Tea as a sensory experience

Relax with aromatic brews and gourmet delights at the new Al Fresco Lounge, Prego


Al Fresco Lounge, Prego

Al Fresco Lounge, Prego (left); The spread of snacks and teas

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DNA

Updated: Sep 9, 2019, 06:00 AM IST

When you go to the newest outdoor delicatessen, Al Fresco Lounge, Prego, at Westin Mumbai Garden City in Goregaon East for tea, you won’t have just a cup full of beverage and a saucer placed in front of you. You will be involved in the process of observing and engaging the senses as you sip on it. “It’s more of sensory experience,” Rahul Dhavale, Executive Chef, Westin Mumbai Garden City, assures us. And for that, they have joined hands with Te-A-Me, the renowned suppliers of fine teas around the world, to provide an array of robust yet relaxing brews. From single estate to exotic combinations and fruit as well as herbal infusions, an array of teas waits to delight the patrons. 

The elixir in a teacup will be served depending on the mood and occasion of your visit —Earl Grey to ideate, Chamomile Tea to relax and Rooibos Creamy Vanilla to rejuvenate and Litchi and Wild Berry to celebrate. Right enough, our cup of Earl Grey was soothing and perfectly blended with a hint of rose flavour and the iced fruit infusion Wild Berry, which had a zesty flavour that cooled us down and perked us up. The staff has been trained to suggest the drink and also how it can best be enjoyed.

About partnering with Te-A-Me, Akshay Sood, Director of Food & Beverage, said, “We have some things in common — wellness being the most important aspect. We wanted to give to our guests a refined and enhanced experience of having tea.” 

So far, it was open for guests during evenings but now, it’s been turned into an all-day lounge. “As far as the menu is concerned, from morning until 11 am, we have Viennese pastries, classic baked goods, etc. and then we have an eclectic menu featuring mini sandwiches and salads, quiches and tarts; basically, something that’s a filling snack and yet not overwhelming,” Rahul tells us further, adding that the ingredients are responsibly sourced and local as much as possible. 

The food and tea menus would be revamped at the turn of every season. “For instance, during winters, you can relish heavy and creamy teas or five kinds of masala chais during rains other than Valentine’s Day would have aphrodisiac blends,” Akshay informs us.

What’s more, non-tea drinkers won’t be excluded from the experience. From coffees to milkshakes, the lounge will cater to all kinds of connoisseurs. To go with the cuppa, there will be a spread of handcrafted assortment of cookies, hot oven caramelised puffs, cinnamon-raisin rusk and other delectable snacks. Also, dig into the singing Chef Antonello’s treats including Harry’s Bar Grilled Ham & Cheese Sandwich, Panzerotto Pugliese and much more. As Chef Rahul states, “European culinary traditions have been alive in the menu since Prego is an Italian restaurant.” He sums it up, “It’s easily identifiable, simple, well-executed and flavourful. The tea is relaxing and the food is comfort.”

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