I had my goodbye supper with my Dad last night, which was emotional.
I got to choose the restaurant though, and this has definitely become one of my favourites in the last few months so it was important to me to have a “last meal” (of sorts) there to say goodbye, since this chain doesn’t have any locations in Quebec at all. We basically had all of my favourites; Cheese Dabeli, Chocolate & Hazelnut Dosa, Rose Lemonade, and Kashmiri Chai. It was a good meal.
This is an interesting “chai” – it’s chai is the way that people in India use the word, which is to say it’s the word for “tea” and not specifically spiced tea. This definitely through off my Dad, who really only knows chai as spiced tea. I think it’s amazingly prepared by Royal Paan though – you really, really know it’s the good shit/traditional Kashmiri chai because it’s this really beautiful and rich pink colour when it’s served. That’s what happens when air is beaten into the pot of chai on the stove top over the course of several hours; it oxidizes! It’s an intense, beautiful labor of love and you really have to show proper respect and admiration for all the work that goes into producing this stunning type of tea!
Royal Paan uses a rose tea, which is right up my alley – with the thickened milk in the tea and the mix of pistachio and almonds that are served poured over top the tea it creates this amazing, thick floral and nutty profile that reminds me of halvah. It’s really rich, and so wickedly smooth. Not chai tea the way that I think of it most of the time; but a great treat and something that really makes me feel like I’m getting to experience Indian Tea Culture in one of the best ways.
I will deeply miss this restaurant.