One Organic Pizza, Please

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EARLIER this month, Mumbai’s popular restaurant The Bombay Canteen sent out a tweet, inviting resumes of people with “a passion for food to come aboard, travel across India and develop relations with farmers and producers”. Within the next couple of days, the restaurant’s chef Thomas Zacharias received mails from over 80 candidates, most of whom, he says, were those looking to switch their career. While this reflects the popularity of the restaurant, it also shows how seriously Indians today are taking their food, especially the healthy variety. “Indians are not only recognising the vast variety of cuisines but also realising that eating healthy means eating fresh, locally sourced seasonal ingredients,” says Zacharias.


When The Pantry launched in Kala Ghoda in 2012, their promise was a menu that would not feature imported goods but ingredients that they would source from farmers in and around Mumbai. Organic and/or artisanal, their hams, cheeses, vegetables lent their menu a distinct touch. It’s been a format that many restaurants have since followed. Today, as they evolve, The Pantry reworks its menu every season to include specials and has also since introduced items that appeal to the health-conscious. For instance, there are organic waffles served with seasonal fruits, vanilla custard and honey, vegan milkshakes and home-baked granola, among other items, on their menu.

Likewise, Birdsong Cafe (Bandra), the Belgian chain Le Pain Quotidien, The Sassy Spoon (Bandra, Nariman Point) in Mumbai as well as Lean Chef (GK II), Organic Express (Gurugram), and Nourish Organics (Lodhi Colony) in Delhi-NCR, have menus that accommodate healthy food choices.

While a number of restaurants have begun to include such options as a part of their overall menu, in the near future, say chefs, the trend will shift towards superspecialised restaurants. For instance, everything on the menu of Mumbai’s Sequel, a cafe in Bandra, is gluten-free. In Delhi’s Shahpurjat Village, Greenr Store and Cafe promises a menu that promotes “vegetarianism and veganism”. Greenr, they claim, was started with the primary focus of endorsing “sustainable living” and making it “accessible and acceptable to an audience group that is eager to embrace it”. The restaurant offers a wide range of delicatessen and condiments that include raw and organic juices,
natural gelatos, organic coffee, and hand-crafted organic chocolates.

Located in GK-I, Delhi, Getafix too promises a “guilt-free indulgence”. They offer dishes that are usually considered comfort foods, such as pizza and burgers, in nutritious options. “At Getafix, we have managed to keep the food tasty, healthy and cost effective. A lot of young professionals live away from home, eating out almost every day. Many of them now realise they need healthier options and that a burger or a pizza can be done better than what they would get at an outlet of a chain. We will see a rise in the number of options for healthy food in the future,” explains Aanandita Chawla, co-owner of Getafix.