Tea Avenue on Barnes Place is a brand new cafe by Empire Tea. They opened a couple of days ago so we dropped in to see what they’re all about.
Location & Ambience
We haven’t had many new cafes open up in recent times, so Tea Avenue’s timing is pretty good. Barnes Place is now officially the place to go if you want to check out coffee shops, with Barnesbury, The Paddington, Cioconut Lounge and Caffe Pascucci all being in the same vicinity. It seems a bit odd as to why they’d chose Barnes Place since Tea Avenue falls in that same category, so they’ll have a lot of competition right from the get-go.
The ambience at Tea Avenue is definitely one of their highlights. It’s not a huge place but they’ve got ample seating and some very nice interior decor. They’ve got a mix of modern sofas and seats as well as some very artsy Victorian furniture in there as well. The only thing we noticed, that we weren’t particularly thrilled about, was that they’ve cramped quite a bit of furniture on the first floor.
Food & Drinks
Tea Avenue offers a pretty standard cafe menu with the usual burgers, subs and a pretty good selection of pastas priced between Rs. 400 – Rs. 900 and the breakfast options priced between Rs. 300 – Rs. 700. Their beverage menu is also pretty similar to the usual coffee shops but they’ve got some interesting options like milk tea (kiri thé) for 35 bucks.
Their ice caramel latte (Rs. 520) isn’t cheap, but it comes in a pretty big mug (more like jar with a handle), so we think it’s worth the money. The flavour of the coffee comes through well and it’s not overly sweet which is something we’ve come to appreciate.
We weren’t very impressed with their eggs benedict (Rs. 650) though. There wasn’t anything glaringly wrong with it, but we didn’t feel it was really worth the price since there was no ham or bacon and the fact that it was served with toast as oppose to an English muffin or bagel. What we did like though was the Hollandaise sauce which was rich, smooth and well balanced, which worked well with the perfectly poached eggs.
Their pancakes (Rs. 300 + Rs. 100) were pretty good as well. They were fluffy, light and had just the right sweetness. We ordered ours with fresh strawberries as the topping, but we got like one strawberry which we weren’t very amused by. We’d say go for the strawberry sauce or maple syrup instead.
Tea Avenue does a few things well, particularly the ambience and coffee, but they also have room for improvement when it comes to their food. They just opened up but with such stiff competition around the same area they need to step their game up.