|Alleyway entrance to the chai lounge.|
The menu was mainly taken up by drinks of various forms (including chai, craft beer and cocktails), but also had a selection of Indian, Indo-Chinese and non-Indian street food.
|Part of the menu - there were also 30+ types of craft beer.|
The setting was cozy and casual, with a natural look from the upcycled furniture made from coffee sacks, pallet boxes and tree trunks. Edison bulbs and plants on planks hung overhead. From other people's pictures, it appears quite magical at night with fairy lights too.
|A hidden hideaway in Sandringham village.|
The service was engaging and informative - the person who looked after us not only told us about the specials and provided details about the menu items, but shared interesting things like:
- his parents own the four Satya restaurants
- the chai lounge has been around for about 6 months (the spice shop somewhat longer, and the restaurant next door has been there for 16 years), but it had a quiet start as it didn't have all the signage out the front
- he decorated the place over the space of a month while his parents were on holiday, with help from his friends (one of whom works at a landscaping business and another at Allpress coffee)
- the reason there are Chinese-sounding items such as fried rice is because India and China are close to each other, and Chinese immigrants have influenced Indian cuisine
- idli and dosas are traditionally eaten for breakfast
We were also invited to take a look at the spice shop in the next room, a corner of which was being used to cook our food. Apart from spices and teas, you could also buy idli and dosa batter from the fridge!
|Spice shop area.|
What we had included:
- Spiced buttermilk ($2) - this was a savoury and refreshing drink, seasoned with coriander leaves and spices
- Masala chai ($1 small, $2 larger) - we ended up ordering another one of these because we loved the blend of flavours in this milky tea
- Vegetable manchurian ($12) - these freshly fried balls were delicious! The sweet soy flavour of the brown sauce went well with the spicy and gingery bites.
Overall, we were stoked to have stumbled upon our first chai lounge in Auckland, where you can relax, snack on tasty food, and choose from a wide selection of drinks. Others have even apparently played a game of carrom there, but we don't need entertainment to entice us back for another visit!
Store DetailsSatya Spice and Chai Shop
515a Sandringham Road, Sandringham
(09) 845 8451