Novelty Tea House

Don’t mistake it as a place where you get just Tea. It is not one of those road-side tea shops for sure. Situated on Mint Street, Sowcarpet, Novelty Tea House is the city’s answer to some of the best Pav Bhaji joints in Amchi Mumbai.

The Pav Bhaji is his speciality. For once, in Chennai, there is one guy where you can actually ask for extra pav (bun), as the ‘Bhaji’ portion is decent. Especially when you compare the ‘Bhaji’ portion at Saravana Bhavan (SB). May be SB thought ‘Bhaji’ was like chutney and a sprinkle in the corner would do.

The Pav here is probably the best. Soft, hot and laden with butter, you can easily go on till atleast you are done with 6 Pav’s. The ‘Bhaji’ utterly butterly delicious. Cooked on most occasions only after the order is placed. So, it is piping hot. Novelty offers a huge variety even if you eating just the Pav Bhaji. There is the Cheese Pav Bhaji(not for the calorie conscious), Khada(Dry) Pav Bhaji, Masala Pav Bhaji (this rocks), Kadak (Crispy) Pav Bhaji, Jain (No Onions)
Pav Bhaji among others.

You can also try out the Tawa Pulav here. I am not sure whether any other joint in Chennai actually gives you the Tawa Pulav.

While as a South Indian, the Pav Bhaji is what attracts me the most to Novelty. But there’s more to Novelty than just this. Located in the Jain heartbelt of the city, its clientele are predominantly the Gujaratis. And what they love here the most is the Idli’s & Dosas. In fact, it is only place in the city where I have seen Idli Chutney. Just in case you were wondering what that was, it is Idli soked in a bed of Coconut Chutney. And mind you it tastes really well. There are umpteen varities of dosas to choose from, and like I said earlier all are made from pure butter, so you need to skip your diet if your heading here.They sell the Chutney & Sambar too. You can pack up some just in case you fall in love with it.

The only hitch is getting to the place. Would suggest that you take a 2-wheeler if you are going on a weekday. The only day when you can probably take your car will be Sunday.

And how to get there. Take a left at the Flower Bazar police station and head straight down, ask anyone for Novelty and they will guide you. Alternatively you can come via Waltax Road (the road which runs adjacent to Central Station), park your car near Patni Plaza and walk straight down that road. And mind you, you get Pav Bhaji only in the evenings. And it is packed on weekends.

I would give this place 10/10 for their Pav Bhaji, 7/10 for the service, 5/10 for the ambience.

Novelty Tea House – what a novel idea!

3 Comments so far

  1. Lavanya (unregistered) on July 15th, 2006 @ 8:51 pm

    this post stirs up quite an appetite!

  2. Ravages (unregistered) on July 15th, 2006 @ 9:53 pm

    Vinod, you stole my post. This has been in my drafts for a long time. Damn you!

    But yes, Novelty is a brilliant place

  3. vinod (unregistered) on July 16th, 2006 @ 1:58 pm


    Idiot. You didn’t even know where Novelty was. You must thank your stars to have got enlightened about such a good place.

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