A La Maud
Ajit and Maud - There are no two people better suited to run The Yoga House, a Santorini-style bungalow in Bandra that houses a vegetarian macrobiotic cafe, a yoga class and a shop that means well. They dress in quiet colours, vacation in Varanasi, drink vitamin juices, make natural face packs at home and eat out of copper kahnsa vessels. It’s this lifestyle that they hope to bring to you; the quiet Chimbai village location with its sea and church view will help.
No shoes (or blues) are allowed inside The Yoga House. So we walked barefoot onto the white porch where mal curtains sway against cornflower coloured walls and white Caribbean-style chairs allow parking on all days, at all times. Inside, under a moss green chandelier that takes your breath away, is a store that houses all kinds of goodies - copper vessels from Varanasi; grains, blackberry honey, rose water and earthen ware that provide employment in Fatehpur, Ajit’s home town, and beautiful glass bottles with crystal tops from a Firozabad village that also sent over abovementioned chandelier. Place an order for it here and get it at one fourth the price (start at Rs 15,000) of Good Earth’s lights. Also available at the shop is an in-house range of breathe-easy cotton clothes for men and women, plus homemade face packs (start at Rs 200).
Fruit de Mer
While clues from Ajit’s North Indian background are evident at the store, Maud’s French roots show up in the food, dominated by ingredients like mustard, alfalfa, sunflower seeds. “With a focus on seeds, grains and vegetables, the idea is to return to the basics. We want it to be simple, yet surprising,” says Maud. The taut food menu – conceptualised by natural foods chef Chris Clark – features a small selection of all-day breakfast porridges, salads, sandwiches, dessert and beverages.
We started with juice shots as opposed to big glass portions, an option that allows you to sample different flavours and is more economical. Pink Juice (pomegranate, rose water and watermelon) is tres cooling and Multi-Vitamin (orange, carrot, apple, lemon, ginger) disguises healthy as yum. But what you should really get is seasonal Summer Juice, a shiny, fuzzy orange concoction made with mango, date and fresh mint. If we were to drink the sun, is this what it would taste like?
Who Wants to be a Millet-aire?
More sunny spots appeared in our orange fennel salad, served with a cooling yoghurt-y cashew dressing. The huge salad bowls encourage sharing. At a previous tasting we sampled a cauliflower and lemon soup that was a bit too tangy for our liking - we’re told the pumpkin version is better. The lunch menu was still at the printers so we went with staff recommendations of what could make carnivores cringe – a baked sunflower and pumpkin seed burger, with a pleasantly bitter patty complimented by fresh hummus; and a shallow coconut oil fried quinoa (seeds from Bolivia) and millet (raagi) burger with aubergine spread that was way too tasty to be a health snack. What we love is that although the ingredients are fresh and bursting with flavour, the word “organic” isn’t thrown around for effect.
End with the chocolate mousse, cooked with 100% dark chocolate and cocoa, texturised with cashews and sweetened with dates. Amazingly tasty considering it’s eggless, butterless, flourless and sugarless! In the apple pie however, these ingredients are missed. An interesting tea selection sourced from all over the world is also available, but they’re particularly proud of Ajit’s recipe made with lemon, cardamom, mint and other secret ingredients. Accompaniments include aloe vera and milk laddoos (made by his Ma) that look like fancy truffles.
The small yoga room that fits six has a schedule chalked out with daily morning and evening classes taken by teachers from the Iyengar, Ashtanga and Haatha schools. What’s cool is that if you and four friends need a new time bracket, they’ll slot you in for a private class.
It was on our way out of this “guest home” that we noticed the logo for The Yoga House: a curved bracket symbol that could be a Namaste, a shelter, a cocoon. “It’s really that you’re in Mumbai, but sitting in a parenthesis where you could add a description and make your own,” they say.
bpb pays for its own meals.
|< Prev||Next >|