragada pattice with white peas and chatpata dahi chaat were delicious. But then, I'm partial to a well made chaat!

Chila stuffed with cheese, onions and coriander. Made of chickpea & lentil flour, one of these at breakfast should keep you going through the day!! 

Masala tea

Blooming tea

There is a choice of beverages but with our tasting menu, masala tea and filter kaapi were offered. Of the two, I preferred the coffee and would have liked it even more if the milk had been served separately. They also have blooming tea, floral infusions and beverages.

The high tea menu has an interesting mix of North and South Indian snacks and some fusion. However, it does tend to be quite filling as many of the base ingredients are potato and lentil-based.
Each platter is priced at 195/++ or you could order a personal snack platter priced at 395/++ and choose from any 3 platters on the menu. That's a fantastic option if you've missed lunch or intend to miss dinner.

Hamsa's High Tea is only on weekdays, from 4 - 6 pm.   

Gulab jamun 


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