Cafe Tesu Offers A Promising Start To Your Day
While growing up in central Kolkata, I witnessed a pretty sight in the neighbourhood park once a year. Of all the trees that lined the green round, one of them spectacularly changed colour once winter ended. The dark green metamorphosed into a deep coral, almost like a raging flame shrouding its very existence. That beautiful sight remains etched in my memory—the azure background inked by the gorgeous russet clusters of Butea monosperma. Locally known as Tesu, or flame of the forest, this phenomenon was acknowledged as the blooming of the Krishnachura, to herald spring.
Little did I know that at Café Tesu, where we stopped by for breakfast one morning, our musings would take us back to those childhood years, replete with vignettes of the flower. As sunlight streamed in through the large windows, we shared stories and an autumn tea infused with rose petals and lemon balm. If mornings set the tone for the rest of the day, this certainly was a promising start.
Located in quarters that earlier housed a renowned bakery, Café Tesu is a delightful find in the heart of the Capital. The bright blue walls outside set the tone of the visual experience within. It’s a spacious eatery, done up with distressed rattan chairs and tables. Merging Mediterranean and European influences in its décor, we are immediately taken in by the happy vibes the place emanates. Pink flamingos and cute motifs dress the walls; vibrant jars and hanging plants spread a colourful cheer all around. We settle down to break bread.
Absolutely ravenous, my friend zeroes in on the carnivore breakfast, a platter of buttered toast, baked beans, grilled pork and chicken sausages and two eggs cooked to order. She devours every item on the plate without further delay, occasionally sipping on her Apple and cinnamon flavoured iced-tea.
I am served Café Tesu’s signature Benedict which is a revelation. Soft poached eggs mounted on crispy English buns with smoked salmon are topped with a buttery hollandaise sauce. Every bite is an interplay of texture and taste, subtle yet full of fresh flavours. Accompanied by a strawberry smoothie, this is the best way one could kick-start a day. Those with attention to fibres can opt for the yoghurt parfait (with granola and seasonal fresh fruits). The Eggsecutive Benedict is also an interesting alternative with shrimp instead of salmon.
If you like your mornings to start on a sweet note, order the French toast, a decadent dish of brioche bread dipped in custard butter, grilled golden and served with cinnamon cream. Or maybe the Banoffee waffle served with warm brûléed bananas and rich cinnamon butter. We took a slight detour with the café’s signature pastry, a fragrant celebration of pineapple sponge cake, kiwi and pomegranate bits and orange blossom cream. It set the mood for our next visit.