It’s all in the name. Located near Hiranandani Gardens, Powai, Earth Café has a long list of eco-credentials to lodge it firmly within the city’s top eco-friendly eateries. Taking eco-friendly practices beyond the plate and following the three R’s of sustainability - Reduce, Recycle and Reuse - this eat-out will help you green up your act with their eco-straws, no plastic and paper napkins policy, bio-degradable toilets and other eco-conscious alternatives. Earth Café may sit on a busy street, but wander through its inconspicuous entrance and you'll find yourself in a secluded forest-inspired design den with its very own waterfall. Don’t judge by the tiny space as it is easy to feel at home with the warm, earthy tones of the décor, wooden tables, dim fairy lights, artsy lamps, and an assortment of plant pots hanging on the walls. Showcasing a rustic look which brings it closer to nature, this relaxed and casual dining space welcomes not only hoomans but also your four-legged buddies. Offering a delightfully over-the-top experience - you get to stuff your face with foods from around the globe, with soothing music playing in the background or cheering for your favourite cricket team.
Let’s Talk Food
Standing true to its name, the café serves all things organic, gluten-free, healthy and tasty. Believe me, even though I may not look like someone with a poor appetite, my approach while dining out is simple: Skim over the appetisers and main course and leave more room for dessert. A big high-five if you do the same. After all, life’s too short to skip dessert, no? But quite unlikely of me, I not only made it through nine dishes (not counting the drinks), but also an equally amazing dessert, and still couldn’t stop myself from going back home to check the menu online looking for dishes I should try out on my next visit.
It began as a challenge. My colleagues and I, a bunch of people who aren't particular about healthy eating, checking out a restaurant that markets itself as healthy and plant-friendly. But healthy here meant colour, fresh ingredients and an explosion of flavour as opposed to foods soaked in oil or cooked in bulk and then re-heated multiple times.
Right: Epic; Left: Yogi
We started our food journey with Yogi, a dairy-free smoothie with the combined goodness of dates, hazelnut, banana, almonds, cinnamon and fresh coconut water; Epic, smoothie made with raw cacao powder and figs and Pink Lemonade. Cold, thick and mildly sweet, the smoothies are perfect enough to instantly refresh you on a hot day. The Kokum cooler and Wonderful Hydrating - a basil, lemon and watermelon concoction were cooling and refreshing.
The Ghaas Phoos
Avocado and Kale Caeser salad
Moving on to the appetisers, the Avocado and Kale Caeser salad didn’t leave much of an impression on us. Paging all vegetarians, the Mushroom Cigars were the best thing to have ever happened to mushrooms, and are a must try. Encased in crispy, flaky filo accompanied with a creamy mustard sauce whose flavour kept growing with every bite, the cigars do justice.
On the other hand, the Gunpowder Fritter, Awesome Samosa Chat and Bean Tacos are run-of-the-mill dishes. While the fritter’s crispiness was on point, the pungent flavour of gunpowder was missing.
The samosa and tacos didn’t do much to surprise us, probably because no one can make them as well as your neighbourhood street vendor!
Awesome Samosa Chaat
There’s nothing that a spicy mutton dish can’t solve. For us, it was the Sukka Mutton on Malabar Platter. For a Goan fed on my grandmother's Chicken Vindaloo, nothing can come close to the real thing. My companions had quickly abandoned the dish as "too spicy", but for me, the sweet-spicy-sour flavours that meet in coconut vinegar brought back faint memories of grandma's kitchen. Mind you, this isn’t a dish meant for everyone.
The Indian Meal in a Bowl
Next up was The Indian Meal in a Bowl, available in variations including paneer, shrimp or chicken (we tried the one with chicken) is served with masala rice, a nice thick makhani gravy, koshimbir or Maharashtrian salad and mint chutney with sweet potato crisps. Light on the tummy, and something you can order in a hurry.
Grilled Chicken Burger
Just looking at the Grilled Chicken Burger - a grilled chicken patty with dijon mustard, crunchy lettuce, homemade tartare sauce served with a side of summer garden fries and the BBQ Mutton Burger - a grilled mutton patty with cheddar cheese, BBQ sauce, jalapeño, onion jam and alfalfa left us drooling. And, they were as good as they looked!
Goey Chocolate Cake
The desserts are passable, so if you're enjoying the feeling of healthy in the tummy, skip the meetha. If not, the Goey Chocolate Cake is your best bet.
Where: Headrush, Hakone, Central Avenue, Hiranandani Gardens, Powai, Mumbai
When: Monday to Sunday, 12 pm - 11 pm
Wallet Alert: Approx ₹800 for two people (excluding taxes)
Pictures by: Sohail Joshi
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