Blurb: Eat your way to health
Cuisine: healthy food, regional Indian
Atmospherics: The best part about Fab Café is the absolute fit it has with Fab India. Both are run by different companies, but it is a perfect marriage. Up three flights of stairs, or in a lift that fits two people, is the sun-filled enclosure right next to the children’s play area. Large windows overlook a sea of treetops, and while the alcohol licence (for beer and wine) is awaited, you can sip a coffee or a healthy vegetable smoothie.
It does not appear to have been outfitted as a dinner option: the lights are way too bright and all you can see from the windows is black darkness. There is a high degree of standardization: most of the food is prepared in the base kitchen some distance away and finished on the premises. The menu is a delightful mix of regional Indian dishes that seldom make their way to restaurant menus and the usual suspects that cannot be excluded from a health food café.
Three things are not on this menu: white sugar, white flour and refined oil. So, you will have Red Rice Poha (Rs 190), Kumaoni Fox Nut Granola (Rs 220) and Amaranth Muesli (Rs 220) in the breakfast section, but no white bread. The appetizer section features various forms of chaat as well as Galouti Kebabs on Buckwheat Blinis (Rs 320). I tried the spicy dal sprout filled Gol Gappas (Rs 180) that came with three differently flavoured waters which were interesting and fairly close to what you would get at a chaat-wala’s stall.
The galouti kebabs were indeed melt in the mouth and had similar spicing to what you would expect at a Mughlai restaurant. Kerala Fish Moilee (Rs 420) was as authentic as you would find in any toddy shop as was the Palakkad Olan (Rs 320), a coconut milk based stew of pumpkin and lentils.
Plus and minus: The best part is the authenticity of each dish, whether from Kumaon or Kerala. What needs radical improvement is the exit after 8 pm when the store has closed leaving an exit from a back door into a deserted car park. Unless you are parked near the door, it doesn’t inspire confidence.
Food: 3.50; Service: 2.75; Décor: 3.00
Must try: Papdi chaat medley; quinoa pomegranate salad; chicken Chettinad
Where: Shop 10, Local Shopping Centre, Nelson Mandela Marg, Vasant Kunj, Phone: 46041700, 46542545
Timings: Open from 8.30 am to 11 pm (Credit cards; alcohol licence awaited)
Meal for two: Rs 1800