There are only two types of people the world according to a foodie – a Tea Lover and a Coffee Addict. While you find most of the coffee addicts in the southern part of India, there are a lot of Tea Lovers spread across the country. Especially in the north, where the mercury hits rock bottom during winters, Tea or Chai is probably the only way of survival. Driving my scooter, crossing the Gomti River in the heavy fog, my hands were numb. I was just hoping to reach one of the most famous Tea joint in Lucknow at the earliest. A small shop in the posh Hazratganj area, opposite to the famous Novelty Cinema is the famous Sharma Ji Ki Chai or Sharma Tea Stall whatever you would like to call.
Chai and Gyaan
Sharma Ji Ki Chai isn’t the typical breakfast restaurant that serves the elegant continental breakfast. Also, if you are expecting it to be a huge restaurant then you will be disappointed. As the name says, this is a just a small tea stall that is flocked by hundreds in the morning hours. From young students discussion college to retired uncles talking demonetization, there’s a lot of gyaan you get along with the chai. The best way to reach is to take left from Capoor’s Hotel in Hazratganj towards the computer market. You’ll come across a small car parking area on your left, take that left (yes the footpath type road) go straight and you would find the stall on your right.
Bun Maska at Sharma Ji Ki Chai
The tea stall has a very small and tidy menu – not more than 6 items to offer. Sharma Ji Ki Chai offers chai in three variants – the Kulhad Chai priced at Rs 20, the Thermacol glass chai priced at Rs 15 and the normal Chai priced at Rs 10. Even though the way of serving chai is changing, the tea is the same. I was expecting different varieties of chai – something like Masala Chai, Ginger Tea etc. but there wasn’t anything like that. Apart from chai, Sharma Ji Ki Chai serves the famous Bun Maska (Bun and Butter) along with Samosa.
Moving to the taste, the Bun Maska is delicious. They use a sweet bun along with a salted butter, that creates awesome flavors. Priced at Rs 20, the Maska Bun is something that I would definitely eat whenever I’m there. The samosa here is special too. Unlike the regular pyramid shape, these samosas are round and are served hot. There is a separate area down the street where they make samosas, so it might take a while to refill.
Coming to the all important Chai at Sharma Ji Ki Chai, I was disappointed. Being known for something and not keeping it upto the mark, isn’t good. The tea here is watery and lacks the punch in my opinion. Even though I’m not a tea addict, I’ve tried the chai at various places like Ahmedabad, Delhi, Hyderabad etc. and have always got a creamy, tasty tea. There was a sharp taste of elaichi (cardamom) but that didn’t make things better. All in all the tea is average, not something I would go there for.
Final Verdict – One time Visit
The famous Sharma Ji Ki Chai is endorsed by the Uttar Pradesh Tourism department, so you can imagine the importance of the tea stall. This is a perfect place for a quick bite and hot chai before leaving for work or school. The Bun Maska was my favorite and I literally had 3 of those. Samosa was hot and spicy and packed a punch. However, the all important chai was a big let down. The tea doesn’t has the kick that would charge you up for the entire day. Overall, it was a good visit considering the dipping mercury levels here. Sharma Ji Ki Chai deserves a visit when you are in Lucknow. Already visited the tea stall ? What you have to say about chai ? Love it ? Hate it ? Let us know in the comments below.