The vegetarian food scene is fast catching up with its meatier cousin in the city, and though I am an omnivorous, the way nature has made humans to be, I am not very averse to the idea of a meal without meat at times. Though I do not understand the relevance of the word ‘pure’ prefixed to almost all vegetarian eateries, as there is absolutely nothing impure about any food for me, I understand that certain people have the requirement of segregation of kitchen and utensils between vegetarian and non-vegetarian cooking, for religious and customary reasons. So here’s my list of some of the new eateries serving plant and dairy based food, in the city:
- Mumbai Local:
If I love any other city after my own, it has to be Mumbai. So when I was invited to the ‘Mumbai themed’ restaurant in Ballygunge, I was pretty excited to check it out. The place, with its fantastic wall murals will surely transport one to the City of Dreams in an instant. I loved their menu, and couldn’t stop flipping through it, for a good fifteen minutes.
The food here is a slice of the Street Food scene of Mumbai, tweaked here and there, and made fancier. The food here is presented beautifully and has rather interesting names. Be it the gola, or the cotton candy and vada pav, all find a place in the menu. I specially liked their Chowpatty Gola in Litchi Kaffir Lime flavour, with its subtle yet clear lime flavours working magic with the sweetness of litchi. The Dhobi Ghat Chana Batura is a visual delight, with the baturas hanging in a clothes line, held secure with wooden pegs, on a grassy tray.
The Parsi dishes on their menu were a standout too. The Berry Nu Polao and Rustom’s dhansak, in rustic tiffin carriers, were polished off in a jiffy by me. The Rapchik Raspberry drink was the perfect accompaniment to them. The polao and dhansak was my absolute favourite part of the rather long meal, followed closely by the Truffle Cheese Dosa.
The Moroccan themed lounge and restaurant mesmerized me with its stunning decor, from the moment I entered it. I headed straight up to the Lounge area, done up with bright colourful upholstery, candy coloured mirror frames and antique looking swing-seatings. The chandeliers above and the chests of drawers of carved wood, added a regal feel to the place.
I tried out a number of dishes from their menu, but I was really bowled over by their desserts. Of the three desserts that I had at Nawarrah, the Masala Chai Ice-Cream was the first. It looked nothing very fancy, and was a simple scoop on a crumb in a small bowl. But let this not fool you. The first mouthful came as the sweetest, creamiest and spiciest surprise that can ever be, and though I am not a big fan of ice-creams, this one totally made me fall in love with it.
Then came the Baked Gulab Jamun. It was a plated dessert, a rage around the world presently with the good ols gulab jamun baked inside a muffin, topped with rose caviars over a heap of sweet soil. The white chocolate trail connecting the muffin on one end to the quenelle of ice-cream placed on the other, was dotted with smatterings of custard and drops of meringue. This is one dessert I would recommend to anyone who loves different textures in a mouthful.
The third dessert was the Milky Way. The name instantly reminded of a a splendid dessert served at the Farzi Cafe, by the same name. Comprising of Raspberry Mousse Foam, little bites of airy Meringue, a delightfully light Raspberry Ice Cream, White Chocolate garnishings, a salty soil crumble and several other flavour pops of pistachio, lemon and others, this one was a sheer delight to have. Not to mention, this one too looked beautiful. Plus it was assembled right at the table, which made it even more exciting.
3. Hakuna Matata:
Don’t worry, be happy! And eat some amazingly good food while you are at it. That, in a nutshell, is the feeling one would get at Hakuna Matata, Park Street.
When I went to HM on an invitation a few days back, the hosts made sure that the guests were indeed fed well! The meal started with the Crunchy Fried Bharwan Bhindi served with Blue Cheese Mayo Mustard and Khatta Aam Relish. This was a cracker of a dish, and in this. Another very interesting dish was the Slow Roasted Chocolate Pizza with Corn and Jalapenos. Chocolate in savouries is a relatively new trend, and they has executed it with elan, with this pizza. There are no contrasts in this, unlike what might be expected; rather the chocolate seamlessly blends in with the spicy jalapenos. For mains, my vote clearly goes to the Desi Saag Risotto, and I couldn’t stop myself from polishing off the entire bowl of it, in no time. In fact, this my favourite part of the meal at HM.
Read my full post on Hakuna Matata at:
4. The Fan’s Club:
Though this place only serves vegetarian food, quite a few things on the menu caught my attention. The foremost among them was of course the Cheese and Broccoli Momos. With an in-house tomato dip to go with it, these melt in the mouth bags of gooey heaven, made my evening. This is something I will totally recommend to all cheese lovers. Of the drinks, I loved their Apple Tea and will totally recommend it.
The moment I entered Fork & Knife, the first thought that came to my mind was that, I would love to come here for a family dinner. The teens will be happy with their sodas and pastas; the cool, young, newly turned vegan lady will find solace in the idlis and dosas; the health-conscious friends can happily have their clear soups and salads; while I will gorge on some gorgeous naans with daal-makhni and paneer do-pyaza!
The Khasta Kebabs, one of my favourite things that evening, which were a desi version of the aranchini. To me, it tasted like cheesy, curd rice balls, in a crispy, golden encasing and I loved it! The Stuffed Aloo, with copious amounts of dry fruits and raisins in the stuffing was a close contender, but the Khasta Kebabs won my vote.
Read my full blog on Fork & Knife at: