Thursday, August 24, 2017

Monki+Masala Chai= Monki Masala Chai

Some days things just go wrong. Your sparkling coach might turn into a pumpkin and your prince charming into a toad. It is not always possible to have a magical wand and reverse it all. A bad day at office or a fight with your close ones, it all pulls you down.  Well don’t worry, don’t cry, drink vodka and fly.  :P  ahan, well I would rather say grab a masala chai and fly to a world that is entirely yours. Sometimes you just feel like escaping or maybe you need a beach therapy. But you never know a masala chai can also be a saviour.

It was in the year 2010 that I first stepped into Oxford Cha Bar at Bhubaneswar. It was a lively Sunday evening. The place was pretty much crowded. After all it was Friendship Day. They say that the first impression is the last, though I don’t firmly believe in this statement.  But definitely Oxford Cha Bar did cast a spell on me right on my first visit that later resulted in innumerable visits and memories. A place where you get both Chai and books has to be heaven.

Coming back to my first evening at the Cha bar, I really didn’t get a chance to go through the books. But I discovered a gem that evening, the Masala Chai. The Chai is normally served in small glasses attached to monkey holders. And hence the Chai became Monki Masala Chai for me. This is the place where I was actually introduced to the world of good Chai. The aroma of the Masala Chai is strong and heavenly, the kind of aroma that creates a peaceful sensation in your nerves. I could actually feel the flavours of ginger, cloves, cardamom in every sip. Now as I type down these words I realize Chai is a feeling. Later I tried the Bollywood Masala Chai and the Truck drivers Chai and I could not really find any difference between any of these except for the fancy names, they all tasted the same. So I preferred sticking to my good old Masala Chai. And this Masala Chai is something I would recommend everyone to taste at least once. They have an exotic tea collection on their menu from cutting chai, Nilgiri and Darjeeling tea to ayurvedic and herbal teas. I am not a fan of iced tea. Still I did try Ice tea twice here and I didn’t really like it. The Sandwiches, Pakoras, cookies, muffins and apple pie are something you can have with your tea or coffee while you indulge in a book. I would never suggest the hot chocolate but yes you can try coffee including spiced cappuccino.

This is one place I have been going to all these years. This is one perfect place to spend some “me” time alone amidst books in an afternoon. I always opt for the table that overlooks the road. It’s a beautiful feeling to simply sit there on a rainy afternoon with a book, chai and pakoras. If you are someone who likes to spend some time alone reading, writing or simply looking at the busy road while you sip a good tea then this is the place for you. Now that I am away from Bhubaneswar I know the next time I go there I will definitely visit this place for my favourite Monki Masala Chai. In fact this is somewhere we friends go to at least once when we all meet. The ambience is calm and soothing as well. Oxford Cha Bar is one place where you can find people belonging to almost every age group, school kids, uncles, aunties, love sick couples and people like me who just love the tea, the books and the place. Sometimes you might find writers typing hard on their laptops or scribbling down something, or readers with books piled up on their tables. And then you might also find stupid people you could observe smile and laugh at silently.  They always play slow music, slow good music.

 The book collection is not that great. And now you find loads of fancy gift items being sold. The service is not that good. At times you might have to knock at the kitchen door hoping that the waiter would listen to you. And there might even be times when they might say no to every dish you order, like everything on the menu will be unavailable. But Monki Masala Chai is always available :D   Life can’t be always perfect but there can be perfect moments. One such perfect moment is inhaling the vapours coming out of the monki masala chai, the feel of it when the hot liquid rushes down your throat. And for these perfect moments I visit this place again and again.

Ambience: 4.5
Food: 3.5
Tea: 5
Service: 3

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