The recently opened Candy & Green in Mumbai has a peculiar problem — their menus keep getting stolen. There’s no doubt that the leaf-printed menu is pretty, but it hardly has potential as a decorative item. A more convincing reason for these thefts might be the mouth-watering descriptions of the items listed. Take the Gluten Free Savoury Waffles, which are described as “rice waffles with smoked coconut feta chutney, pomegranate, fresh mint, and sumac”. It’s enough to make even the most benign foodie pilfer a menu on the way out.
Owner Shraddha Bhansali sees Candy & Green as more than just a place to eat. It’s a lifestyle, based on being eco-friendly, healthy, and at the same time, indulgent. The menu promises dishes free of “meat, eggs, and any nasties”, rooftop sunrise yoga, and art exhibitions. Above the rooftop bar, is a garden where many vegetables and herbs used in the kitchen are grown.
Much thought has gone into curating the menu, which is a combination of dishes created by Karishma Sakhrani, the runner-up in last year’s MasterChef India, and Bhansali’s mother, Sejal Bhansali. Almost all of them come with a twist and use ingredients not normally eaten by the average Indian. Take, for instance, the Zucchini Parcels, a pastry made of ribbons of zucchini, apricots, ricotta, toasted nuts, and chilli aioli, or the Kale Crumble Tart, with kale, broccoli, and sundried tomatoes — both of which are absolutely delicious. In the main course, the Lemon and Caper Butter Ravioli is a must-try.
Other dishes, however, were a little bit of a let down. Black is Back, a dish with black rice risotto, portobello mushrooms, confit garlic, and truffle oil, was uninteresting (except for its colour) and the rice was more undercooked than al dente. The Smoked Sweet Potato Burger, with black rice, charred onions, jalapenos, chipotle sauce, and feta yogurt, was sickly-sweet, while the Tortilla Soup tasted a little like tomato ketchup.
The highlight of the menu, however, were the drinks. The cold pressed juices — fresh, light, and oh-so-healthy are quite fantastic. Our favourites were the The Joker, with purple cabbage, apple, and ginger, and The Riddler, with pear, fennel, cucumber, and lemon. Even better were the alcoholic beverages — the Blonde Sangria and the Vanilla and Hibiscus Bellini are especially delicious.
The restaurant has bravely stepped away from all the tried-and-true vegetarian dishes, has used interesting ingredients and combined them in surprising ways. The menu is by no means as lean as some of their meals — it comprises 70 dishes and drinks. Give Candy & Green a visit on a low day and treat yourself. But do resist the temptation to pocket one of their menus.
Candy & Green is located at Hubtown Skybay, Breach Candy, Bhulabhai Desai Marg, Cumballa Hill, Mumbai.
Price for two (including drinks) is Rs 2,200