Dubai’s Luxurious FiLLi Cafe Comes To Chennai’s Ashok Nagar; Marks Its Re-Entry In India

by Vaishalee Kalvankar
Dubai’s Luxurious FiLLi Cafe Comes To Chennai’s Ashok Nagar; Marks Its Re-Entry In India

When it comes to coffee culture, the UAE has its roots deeply committed to it. But all it took to alter this mood was one cup of zafran chai, or saffron tea. Rafih Filli made a minor menu adjustment when he opted to take over his father’s cafeteria in the Al Mamzar neighborhood of Dubai in 2004. Now this legacy has come to Chennai’s Ashok Nagar. This also marks the launch of the brand’s first FiLLi cafe in India.

Dubai’s Luxurious FiLLi Cafe Comes To Chennai


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A cup of saffron-dusted milky tea made its way into a menu that was mostly composed of coffee options. The goal of this Zafran chai cup, called Filli tea after Rafih’s nickname in high school, was to entice his customers’ palates. This legacy first traveled to the UAE, Canada, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UK, and the USA before arriving in Chennai.

The new FiLLi cafe in Chennai’s Ashok Nagar is roughly 1,600 square feet in size. S. Malarvizhi and K. Adithya of Avy Foods are the franchise owners of the opulent café in Ashok Nagar with exquisite murals painted on the walls. 

The cafe offers loose-leaf tea and tea bags, with flavors ranging from the popular zafran chai to lavender and lemongrass, so that customers may replicate the flavors at home.  (As per The Hindu)

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FiLLi’s Commitment To Deliver The Best


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₹1,00,000 was presented by Malarvizhi as a mark of the first sale at the café’s October 18 inauguration. As a waiter comes by with trays of fragrant zafran tea, she explains that this is done to encourage and motivate the staff at every place she opens. The fillbunz and foodles are my favorite snacks to eat with tea, according to Malar. 

The Assamese tea and the direct import of Kashmir saffron are examples of FiLLi’s commitment to delivering the best to Chennai. In addition to the freshly made zafran chai, other items on the menu include iced chai, frappé coffee, and a Madras kaapi shake. 

They are thrilled to open the first FiLLi cafe in India in Chennai, said Rafih Filli, the founder. The location will always have a particular position in the brand’s goals for national growth, he said. He added that, inshallah, they want more customers to visit and try everything.  (As per The Hindu)

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Effects Of COVID-19


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The UAE-born chai business, FiLLi cafe marked its reintroduction to the Indian market. Rafih Filli, the founder of FiLLi, views the most recent action as the brand’s re-entry into the Indian market. FiLLi closed its Mumbai location, which it had opened just before the pandemic, due to the effects of COVID-19.

The founder and CEO of FILLI Cafe, Rafih Filli, told TOI that they observed a lot of interest in and a devoted following for both their signature tea and the general cafe experience in the Indian market, particularly in the South. He mentioned that they had numerous franchise requests from this city, which led them to choose Chennai.

In the next five years, they intend to open about 20 new stores in Tamil Nadu. In the meantime, they are in discussions with a major franchise partner about expanding throughout India, he continued. (As per The Times Of India)

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Have you visited the new outlet yet?

Cover Image Courtesy: @fillicafe/Instagram

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