Healthy, compassionate, environment-friendly eating is in, and Bengalureans are going organic with awareness and vegan with a vengeance! Which is why, there are now a handful of restaurants serving just these foods. And their new-age restaurateurs find dishing them out a “fulfilling, meaningful business”.
Green Theory, which claims to be India's first organic restaurant, opened five years ago to “help people make the right food choices.” "With people looking for both healthier and yummy options, organic and vegan restaurants are now increasingly opening up in the city. It is good to see them, the more the merrier!" says its owner, Bikash Barik. People at his restaurant, he says, opt for pizzas with extra fresh vegetable toppings and roasted vegetables in various types of sauces.
Carrots, in Koramangala, opened three years ago, and is already a hit among vegans. "Our conscious effort is to prevent use of animal products or animal-tested products and promote more sensitivity towards the environment. In the three years we have been around, we have had many people come up to us to know more about organic and vegan food. It’s a growing trend," says the restaurant’s manager.
He believes many Bengalureans are taking to veganism as a lifestyle choice. "A number of non-vegans, especially those with lactose intolerance or those on dairy-free diets, visit vegan fairs that happen in the city quite regularly. And we have options for all such people. The spread is huge," he adds, "Our food is good for health, reduces impact on environment and is compassionate to all living beings."
Veganism may sound boring to many, but restaurants offer interesting spreads, including salads, soups, chaats, croquettes, bruschetta, baked and grilled tofu, sandwiches, burgers and wraps.
Restaurater Jyothi Madinur's quest to eat healthy and promote millet-based food led her to open the Vaathsalya Millet Cafe two years ago. From a ragi malt drink to the thali which has bajra/jowar rotis, her menu is filled with healthy options. "My journey with the miracle grain began 11 years ago, much before I opened the restaurant. People want this kind of food. The response is tremendous. In a city where every third person is diabetic, healthy and honest options are always welcome," she says.
Paradigm Shift Café’s Sowmya Reddy, too, believes that “everyone is transitioning to healthy food” and is proud of her 100 per cent vegan eatery. “I have seen a significant increase in the number of vegans in Bengaluru. When I started out, I knew around 50 vegans. Now, there must be hundreds of us all over the city."