How many times have you visited a coffee shop and ordered anything but coffee? Well you would most probably land up doing that at Coffeetales, especially when you’re not a first timer.
Located in the quiet residential locality of Shenoy Nagar, Chennai, Coffeetales is perfectly placed for a peaceful coffee experience, though just a street away from the hustle-bustle of the fast commercialising Anna Nagar, which still is one of the largest residential areas in Asia. The first thing that caught my attention when I walked-in is its signature comic-book themed ceiling, which is most unique of this café.
Among my 5 visits to Coffeetales, I had ordered a coffee only once, and that was during my first visit. The reason being, when you open the café’s ‘heavy’ menu, you don’t just get indecisive in giving your order, but coffee takes a back-seat when compared to the humongous list of other options classified under hot beverages, cold beverages, crushers, shakes, mocktails, Mojitos, shots, fruit ice-cream and the magnificent of all, their exclusive ‘Maggi’ (noodles) menu, which comprises of more than 40 different ‘Maggi’ noodles based dishes, and the most famous of them being the ‘Paneer Masala Maggi’, ‘Kaara Kulambu (Spicy Curry) Maggi’ and ‘Mor Kulambu (Dahi Kadi) Maggi’.
Despite being a ‘sworn enemy’ of Maggi noodles, for obvious reasons, I couldn’t stop myself from tasting some ‘Paneer Masala Maggi’ ordered by my friends, and honestly, it was lip smacking good. It’s a paradox that I had to try the tastiest ‘Maggi’ ever at a coffee shop, which is why it didn’t come as a surprise to me when I learned that the noodles are one of the best sellers at Coffeetales and people come here more to try their various ‘Maggi’ flavours, than coffee. For the record, we also tried the Kara Kulambu Maggi and the DMTC (Double Maggi Triple Cheese) during our last visit. The Kara Kulambu version was as delicious as the Paneer Masala but the triple cheese version was a bit too heavy.
We also tried the ‘Crispy Baby Corn’ sandwich, just to check how a ‘non-Maggi’ snack fares, and to my surprise it was pretty decent, if not amazing. Another overall best-seller is the ‘Oreo’ milkshake, which is always drooled-upon by my friends, but I personally found it to be more a novelty than something which really impresses one’s palate. Among the non-coffee based drinks, my favourites are the ‘Cranberry Margarita’ and the ‘Lemon-Orange Mojito’. The Margarita was sheer heaven, with each sip blending with the salt on the brim making me wish for it to last forever. The Mojito (which was actually ordered by my friend) was equally stunning, and I plan to have it during my next visit. Another drink which impressed me the first time was the ‘Berry Bull’ which is a blend of Red Bull and Strawberry pulp, but it disappointed me the second time, since it tasted more chemical in the repeat.
While they have their signature collection of gourmet coffees, which sure are visual treats before hitting your taste-buds, I learnt that they are easy on your stomach too. I got this info from the owner of the place, Mr. Manoj Chandak, who explained that they blend the coffee beans (Arabica and Robusta) in a proportion that helps reduce the acidity substantially. Apparently, Coffeetales also gets a regular bunch of health conscious customers who come purely for its ‘less acidic coffees’.
Out of all, what stood out among my experiences at Coffeetales was the fact that the owner of the restaurant spends most of his time at the restaurant helping the customers in ordering and taking their feedback, instead of just sitting behind the cash counter. If you are fortunate enough, you might even have the privilege of getting a dish prepared and served by Manoj himself, who is more than happy to do so if he finds the customer unsure about what he is ordering.
Ratings (out of 5)
Ambience: 3.5 | Food: 4.0 | Service: 3.5 | Overall: 3.5
Alcohol: No | Credit Card: Yes | Meal for two: ₹500/-
Address: Coffeetales, 7, 7th Cross Street, Shenoy Nagar, Chennai – 600 030 | Telephone: +91 44-42041888/43561888/+91 97907 50555
– Aamir Rahman