If you’ve ever read my blog, you’ll know that I’ve eaten my fair share of Afternoon Tea. You know the sort – fluffy sandwiches with creamy fillings, sugary sweet marzipan layered cakes, gallons of tea in china cups… yes, we’ve all done it! (You can read about the few that have stuck out for me in Birmingham here). So imagine my surprise when I was invited to eat Indian Afternoon Tea – the classic British favourite but with a twist! I have previously visited Praza when I was invited to review a couple of delicious curry dishes, so of course when I saw the email in my inbox asking me to trial something like this I was already 100% on board.
The one thing I love most about Praza are their black velvet chairs. I become obsessed with them every time I visit and spend most of my meals stroking them! The restaurant is a beautiful Georgian building in the ‘leafy suburb of Edgbaston’ and is also a modern place to enjoy an evening of fine dining and cocktails. On the day we visited, the restaurant consumed a very relaxed atmosphere. Josh and I swanned in around 4pm on a bank holiday Monday and although the place wasn’t heaving, a fair few tables were filled with parents, children and couples munching away on their food. I noted that most had smiles on their faces so this was a very positive start. As soon as we sat down, were were offered two glasses of sparkling wine… *clink click*
I’m a big tea drinker and we were asked if we would like to try a ‘Classic Ginger and Cardamom Chai’, a special Peppercorn and Bay Leaf Infused Black Masala Chai or a selection of English breakfast teas. I was feeling peckish so I felt a creamy tea would have hit the spot. I went ahead and ordered us two Ginger and Cardamom Chai teas and they reminded me of Christmas as it was similar to drinking creamy lattes from Costa with a spicy twist. The tea was so delicious and I wish I could drink more as I type this up… mmm!
What I loved most about our visit was that the servers never allowed your tea cup to go empty. Staff were really on the ball and kept topping up our glasses, we felt like royalty! I also admire the fact that Praza allow both meat and vegetarian afternoon tea options so no one is left feeling as though they don’t have any alternatives. We chose the meat and there were four tiers of food. We began at the bottom and worked our way up and were ‘mmming’ and ‘arrring’ with every bite. The flavours and spices were extraordinary. I must say, Indian Afternoon Tea (if you like spicy food) beats the average tea any day. My favourite food was most definitely the samosas, an ever popular crispy pasty stuffed with spiced potato, peas and raisins. I was tempted to ask for more but felt I would burst by the end…
Overall, the meal consisted of: Finger sandwich selection – Indo-Chinese Chicken Sandwich or Vegetable Sandwich / Lamb Khatti Roll – India’s own lamb paratha wrap or an Paneer Khatti Roll (V) alternative / Beetroot, Chickpea and Goat’s Cheese Cup – I wasn’t too sure about this one… / Mini Shingara (Calcutta Samosa) which were my absolute favourites / White Onion Bhaji’s – lightly spiced onion in plain and chickpea flour, flavoured with fennel seeds and fried to golden perfection / Namak Paare – A North Indian favourite of savoury flour crackers, flavoured with ajwain (carom seeds)
The sandwiches were delightfully spicy and since I’m not even a big sandwich fan (I feel bloated after eating just one on an average lunchtime), Praza certainly pushed the boat out into making sure each and every person were satisfied with their choices and the bread was incredibly light. But just when we thought it was all over, then came the fun bit… the sweet dessert treats just ready and waiting for us.
The selection of desserts ranged from: Homemade Eggless Semolina and Coconut Cake, scented with cardamom / Nankhatai – Indian style short and crumbly biscuits / Motichoor Ladoo – One of the most popular Indian sweets made with sweetened, roasted gram flour pearls / Mini Chocolate and Coconut Éclairs /
Homemade Mini Cumin and Orange Scones – served with apple and dates chutney. I found the Motichoor Ladoo to have an extremely bizarre texture, it was as though you were eating tiny little beads, so odd! Even more so, I found the Nankhatai biscuits to have a really dry texture and I had to keep gulping them down with wine… classy bird as ever! Although we weren’t completely blown away by all of the desserts, we were told the only none homemade option was the eclairs, but who doesn’t love one of those?
If you’re looking for something quirky to indulge in food wise, and if you have a rather large appetite like me, I would highly recommend visiting Praza for the experience. The afternoon tea experience is incredibly quirky and is now available on the last Sunday of every month from 2pm – 6pm. It’s worth noting it costs £15.95 per person and a bit more at £20.95 for an added glass of prosecco. Praza have also created a children’s version for just £9.95! I must say that the experience has proved to be very much a talking point and seems to be a popular treat for the people of Birmingham. Not everyone will love the fusion of British and Indian dishes, however if you fancy a change definitely book yourself into here, you won’t leave disappointed.
Address: 94-96 Hagley Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B16 8LU
Disclosure: I was invited to Praza for a complimentary Afternoon Tea experience for two. I have written an honest review on my own accord and opinions are 100% my own. The meal would have come to £41.90