After a week of eating dinner on the sofa at the new flat I have finally ventured out in Bangalore again, this time again with actual humans (I am just using my laptop for company at the moment). I have arrived a bit early so am trying to get a jump start on the blog post before my wine and cocktails hit my head and I have no desire to write later! Tonight I am VERY happily enjoying Touché for the second time. This is the swanky restaurant on 100 Feet Road that serves beef (yee haw!) and is unique in that it has PacMan style consoles built into the tables yet still comes off posh and not cheesy 🙂 The music is actually a pretty hard, funky electronic mix tonight (not very relaxing for enjoying a nice, long dinner but hopefully it will change), the staff is already wonderfully attentive and my Indian wine is actually tasting GREAT tonight (no fault of Touché, I have just not found Indian wine to be on par yet with any of the Spanish, French or Italian wines I have been drinking the past decade while living in Barcelona).
I need to ask forgiveness from my Indian friends in advance here as I use Slumdog Millionaire once again as my fun point of reference to start off my topic. Soooo…. remember how the main character was famously referred to over and over again as the guy who brings the tea (chai) around to the employees in his company? Until I actually moved here I didn’t know that this was actually a real commonplace job and – indeed- guys are on staff just to brew and bring around tea to colleagues throughout the day. Obviously, I think this is really cool. And the guys in our kitchen are very sweet and very gracious. And they really truly do know how to consistently brew up HUGE pots of delicious tea for hundreds of people every day.
Today I went back to my tourist roots and asked them to please let me take photos of the tea brewing process in our little office kitchen. Probably they think I am strange and giggled at me after I walked out but they were really kind and helped me take the photos (thanks guys!).
So here’s how it works:
- Tea isn’t brewed in stainless steel tea kettles or anything similar. It is basically made by the guys fill up 2 huge monster pots with fresh milk and heat it to boiling. I couldn’t really understand if we used Bessy-from-the-block (our neighborhood cow) for our milk or we order in a gazillion liters of milk every day but somehow we have milk 🙂
- After the milk is done they add tea and spices into it, which is not like the Brits PG Tips or our Lipton tea bags… it is grainy and much more fragrant and yummy. The guys filter out the big bits.
- Then they add in a massive amount of sugar to sweeten it. The guys told me our company goes through 5 pounds (or kilos, not sure) of sugar per day. Daaaang, that is a lot of sugar.
- Well, the next part if obviously not rocket science… they filter again, pour in tea cups and serve.
The guys do this once in the morning, starting at 9:30am and then once again in the afternoon starting just after lunch. Again, I think this is pretty cool.
And with a typical 6-day work week and longer than international standard work days I guess that Indians need the frequent bursts of caffeine to keep going like rock stars all day!! Being jacked-up on caffeine certainly helps 🙂
TOUCHE UPDATE: A few hours passed… well 3.5 to be exact. I have just left Touché with my friends and the experience was not quite the same as the first one. The service was amazing, the starters and the drinks were yummy. But I had to send my medium rare t-bone steak back to the kitchen because it was served to me well-done and not medium-rare as ordered. On top of that they added a sauce on top of it that I didn’t know would be added. In all fairness, once I re-read the menu I saw that it had the option for 3 different sauces (wine, BBQ or pepper) but I wasn’t asked which one I wanted and since the photo is a plain t-bone I didn’t think to ask. The steak came back more medium than medium-rare but it was delicious. Next time I go I think I will order it rare. Aside from that everything was great. The pepper and cheese appetizers were quite yummy, as well as the cosmopolitans and the basil panacotta.
XOXO from Bangalore
© Angela Carson, Angela’s Adventures in Bangalore blog and photos, 2011