Irani chai and a host of food options
Craving for his fave tea led Pratik More to open his own cafe ‘Aur Irani Chai’. He gives us an insight into the venture and his journey
Tea was one of the interesting culinary dishes that Persian immigrants introduced to us years ago and we caught on to it. Like many Indian cities, Pune too has some quality Iranian tea and English breakfast-serving places. Aur Irani Chai, opened by Pratik More five years ago, is one of them.
A commerce graduate, More always loved Irani chai and good breakfast. Since most of the Irani cafes are located in the Camp area, during his college days, More had to cover quite a distance from Baner, where he lives, to Pune Camp -- to enjoy his favourite tea. When he graduated, he thought of bringing it to a place near his residence.
“The concept of Irani cafe is very strong. You can find almost everything there like junk food, customised healthy salads, tasty veg options and protein-filled non-veg dishes. So I thought of introducing this beautiful concept in a more hygienic and modernised way,” says More.
A fan of the movie Love Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega, More likes the song Dubai ka chashma, Cheen ki chaddi, aur Irani chai picturised on Johnny Lever in the movie. He borrowed the Aur Irani Chai bit for the name of his restaurant.
But while he calls it that, one can also find quality food here ranging from India style breakfast — Masala Omelette, Cheese Pizza Samosa, Bhurji, French fries, toast/pav/slice, tea/coffee or buttermilk. In English breakfast, they have Full fry, French toast, chicken sausages, baked beans, salami, tea/coffee and in healthy breakfast, they serve Half fry, boiled eggs, beans, veggies, sweet potato wedges, brown bread toast, green tea/ black tea/ black coffee; and other options like Maggi, sandwiches, burgers, rolls, French fries, shawarma — veg and non-veg, Indian main course and special menu with customisation option. They offer a range of desserts and beverages too.
More loves to experience new food and serve it to his customers. So his staff prepares whatever he asks for and if he likes it, he adds it to the menu, he informs.
Both the taste and preparation of Irani tea are different from the regular tea, says More. Unlike regular tea, to make Irani chai, tea leaves are boiled with water in one container and the milk is boiled separately in another container. While serving, first the milk is poured in the cup and later, black tea is added to it, he explains the process.
“If people come to our cafe in a mixed group of vegetarian, non-vegetarian, vegan options, or Keto diet, they’ll never get disappointed. We keep everything and offer whatever our customers demand,” More says.
The price starts from Rs 15 and goes up to Rs 300, depending on the meal and beverage you order.
Located near the service road and an IT company, the cafe receives a good footfall daily. “People of different ages, and professions visit the cafe. Many times, school kids also visit. The main concept is to offer services to people who can’t afford to go to a luxurious cafe. This is a place where people can come, sit peacefully, and enjoy their tea and bun maska,” says More.
New products attract everyone but that interest sustains only for a few days. When asked how is he planning to keep people hooked to his cafe, More says that his menu is filled with protein-rich items. “No one would ever like to get off a healthy option,” he says, adding that 50 kgs of chicken and 20 trays of eggs are required at the cafe on a daily basis.
Starting with three members, now Aur Irani Chai has a total of 17 staff. The cafe has an elegant look with basic red and black colour themes.
ST READER SERVICE
Aur Irani Chai, Shree Chandra Residency, behind Shambhu Vihar Society, Nankude Vasti, Aundh. Timing: 8 am to 11 pm