Here’s what we loved (and didn’t) at the city’s latest restaurants and pubs.
iThink Fitness Café
Bandra-based Suren Joshi knows a thing or two about fitness. He runs a celebrity-frequented gym that he – with his taut physique and rippling muscles – could well be considered an owner-ambassador of. He’s always been a healthy eater, so iThink Fitness Café, named along the lines of the gym, seems to be a natural extension of his brand.
Conveniently located in Bandra West, the small eatery is ideal for takeaways or a little lounging, whatever you prefer. Its design is minimalistic and inviting, with a mix of small and big tables, including a communal one that encourages conversation with like-minded, fitness conscious diners.
The menu booklets are a stroke of genius. They look like catalogues from the 70s with old school fitness related ads and articles, and pages listing the F&B offerings are sandwiched in between. The menu is expansive enough to accommodate all kinds of diets, so be assured that no matter what regime you’re following, there’s bound to be something to pique your interest.
There’s a delicious Housemade Granola Bowl that you can have with your choice of cow or almond milk, or kefir yogurt, which we went with – a simple, wholesome start to your day. Fancier, and a little harder to replicate at home is the divine and filling Half Hass Avo and Smoked Salmon Salad. The dish replicates Eggs Benedict, with a halved avocado serving as a flawless substitute for brioche. The hollandaise is creamy, baby spinach tossed in balsamic dressing is a healthy side and there’s a slight hit of sriracha to jazz up the salmon.
Smoothie aficionados, there’s a wide variety to choose from. We got the green one – with matcha and moringa – that’s a little on the sweet side, but all natural and definitely nothing to feel guilty about. For the coffee lovers, there’s an Iced Americano to die for.
Do save room for guilt-free dessert – the Flourless Chocolate Fudge will have you going back for more, and for a change, you won’t have to think twice.
What we like: Options to suit every diet
What we don’t like: Slightly overpriced
MW Verdict: 3.5/5
A visit to a brewery is usually for, well, the beer. And Gateway gets a lot of those. Their beers are available at a wide network of bars, cafés and more, and we’re big fans. But this visit to their spacious BKC venue has us excited for the food too – mainly because chef Viraf Patel, the whiz behind Café Zoe’s brilliant food, has done the menu here as well.
The owners insist that while we’re welcome to order starters, we shouldn’t fill ourselves up, because barely anyone who drops by gets to the good stuff – the mains. We did take their advice, getting some zucchini chips (soggy, oily and avoidable) and addictive chicken wings to go with a round of Kaapi Stout and their bestseller, White Zen.
As promised, our mains are a standout. Patel absolutely nails it with wonderfully light and fluffy Pumpkin Gnocchi, teamed with a restrained citrus sage butter that might well have you lick the plate clean. Seared Duck Breast, our other order, is just as good. The duck is cooked perfectly, accompanied by kale, chickpeas and a smattering of pomegranate that binds the dish together beautifully.
Dessert, too, is beyond our expectations. The Beer-A-Misu is a delectable, light take on the Italian dessert, while the Chocolate Stout Cake is its very antithesis – dense, rich and heavy, balanced well with a scoop of ice cream. But the one that wows us the most is a delicate Financier, also served with ice cream, which we got only because the staff insisted we try it. Moral of the story: listen to the owners and their well-trained staff, and definitely land up here for the food, not just the beer!
What we like: Mains
What we don’t like: Chocolate Stout Cake – slightly denser than we’d prefer (still not a deal breaker)
MW Verdict: 4.5/5