How To Eat Healthy When Dining Out
Diwali is a month away and you’ve resolved to shed a few kilos by renouncing restaurant food and committing to a dull diet of salads. We asked ten popular eateries to name the one dish on their menu that is light, full of nutrients and still a pleasure to eat so you won’t have to.
SALT WATER CAFE
Rose Minar Annexe, 87, Chapel Road, next to Mount Carmel Church, Bandra Reclamation, Bandra (West). Tel: 022 2643 4441.
Order: Beetroot, wasabi, and fresh fennel soup.
Why: This soup combines beetroot, which helps reduce cholesterol and blood pressure and is also rich in magnesium, calcium, iron, potassium and antioxidants. Fennel is loaded with Vitamin C and wasabi is known to have anti-carcinogenic properties. The ingredients are blended with water rather than butter or oil.
Ground Floor, 5 Pheroze Building, Chattrapati Shivaji Maharishi Marg, Apollo Bunder. Tel: 022 6655 1010. Also at First Floor, Palladium Mall, Lower Parel. Tel: 022 2498 6262.
Order: Deli roast chicken.
Why: Indigo Deli’s roast chicken, made with free-range chicken cooked in olive oil, garlic, ginger, and spices like clove, bay leaf and cinnamon, is the perfect guiltless indulgence. While the menu offers roast chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy, Indigo Deli executive chef Jaydeep Mukherjee recommends opting for grilled vegetables as a healthier alternative. “The method is key to it being healthy,” says Mukherjee, “as there is no deep frying involved”.
PALI VILLAGE CAFE
602 Ambedkar Road, near Janta, Pali Naka, Bandra (West). Tel: 022 2605 0401.
Order: Pumpkin and quinoa construct with sauteed spinach and spicy coconut cream.
Why: By combining quinoa, which is a source of protein and also rich in magnesium and calcium, with spinach and pumpkin, vegetables that are packed with Vitamin A, iron and antioxidants, head chef Conrad D’Souza offers diners “a complete health meal”. The spinach is sautéed in only 10ml of olive oil and 30ml of spiced coconut milk, which lends flavour to the dish.
TWO ONE TWO BAR AND GRILL
12-A, Hornby Vallard Estate, opposite Nehru Centre, next to the BMW showroom, Worli. Tel: 022 2490 1994.
Order: Grilled chicken breast.
Why: The chicken is marinated in extra virgin olive oil, which is also used to dress the accompanying salad along with balsamic vinegar and honey. For texture, they throw in spears of crunchy asparagus and lightly charred slices of aubergine. “We grill the chicken, use a light, non-mayonnaise based dressing for the salad and even provide an assortment of veggies, which makes this a balanced meal that won’t weigh on your conscience,” says sous chef Mohammed Bhol.
LE PAIN QUOTIDIEN
Dhanraj Mahal, C.S.M. Road, Apollo Bunder, near the Gateway of India, Colaba. Tel: 022 6615 0202. Also at G2, North Avenue, Maker Maxity, next door to California Pizza Kitchen, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra (East). Tel: 022 6643 1616.
Order: Smoked salmon and cucumber tartine.
Why: Salmon is widely considered a superfood as it’s a great source of Vitamin A and Vitamin B, antioxidants, protein and Omega 3 fatty acids that are necessary for a healthy heart. “Our sourdough bread has no chemical additives and is made using whole wheat,” says Le Pain Quotidien founder and chef, Alain Cumont. The sandwich is assembled using .05 grams of butter, dill, scallion, mesclun, sliced cucumber, onion and smoked salmon.
Ground Floor, Nichani Kutir, Juhu Tara Road, Juhu. Tel: 022 6710 6666.
Order: Couscous studded cottage cheese.
Why: Chunks of cottage cheese marinated in harissa (a Moroccan chilli paste that has garlic and roasted red peppers) are seared in a teaspoon of olive oil, crusted with couscous, and served with a roasted pumpkin and chilli flavoured puree. The dish is garnished with cherry tomatoes and diced green and black olives.
