Reinventing healthy food, the traditional way!
Well winter is almost here and it’s the season of heading out with our friends and family and eating out to our heart’s content! But eating out is somehow always considered to be unhealthy and it is widely accepted that health food can never, never be taste good enough. Well what if we could change that?
That is one of the main ideas behind Fab Café, brain child of chef Sunil Chauhan and a health cafe serving absolutely delicious food. Located in Loudon Street, the Café is actually nestled inside the newly opened FabIndia Experience Center. It is a restored colonial mansion, which is also a heritage building. The arched windows and doorways of this palatial building will take you back in time; and that marbble staircase! (if you haven’t paid a visit here yet, do check it out for an ethereal shopping experience!).
Top tip: They have parking space available inside!
We dropped by the café last Sunday, after finishing some shopping at FabIndia and were immediately pleased by their pleasant and heart warming Indian asthetics and decor. One glance at the menu and we knew that they want to push forward the FabIndia legacy into their food as well.
While the items on the menu looked familiar, the ingredients? …well not so much! Quinoa Biriyani? Multigrain Papdi-chaat? GolGappas stuffed, not with boiled potatoes, but with bean sprouts and pomegranete chutney! Along the entire menu we noted, the use of organic coconut sugar or jaggery instead of sugar. There was also a clear emphasis on using native and local elements in their food much like their clothes and hence the healthy options of local vegetables and traditional Indian grains like Ragi, Jowar, Bajra and Kuttu instead of regular wheat.
What we tried
Since we had wanted some light snacks, we selected 2 items – while Sayantan chose the Galouti on Kuttu Discs, I zeroed in on the Chicken Tikka Salad.
The bite sized Galouti kebabs were served on small baked paratha-like-discs which were made of Kuttu grain. We quickly gobbled these up as they were perfectly spiced, absolutely delicious and melted in our mouth.
Healthy tip: Did you know that Kuttu, apart from being Gluten free also contains an essential amino acid Lysine which is missing from amost of our regular cereals like wheat and rice?
The fresh and herby Chicken Tikka Salad served on a bed of crisp red & green lettuce along with onions and green peppers, was mixed with a cashew mint chutney closer to home instead of those bottled italian salad dressings.
While we waited for our dessert to come in, I ordered a regular Capuccino. They served it in a beautiful FabIndia ceramic saucer with a lovely Marigold on the side (a bit of Desi touch!) and a dried coconut & jaggery cake slice alongside it instead of a cookie. While the slice tasted nice, much like our local Narkel-er Naru, but I still love my cookies with my tea/ coffee 🙂 The sugar alternatives here were Organic Coconut sugar or the regular SugarFree if you want some.
Top Top: If you are a Tea person instead, there were also various selections of healthy Organic Tulsi Tea. Also on the menu, the much loved Masala Tea but with a twist. This is flavoured with Almond Milk and Jaggery – Hello Vegan Cutting Chai!!
Last but not the least was the dessert – a sinful and gorgeous Chocolate Cake! Oh but where is the healthy bit gone now you must be wondering? Wait for it…until you hear the ingredients – Almond flour instead of refined flour, Desi Ghee instead of butter and jaggery & coconut sugar instead of refined sugar! Wow!
Healthy tip: Did you know that the use of refined sugar and butter is quite new, and has known health hazards? Our traditional kitchens had been using jaggery and ghee for ages which have far less ill effects.
What else’s on the Menu?
The menu is well balanced and has decent options for mains and sides too. There’s a Kid’s menu as well! The options for beverages are also curated well and are devoid of the the usual suger bombed cold coffees that we usually find in the coffee shops. Even the cold coffee comes with palm jaggery based sugar and options for almond milk. Yes, they make their own almond milk for strict vegans who avoid animal sourced dairy.
The Café is very kid friendly and they have a Kid’s menu as well with items like Whole Wheat Pasta, Pizzas, Pancakes and even Baked Potato Smileys. And if you want a little “me time”, the store has a kid’s play area too, with an attendant to take care of the kids!
The Honuman Verdict – Smile or none?
Contrary to what many of us consider, health food is not about having less of everything, Definitely not having to sacrifice on flavour but it is about choosing the native grains and opting for the right alternatives. It is also about appreciating ancient wisdom and when it comes to food, taking a leaf out of grandmom’s cook books and stick to native and local food. And in this regard hats off to Fab Café on bringing out such a health driven yet amazingly tasty menu for us.
We thoroughly enjoyed the experience and would l love to be back soon – I do want to try out those Jackfruit flour Not-So-Classic Chicken Momos. If you want to get inspired on your journey in the quest for traditional tweaks to healthy food, you must not miss this place.
Top tip: Don’t miss the Kid’s Play area, to keep your kiddo busy while you sip on that perfect brew!
Pinch or Punch in my pocket?
Prices are on the higher side. A light meal for two would cost at least fifteen hundred bucks.
Top tip: FabIndia is offering a one on one free voucher for a limited time with anything you buy from the store.