When you come to know about a restaurant opened by Fabindia, you expect a certain vibe and cuisine. When you enter the restaurant and look at the menu, you encounter exactly what you had imagined. Cool indigos and greys decorate the space, which is bright and cool at the same time, while wooden furniture and indoor plants provide the final touch to Fabindia’s first food venture in Vasant Kunj, Delhi. However, the menu is what is most exciting, as it should be. Because, this is exactly the kind of eating place we need today. Food that is fresh, simple, healthy, and flavours that are uncomplicated and clean. Several restaurants are recognising this, and putting out food that is not frozen, uses local and seasonal ingredients and healthier options like millets, jaggery, etc. All this might seem like the new urban fad, but this is what traditional Indian cuisine has always been all about, to which we are returning after years of misadventures with processed and packaged foods.
FabCafe firmly belongs to this category, with dishes that use millets, amaranth, quinoa, fox nuts, red rice, oats, seasonal vegetables and fresh poultry, fish and meat. The sweetness in the desserts comes from jaggery, dates, palm syrup and not refined sugar. The oils used are unrefined, coconut and olive.
The cuisine is very much Indian, with the menu celebrating several corners of India. From kulath dal from Uttarakhand, the light and delightful palakkad olan, the Bengali fish curry, to the Punjabi saag with soy paneer, every tastebud can be satisfied. The papdi in the chaat is made of jowar, bajra and buckwheat, the tikki is made of beetroot, the biryani is made of quinoa and the white rice is actually cauliflower.
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For people with food sensitivities and allergies, this place fills a huge lacuna. The products used are certified gluten- or nut-free, and the menu clearly signifies grain-free, dairy-free or low-carb. The current global rage, turmeric, features in, among other things, smoothies, and a ‘shot’ made of honey, sugarcane juice and turmeric. However, chef Tirath Singh is very clear that the café does not endeavour to aid weight loss with its recipes or offer therapeutic food. “The focus is on natural and fresh ingredients, because of which food automatically becomes healthier.” He shares that all subsequent restaurants will also follow the same food philosophy.
Ajay Kapoor, president (retail), Fabindia, adds that the idea behind the café, of which there will be several more, was to add a new dimension to shopping and giving multiple reasons to the customer to interact with the company in exciting new spaces.