The lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic may have affected the restaurant industry badly, but there are still some enterprising youngsters looking to make a headway despite all the negativity. One such person is Sumit Jain, who has opened The Food Adda or TFA in HSR Layout, and is already offering decent thalis and some beautiful snacking options!
To be honest, I was invited to sample one of the thalis of TFA. However, I saw the menu, and decided to pay for a cup of masala tea.
It turned out to be a good investment. Rs 10 bought me some delicately spiced milky tea in a steaming paper cup. A small layer of cream formed on it as I let it sit for a bit: I can’t drink tea that is too hot. A little cooled down but steal hot, it went down like a charm with what I ordered next.
I paid for my own snacks here as well. The first was, of course, Kolkata-style samosa. Every city has its own kind of samosa, and the Bengali in me jumped at the chance of nostalgia here.
The samosa came out soon after the tea, and the two made for a rocking combo! Jain confided in me that he plans a live samosa station when things return to normal. I predict that it will be a hit, origin of the customer notwithstanding!
The other snack I ordered was cheese balls. These were packed and taken home to be eaten in the evening.
True, that these were looking more like cheese patties by the time I unpacked them to eat. However, my first bite into them told me that I had picked a taste-bud-tingler! Sure, the creamy, cheesy filling would be better off with a harder or crunchier exterior, but that’s a teething problem TFA ought to overcome quickly.
For the main course, I ordered one of the Thali combos that TFA offers. These usually have rice, roti/phulka, a daal, a paneer dish, dum aloo, and some salad and papad. In my case, the paneer dish was Paneer Do Pyaza.
The first thing you will notice about the food is its freshness. There is no stale smell in any of the dishes, which justifies the price tag of Rs 180.
The daal was a definite pleaser, with its subtle notes and smooth taste. The phulka and the jeera rice complemented the other dishes well.
The dum aloo is a must-try! Give me that with some daal and plain rice, and I will eat on till my belly bursts!
The Paneer Do Pyaaza was a bit of a letdown, though. Anything with extra onions, especially cooked in do-pyaaza style, should have the sweetness of the onions come through the charred smokiness of the spices. This one was more of a salty kind. However, that may be an aberration, given that everything else was salted quite well.
Final thoughts about The Food Adda
In a phase where the entire hospitality industry is struggling, TFA is probably a step in the right direction, especially as the work-from-home culture thrives.
TFA’s thalis may soon see a rise in demand, especially with the clean and fresh ingredients that are used to make them. Here’s hoping the enterprise a good measure of success!
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