But the one noticeable trend that I could see even as the pandemic spread was a widespread innate desire to live simpler
I decided to end 2020 on a mixed note, being sloppy by taking a break from my workouts and yet being persnickety as to what I put into my system. It was all about healthy eating and endless lazing, things most people don’t utter in the same breath but if there ever was a failsafe combo, this could be it.
But the one noticeable trend that I could see even as the pandemic spread was a widespread innate desire to live simpler. Everyone seemed to be taking stock of all they had or wanted and making significant culls on that list, reducing it to the essential minimum or replacing it with more qualitative options. If you are on that journey, read on for these have been some worthy investments of my time and resources.
Kaze Living: This youthful brand, with its equally young purveyors, Shruti Jain and Anisha Goel, is inspired by the Japanese word for ‘breeze’ implying an ease of living simply, surrounded by fewer things but uncompromising on quality. The philosophy then translates well into their ware; I received this box of goodies – fresh greens, cherry tomatoes (that would have put cherries and tomatoes to shame), some very fine Kombucha, and oyster mushrooms that were worthy of being entered in some beauty pageant! For a carnivore like moi, who considers salads an absolute abomination, I was surprised to find myself craving a bowl-full of the stuff (fine, I garnished it with bacon, but still). So go to their site and get a subscription which will have a well-curated box delivered to your home and for me it achieves two significant things – takes the brainwork out of eating healthy at home and most pertinently, I am saved the horrible ignominy of being caught buying leafy greens or other healthy comestibles in public!
Khhet: This is a brand that also found roots during the pandemic and their curated set is a bit different in terms of the kinds of edibles packed but it is fresh and healthy nonetheless. There was a smorgasbord of dips and pickles, a fresh sour dough loaf and a box of lavash, cocoa granola, some precious honey, and other tid-bits that could be used as garnishes or flavour-spruces. There was even a fun crafted cocktail pre-mix from Dandy by Fio. So a bit indulgent, but everything about the pack was tuned into having a stay-in experience that could parallel going out except that here the products were all handmade and held only one degree of separation between the maker and the imbiber.
Machan: If you still have the need to step out for a meal then the Machan at the Taj Mahal Hotel is the hottest new eatery in the capital. They renovated the space to harken back somewhat to the old (original) styling but it was the food that has been seriously revisited. Gone are boring buffet counters and endless platters dying under the Alto-Shaam lights. Instead you have a fairly extensive menu divided rather curiously into categories that bely the norm but manage to cover every possible range and style of food you could wish to eat. The dishes comes largely pre-plated (except for the Indian fare which can still be silver-served and shared) and frankly, the presentation and choice of ingredients made this seem more like a semi-formal dining experience than a regular jaunt to a 24-hour cafe. The decor is tasteful and a sign of the times to come, when people are focusing more on the subtle details than the overt and obvious. Great job, or shall I say, ‘Wah, Taj’!
Roasted by Roseate: My next choice of eatery/patisserie is also in the capital which is a sign of just how nonexistent my general travel is thereby allowing me zero-access to similar openings elsewhere in the country. This is one lovely unpretentious cafe, situated in a quite Vasant Kunj market, serving up some surprisingly good and fresh seasonal fare, all served up by a team that is equal parts passion and panache. The Pinsa flatbreads seem to be extremely popular but try the other stuff too, and save space for desserts, all to be downed with some TWG teas.
The writer is a sommelier