Winters are the best times in Mumbai – the weather is pleasant and breezy in the evenings which also makes it a perfect setting to enjoy fresh and organic food in an alfresco ambiance. Even though it isn’t exactly open to the air, Mumbai’s only plastic-free cafe offers patrons an equally refreshing experience. The restaurant I’m talking about is Summer Garden which is located at Hiranandani Gardens in Powai.
The influence of green is woven into the very fabric of Summer Garden: from the ambiance and handwritten menu made with recycled paper to its organic food. Scattered tables and soft music make Summer Garden a place where people can relax and unwind over healthy food and a variety of teas.
I started off with a refreshing pint of Summer Garden Lemonade – a lemon juice spiced with ginger and mixed with sabja or chia seeds which are popular in Ayurveda for its cooling effect on the body.
After refreshments, it was time to dive into the food! The first item to arrive at the table was Summer Kebabs – a salad made with roccula, watermelon, feta, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, Kalamata olives, balsamic dressing. The salad was served on a flat plate with chunks of watermelon skewered on long wooden sticks arranged in a cartwheel sort of a fashion. It was a really good one.
In between the salad and the appetizer I tried their Carrot Cake smoothie which was made with coconut shards, carrot, walnuts, orange, yoghurt and honey. While it tasted a lot like a carrot cake, my throat was a little irritated with the coconut shards which is why I didn’t enjoy it so much.
As part of the appetizer or what Summer Garden likes to call them, “Nibbles”, I devoured the Mushroom Cigars. For a mushroom fanatic, these slow-cooked mushrooms in filo baked to perfection were a sheer delight.
For mains or Gobbles in Summer Garden’s lingo, I enjoyed the Mediterranean Thali. The thali comprised of pea hummus, babaganoush, pumpkin butter, tapioca tabbouleh, house salad, beetroot, Kalamata olives and whole wheat pita. The highlight of this thali was the pumpkin butter – creamy, thick, flavorful, and naturally sweetened!
I finished my meal with Brioche: a golden buttered french pastry that was sweetened with jaggery caramel and topped with toasted almond cream. Until I tasted this here, didn’t know how much I needed brioche in my life. I relished it with house-made rose petal ice cream.