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While Indians have always loved their chai, tea has suddenly bloomed into a popular ingredient. With the launch of several teahouses and restaurants with extensive tea menus, not to mention tea-infused cocktails, tea has become incredibly trendy. In most cases, it is used as a subtle flavour with just a hint of tea, but suddenly there is nothing subtle about it when it shows up as a main ingredient in many different desserts. We have come a long way from drinking tea, and have started eating it as well! These are a few dishes that are excellent examples of this current tea-based dessert trend.
40 Layered Green Tea Cake at Yuuka – The St. Regis Hotel has plenty of interesting dining options, but their modern Japanese outlet Yuuka is where you will find the most intricate and delicate tea-based dessert. The 40 Layer Green Tea Cake with aged rum-soaked raisins and matcha dust is an absolute treat. It is one of their signature dishes and while it sounds like a heavy dish with 40 layers, it is actually quite light and delectable. Interestingly, they also have a green tea tiramisu if you are up for trying a different version than the original.
Chai Ice Cream with Masala Foam at Masala Library – Masala Library is an excellent restaurant for Indian food and we all know Indians love their chai. Instead of a regular cup, this restaurant serves the most interesting chai flavoured ice cream with masala foam and dalchini (cinnamon) cookies. The dessert is served in little cutting chai glasses topped with the foam and is an unusual but lovely flavour for an ice cream.
Green Tea Ice Cream at Lemon Leaf – Lemon Leaf is a restaurant in the suburbs that serves all sorts of Asian dishes. From sushi, dim sum to khow suey, they whip up everything. So it should not be surprising when they dabble with a little green tea in their dessert. The menu includes a special range of flavoured ice cream and, believe or not, one of their popular ones is the green tea ice cream.
Jasmine Tea Cake at Yauatcha – This dim sum house is ideal for a tea lover. Apart from the number of dim sum choices, Yauatacha is a teahouse and serves a selection of various teas. It would unimaginable for a restaurant like this that emphasises their tea selection to not have any interesting tea-infused desserts. Yauatcha does not disappoint with their superb jasmine tea cake, which is a chocolate sponge with jasmine ganache, milk chocolate, jasmine mousse, caramelised honey milk, panna cotta and vanilla honey ice cream. It might sound slightly intimidating, but the dessert is excellent and the perfect blend of subtle jasmine tea flavours with chocolate.
Masala Chai Popsicle at The Bombay Canteen – This restaurant is inspired by local produce and Indian recipes. They pride themselves on using ingredients that are seasonal and Indian, which is why a lot of their menu and dishes are constantly changing and evolving. One of the dishes on their menu that has been a constant from the first day is their masala chai inspired popsicles, which are served with a generous sprinkle of biscuit crumble and caramel sauce drizzled over it. It is a crowd-pleaser and a popular dessert on their menu.
Liquid Hazelnut Fondant Cake at Pa Pa Ya – This modern Asian cuisine based restaurant is one of the trendiest places in town. The menu is a funky mix of dishes that delight and, surprisingly, one of their most delightful dishes is a tea-infused dessert. The liquid hazelnut cake with matcha and white peppercorn quenelle is unlike any of their other desserts. It is a green tea fondant cake with warm chocolate lava inside and is served with a white peppercorn ice cream with wild berries. A far cry from the regular molten chocolate cake, but the subtle green tea flavour is a wonderful addition to what would be a regular chocolate cake.
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Better known as the Tiny Taster, Roxanne is an internationally respected blogger and expert on the Mumbai food scene. She has hosted many events, including the Upper Crust Food & Wine Show and travels the world, sharing her knowledge and gaining more experience.