OLIVE BAR AND KITCHEN MAHALAXMI
Amateur Riders Club Building, Mahalaxmi Racecourse, Gate No.8, Mahalaxmi. Tel: 022 4085 9595.
Order: Salt-baked snapper with fresh Mandarin beurre and braised greens.
Why: “Red snapper is rich in protein, Vitamin B and Omega 3 fatty acids,” says Mayank Tiwari, the chef at Olive Bar and Kitchen, Mahalaxmi. “Fish baked in a salt crust is stupidly simple but absolutely brilliant. The salt encloses the fish completely, flavouring the fish and sealing in the moisture, which makes the flesh succulent.” The fish is first cooked in a preheated oven and then baked. The accompanying greens are simply pan-kissed in order to preserve their nutrients. Though the Mandarin beurre noisette is made using 30 grams of butter, the fish is baked in salt with an egg white casing.
Hotel Suba Palace, C. S. M. Marg, opposite Dhanraj Mahal, Apollo Bunder, Colaba. Tel: 022 2282 5000.
Order: Yellowfin tuna tataki with avocado, tomato gelee and sesame vinaigrette.
Why: A simple union of lightly seared tuna crusted with black and white sesame seeds and ripe avocado dressed in a vinaigrette of sherry vinegar, honey, sesame oil, salad oil and soya sauce. “Tuna is high in protein and low in fat and is only lightly seared in cooking oil,” says Gauri Devidayal, co-owner of The Table. “What truly makes it a healthy dish is that there is no butter nor frying involved.”
Shop 1A, Atlanta Building, Nariman Point. Tel: 022 2288 0055. Also at St. John Street , opposite Gold’s Gym , Pali Hill, Bandra (West). Tel: 022 2641 1431.
Order: Eté salad.
Why: “It is difficult to argue that a nutella crepe is the most diet friendly option,” says Antonia, co-owner of Suzette. “However, buckwheat, which is the main ingredient in our savoury crepes is much healthier than any other flour (it’s technically a plant and not a cereal).” Antonia says the flour is organic, and that their spreads and sauces are made in-house (no processed foods, industrial mayo or sodas on offer either). For a meal low in calories you can opt for Suzette’s savoury crepes stuffed with veggies, grilled chicken or tuna (made with yogurt-based spreads rather than mayonnaise). The healthiest dish however, is the Eté salad, a colorful combination of roquette and mixed lettuce leaves, fresh oranges, fresh pomegranate, one seasonal fruit (either fig, peach, mango or grapes), sliced raw zucchini, toasted almonds, fresh mint and parsley drizzled with a French vinaigrette made with olive oil and flavoured with orange and lime juice. “You get the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables in one single plate, antioxidants from pomegranates and vitamin C from oranges,” Antonia says.
OLIVE BAR AND KITCHEN BANDRA
14, Union Park, near Le Sutra hotel, Khar. Tel: 022 2605 8228.
Order: Imam bayildi.
Why: Imam bayildi is a Turkish item of roasted eggplant served with a yogurt-based labneh and pomegranate rice pilaf. The eggplant is first halved, baked in the oven till tender and its flesh scooped out. This flesh is then sautéed with garlic, caramelised onion, roasted tomatoes, chickpeas, Kalamata olives, dill, mint and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. The eggplant is stuffed with this mixture and topped with breadcrumbs (made from toasted baguette without the use of any additional oil). The flesh of the eggplant is sautéed in half a tablespoon of olive oil with a little feta cheese and roasted in the oven till golden brown. “Our version of the Imam bayildi provides a balance of carbohydrates (eggplant), proteins (chickpeas, feta cheese), fat (olive oil), vitamins and minerals (chickpeas, olives, yogurt). Moreover, the roasting technique used to prepare this dish helps to retain the nutrients,” says Thomas Zacharias, the chef at Olive Bar and Kitchen, Bandra.