A concept store that houses clothes and food in equal measure is enough to draw the attention of the city’s ever-evolving culinary enthusiasts. We trotted to the one-month old One Point Six in Versova Andheri on a balmy Saturday afternoon with lunch on our minds and hungry tummies.
We walked in without knowing what to expect, there was just one well-dressed gentleman who was digging into a dish that seemed like a mish-mash of daal and rice. With curiosity getting the better of our manners, we enquired and were told that it was the quinoa khichdi with papad choori (INR 340). And then, things got interesting.
As always - the surprise factor. After all, it’s a small space with clothes to seduce your senses even before you realise it’s also a café. Only when you settle down, the food hits you like a tall glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. The eating experience is a heady mix of flavours, ingredients, sustainable produce and informative tidbits from the chef, Arpita Paliwal.
While we were wondering why they use disposable and biodegradable crockery, Paliwal told us that it is part of their sustainable approach to save water. The eco-friendly crockery is procured from a village which has been rehabilitated and this was their way of supporting and creating employment opportunities. The café offers strictly vegetarian food with vegan options - from flat breads, maggi, salads to desserts, it was a little hard to believe that the menu is so elaborate when the space seemed like a fashion store.
We washed down all this information with a refreshing glass of virgin kokum mojito (INR 180) and cold coffee (INR 140). There was no added sugar in the mojito and the sweetness was attributed to the kokum syrup. Refined sugar is not part of their ingredient’s list, unless it’s a dessert; their go-to sweeteners are honey and jaggery.
I tend to veer towards salads in most restaurants and nothing pleases me more than the beetroot variety. The quinoa-kale salad (INR 290) with poached beetroot and lemon dressing stood out. Although, I was slightly wary of the mildly bitter aftertaste of quinoa, the beetroot poached in balsamic vinegar was enough to lure me. Mildly sweet with a hint of balsamic vinegar and topped with feta cheese, this salad would give tough competition to my other favourites in Bandra.
We also tried the Arugula pear salad tossed with crunchy caramelised walnuts and a rather ingenious kasundi vinaigrette dressing (INR 290). Anything with mustard tugs at my heart strings and this was no different; a clear winner for anybody who is a fan of the pungent spice and a taste that is best described as ‘umami’.
After having our fill of ‘healthy’ food, we craved for some more cheese. The cheesy maggi (INR 160) with olives, corn and mushrooms hits the right notes and can be best described as monsoon food for the soul.
We were bursting from the seams and decided to skip dessert. Some shopping made us feel better for missing the best course of a meal. But the apple pie appeared with compliments from the chef. While it was warm and fresh, it was a little too dry in the mouth and we felt that a scoop of ice cream would have completed this dish.
People would walk in expecting to shop for clothes and accessories, while eating here might strike as an afterthought. The challenge of this place is to make the extensive menu and culinary delights stand-out to woo unsuspecting shoppers and passer-bys. Until such a day arrives, One Point Six falls in the category of an indie film; if you are not a curious foodie you will miss a great meal.
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