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Time to return to basics

india Updated: May 06, 2011 13:45 IST
Megha Mahindru
Megha Mahindru
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

What: Yoga House
Where: 53, Chimbai Road, Bandra (West).
Call: 65545001
What’s on the menu: Sandwiches, salads, pizzas, Italian and Mexican cuisine
Drinking: No
Smoking: Yes

In Bandra’s fishermen’s village of Chimbai, a young couple hopes to share their lifestyle through a newly opened enterprise. Yoga House, no wonder, offers everything from daily workout sessions to apparel, organic food and homemade, natural cosmetic.

The idea of a French woman and her boyfriend trying to sell holistic well being to a country that believes it conceived it, makes the very premise of Yoga House quite tricky. The entry to the Mediterranean-themed white and blue café may work as a litmus test for their clientele.

For those who cringe at the thought of removing their shoes, as a blackboard at the entry proclaims, it just is not the place to be.

The café is an antithesis of everything that Bandra’s young are in for. Instead of gooey, cheese-laden nibbles, the grease-free menu, carefully crafted by Paris-based Christopher James Clark, comprises organic, macrobiotic, grainy snacks. So a slice of Apple Pie (Rs 230) finds its sugar and butter ingredients swapped for a bite of almond, oat flour and dates, while a glass of Summer Juice (Rs 200) translates to a warm, yellow pulpy concoction with hints of mango, date and fresh mint that is served in a copper glass. This in a country, where eating out is synonymous with indulgence, makes Yoga House quite a disappointment.

While the vegetarian eatery is still struggling to bring in a full-fledged menu, what’s on offer currently is a developed breakfast menu. A cock-a-doodle-doo echo is accompanied with your breakfast, that comprises a limited menu of porridges, home-made muesli and some fresh fruit salads.

The Bauji’s Porridge (Rs 260) evokes memories of childhood and why you shunned away mom’s healthy offerings. The café doesn’t use sugar, so a pinch of jaggery in the porridge, that otherwise boasts of raw flavours, does make it easy to digest. The Fruit and Dry fruit salad (Rs 200) with seasonal fruits sprinkled with cashews and raisins makes for a healthy, delicious portion.

The café has a good selection of teas from across the world. A pot of Gunpowder green tea from Sri Lanka (Rs 200) was totally worth the wait (30 minutes for a pot of hot water). However, we are eager to know what the pricey Darjeeling tea (Rs 1000) tastes like. Situated next to a cold storage and meat shop, with the distinct smell of fish in the air, Yoga House doesn’t work as a sanctuary it aims to be.

What we like
The ambience
Breezy bistro seating

What we don’t like
Less health food options
The prices