I like it when people start a food business with a certain understanding of the 'food' rather than going for a saleable product that can sell by applying marketing tactics. One can't serve good food without an understanding of the cuisine being served or the specific type of food that becomes the USP of the restaurant. I am a big fan of regional cuisines of India being served by it's own people and cuisines of the world too when the Chef or the restaurant owner has had some experience of the cuisine.
In fact I love the street foods being served the old fashioned way as I find the traditional street foods are way more healthier than the chain restaurants where food is assembled months ahead, comes frozen to the outlet and is fried or cooked mostly in vegetable oils or hydrogenated fats. It is better not to talk about how the multinational chains treat the ingredients to make the texture and colour desirable, the chemicals used for taste enhancing are scary if you dig deeper.
Don't you think it is far better to get Gol gappa from the corner of the street if you really want something of that type? We can always make friends with our neighborhood samosa chap and motivate him to use better cooking oils etc. Many traditional street foods like Shakarkandi ki chaat (sweet potato chaat), boiled corn on the cob, grilled corn on the cob rubbed with lime and rock salt, Jhal mudi and even the current rage Momos etc are actually quite healthy compared to KFC chicken or Burgers, Pizzas and Donuts from multinational chains. I think there is a great potential for the street food to become more organized, more varied, seasonal and hygienic so that people have more choices when eating out.
Some Cafes are filling the gap meanwhile. Recently I discovered Getafix Cafe in GK-1 that is the brainchild of a health conscious brother-sister duo Anandita and Dhruv Chawla, and they have focused on serving chemical free healthy food cooked with minimal oil. You know my ears will be perked up hearing chemical free healthy food and when I went there to see if they rally serve healthy food I was glad to see the commitment they have regarding making everything from scratch.
Yes they make all their dips and sauces from scratch though I felt they need a little bit of fine tuning in that area. Their breads are baked by someone trusted and have a higher percentage of whole grains.
But hey how good is it to know that a restaurant is not relying on industrially manufactured sauces and dips? Anandita told me they are trying to make tomato ketchup now as people ask for tomato ketchup with many dishes they serve. I know how obsessed some people are with tomato ketchup :-)
I liked the variety of fruit juices (slow pressed, with fiber) and smoothies they have. Names like Cran-Peary, Just Beet it and Yell-O sound really good and the Granny Smith's fix that I tried was really nice.
I tried and loved the Thai salad. It was very close to my favourite version of Thai Pomelo and lettuce salad. Going by this I feel the other salads on the menu would also be really good.
Fish and chips was surprisingly good even though it was air fried. Crisp but a little dry crust and flaky moist interiors of the fish 'fry' was quite interesting.
I tried the quinoa burger and the grilled fish burger and I recommend eating them hot as they start feeling dry after they get cold, air frying to blame but that is a necessary evil when you want to serve healthy food. I liked the grilled fish burger more as it had enough pickled cabbage to keep it moist and juicy. The quinoa burger felt a bit dry but the taste is good.
The dips served with most dishes could have been better and I conveyed my concern about the same to them.
The breakfast platters are worth trying, they serve a few all day breakfast options too. It was interesting to see that they 'air fry' their burger patties and fish and chips as well. Hand cut potato wedges are quite nice when you eat them hot.
With a good mix of sandwiches, pizzas and even hand rolled pastas I think it is a good mix of stuff that people love eating when they go out. The mix mushroom Thai pasta with peanut butter sauce was really good. I had got it packed and it tasted good even when reheated though it got a little clumpy but again the homely wholesome feel of hand rolled pasta was worth it. I would recommend you stick to the wonderful salads they make if you are watching your carb intake or share the pasta with friends or family and get a large salad for yourself.
Desserts are made with minimal butter and sugar as I was informed. A very rustic homemade feel to the desserts is not bad I would say. Arvind liked the desserts but I would prefer skipping desserts if I am trying to eat healthy. They serve some nice teas and coffee too.
Overall I feel there are a few areas where a bit of fine tuning is needed. Like I would have liked a little better dips with the burgers and fish n chips, the pickles with burgers could also be better but the whole idea of making things from scratch is wonderful and I wish them best. Fixing a few minor things no big deal, sticking to the core USP of serving healthy is commendable in such a competitive market.
I think they should open more cafes like this in other parts of the town too. They are already doing home deliveries and I think more people need such Cafes in the city.