“I’ve always wanted to bring fine sophistication to the restaurant scene,” Kiran remarks. “And I wanted to showcase this with the ritual of afternoon tea.”
The afternoon-tea service at Kiran’s, which costs $45 per person, is truly a testament of the chef’s culinary talent of combining her Indian heritage with Western tea traditions. Guests are served toothsome delicacies, such as samosas, hummus and pea shoot finger sandwiches, cranberry and orange scones, and a variety of desserts and petits fours, in an impressive display on a three-tiered stand. Guests also have their choice of hot teas to enjoy, but one of the biggest hallmarks of teatime at Kiran’s is a serving of the chef’s unique chai tea blend. Kiran’s blend came from a self-imposed chai time the chef-owner would enjoy with her daughter, Puja, who still works with her mother at the restaurant.
“We would both be working in our different offices, and we made a point to take a 30-minute break every day to sit and have chai and discuss business and life in general,” Kiran notes. “It was so relaxing, and when she would drink my chai, she would start giving me ideas, ‘Mom, you need to add more of this… or less of that. [Our blend] is a beautiful, strong, and aromatic type of tea. In chai, you usually add sugar and milk to help balance with the strength of the tea leaves.”