Review: Elma’s Tea Room, Delhi (Tea Café and Bakery)
31 Hauz Khas Village, Front Lane, Delhi. Ph # +91 11 26521020
Much is already known about Elma’s Bakery, it has earned its due fame among the Capitals food fanatics already. But after the facelift that this restaurant got around the end of last year, I haven’t had an opportunity to re-visit. And then on a lazy afternoon, with one of my best girlfriend we landed at the quaint tea room. It share’s its menu and space with TLR, yet another age old hangout at Hauz Kahs village.
It was a humid Delhi evening on a weekday and a three floors flight up the characteristic narrow staircase took us to the cozy tea room perched on the top floor. It was after a few years that I had walked in, and yet it remained as welcoming as before, a comforting teal and white ambiance, interiors are simple yet full of character.
The service here is an issue, as is the case with most eateries of the area. It takes a while to adjust to the slow and lost kind of service; it may take me efforts to get a simple attention from the attendant on most occasions. Their knowledge with the menu can’t be trusted either to either call for the manager, who could be the owner himself or make the call yourself is what I’s suggest.
So, it’s a tea room alright, perhaps the first of its kind that the city saw for there are quite and teas here are a must try, but the hot humid weather had left us thirsty for something cold and refreshing, and we ordered a homemade ginger ale each, which was quite refreshing.
And after pondering over the menu for some time we zeroed on, a slice of red velvet cheesecake, a toasted Croissant with honey-glazed pork ham and Scones with cream and Elma’s mixed berry preserve. Let’s start with the cheesecake, it was simply delicious, Elma’s red velvet cake has been quite known for long but this one infused with layers of cheese made it absolutely addictive.
I have purposely kept the croissant for the end as I was deeply disappointed in it. I had some real high hopes of finding a true croissant at Elma’s atleast, for every other bakery in the city seems to be selling something they like to call croissant which otherwise is the poorest possible imitation of the bread. I had heard and read quite a bit about the croissants at Elma’s but to my surprise I was failed for they were stiff, too flaky, and absolutely difficult to chew on. Trust me I say this with some authority after surviving on croissant’s for breakfast each morning during my 2 weeks excursion through France last year. They are my favourite bread, it does not come easy I know, it takes some craftsmanship to roll out a good croissant but what we were served was not even ordinary. So even between the two of us the sandwich had to be left uneaten half way through.
It remains undoubtedly a great hangout tea room; despite the little misses one cannot deny that there are none other as cosy and comforting. Their cakes and teas make for all the other fallout, drop in for a high tea assortment sometime and I am sure you’d love it and do not forget to get home a fresh baked loaf of bread, they are pretty good. I would walk in someday again, to give our dear Elma’s another chance with the croissants in a hope that they’d have improved next time, after all we don’t have many options do we. The bill I haven’t retained, but was close to Rs 1500 for the above order I recall, so not too much I would say for all the efforts that go into maintaining the shop as a whole.