Bookies are probably placing bets as to how many more restaurants are going to spring up in already crowded Khan Market. The latest is Watermelon, in the corner of the middle lane of Khan Market, just above the Shahnaz Husain clinic. You will see a health café in light, bright colours. Don’t let the words health café put you off, because the food has been created around the platform of health and nutrition but the recipes couldn’t have been more delicious.
There are many main courses, but in my mind, I will always see Watermelon as a salad and sandwich place. The wonder of it all is that the salads are really interesting and stylish, with a healthy, supremely fresh bite and the sandwiches are far more imaginative than other places. But first, a word about why they call it a health café: the menu features vegetarian options and dishes with white meats. There are just two dishes in the entire menu made with red meat. Further, all the food is cooked in olive pomace oil and thirdly, there’s a well-known nutritionist with some kind of a tie-up with Watermelon, available for consultations.
The salads all seem to contain fresh greens – rocket and/or lettuce with hints of basil and parsley. My Grilled Prawn Salad, Fresh Fennel (Rs 389) had an extremely generous portion of prawns grilled optimally to retain their crunchiness. Fresh greens including thin strands of fennel gave the dish its character. Apple and Feta Cheese Salad (Rs 229) sounded just as good, as did Watermelon Greens (Rs 219) – a kind of house salad with rocket leaves, lettuce, goat cheese and watermelon in a vinaigrette dressing.
Green Pea Cappuccino (Rs 139) is intensely flavourful and I can imagine myself trudging up those interminable stairs to have a steaming cup of it all winter long. Unencumbered with industrial quantities of flour, it depends on the purity of its ingredients for its thickness and is highly recommended.
I have found that it is almost impossible to wade through a menu in our city without encountering a spelling mistake or three. Hence, what exactly Blinesse could be, I wouldn’t know. At first, assuming it was a spelling mistake for Russian blinis, the classic pancakes, I ordered Asparagus and Goat Cheese Blinesse (Rs 349) but what turned up were large wontons napped in a completely addictive cream sauce. The filling of the wontons was strong, powerful goat cheese with the mild flavour of sliced asparagus. The contrast between two textures was extremely appealing.
Watermelon is not the kind of place that avowed non-vegetarians gather at to overdose on meat. The best dish of the evening turned out to be an imaginative crepe: Spinach and Corn Crepe with Orange Thyme Sauce (Rs 259). Though there’s a non-vegetarian version, I chose one of the vegetarian options just to see how successful they’d be. The crepe itself was made with whole wheat flour, the spinach and corn kind of receded into the background because the citrussy orange sauce was what made the dish the star that it was.
I did spot Lamb Shanks with Soba Noodles (Rs 349) on the menu, but I was not tempted to try it. Not after a great meal packed with flavour and truly delicious vegetables.
Flat No. 7 Khan Market
Tel: 45840066, 9582215550
Open from 12 noon – 12 midnight
Meal for two: Rs 1,000
Credit cards accepted; alcohol licence awaited