The Tamarind Tea Room is a sweet little spot just next to the main restaurant. The space is small but very comfortable and elegant. There are 6 tables and one extremely warm and friendly staff member taking orders. He immediately made us feel at home, chatting and recommending various teas to go with the food we ordered.
The first page of the menu has a welcome note. The owner started the tea room to connect childhood memories of drinking tea in India to his NYC life, "My family always prepared for the day ahead with a bracing cup of fine tea. After school there was afternoon tea awaiting us, and in the evening, a relaxing cup as we shared the events of the day". You can feel his love for tea and family through this relaxed and amiable restaurant.
We went with the 'tea for two' option, which includes a sandwich, pot of tea, and dessert. This option is a large amount of food, and should satisfy even the hungriest lunch seekers. There is a suitable list of Indian teas as well as oolongs, greens, and herbals. Something for everyone. I decided on the Assam which was bold and reviving. It was served in a perfectly sized teapot. My saag paneer sandwich was filling and tasty, as was the creamy rice pudding and buttery cookies for dessert. The tea paired well with the food, creating an overall sense of happiness and peace. It helped with digestion, too! My idea of the perfect lunch.
The gentleman waiting on us was so friendly we felt like regulars. Service was a little on the slow side, so I'd suggest coming here only if you have an ample lunch break. The food was so delicious and the tea selection so satisfying that I will definitely be back. It's a great place for a long lunch away from the office, or a break from shopping in the flatiron district. Tamarind Tea Room is an absolute gem.
Tamarind Tea Room: 41-43 E 22nd St, New York, NY 10010