Healthy need not always mean boring that was my epiphany at the end of a marvellous meal at Sant Spa Cuisine in Indiranagar. The vegetarian restaurant is in a charming house with indoor and outdoor seating options. The balcony with trailing greenery gives a European vibe and also can be a throwback to Bengalurus Garden City days. The interiors are all calming green and white echoing the back-to-nature ethos that the restaurant believes in.
The name, one of the partners, Pallavii Gupta, says comes from, Sant, which means health in French and our food is driven by philosophies of spa cuisine. And here I was thinking of a flea market! The French sant reminded me of a teacher in primary school correcting my pronunciation of votre sant in a story where the evil villain toasts the bound hero. I couldnt care less about the pronunciation as I worried if the hero would get free and the villain his just desserts.
We started with a vitamin booster juice you cannot really go wrong with a happy blend of carrot and orange with a dash of ginger adding a bite. The beetroot spinach hummus is rightly famous and the gluten-free khakras are a guilt-free accompaniment. There was also a black and white Moroccan hummus (both made of chickpea, with activated charcoal giving flavour and colour to the black one) which went well with vegan khakras.
The fresh fruits and nut bhel had the right mix of tart and crunch with micro greens, pomegranate arils, puffy fox nuts and hemp hearts. Before you get all excited, Pallavii says, The hemp we use has under 0.3% THC, which makes it completely healthy and safe. The hemp hearts are also keto-friendly. We buy hemp from a legal company and we are currently the only restaurant serving hemp in Bangalore.
The spinach mungo and hemp chowder was silky smooth. The North African harissa got a desi touch on low fat paneer in an interesting starter. Still on starters, what can one say about quinoa sushi rolls except that they were as dramatic as they looked and sounded? Wrapped in zucchini, they unspooled delightfully on the tongue.
I always felt sweet potatoes are pretenders. Like the bat in another story in my primary school English textbook who jumped sides in the war between animals and birds, saying it was both animal and bird (my older self recognises self-preservation), the sweet potato is neither sweet nor a proper potato. However, the sweet potato tikki chaat was an honest-to-goodness patty which could proudly walk to shoulder-to-shoulder with the accompanying chutney and vegetables.
Having tried the chaat, can pav bhaji be far behind? So in came the green pav bhaji focaccia with spinach, raw banana, cauliflower and broccoli for bhaji. Since we had tried chaat and sushi, and didnt want the dim sum to feel left out, we tried the crunchy chlorophyll dim sums in red curry. Vegan and gluten-free, they were translucent pillows of joy.
Feeling pleasantly full, we took little bites of the main course gluten-free pizza verde with a ragi base and studded with fenugreek and the spicy Korean tofu bowl with a smidgen of jasmine rice. Then it was time for dessert and I was wishing I had another stomach.
The gulkand cheese slab (mascarpone cheese topped with muesli) and chocolate matcha truffle forest did the honours. For someone who is not particularly fond of chocolate, the green tea added an elegant line to the chocolate ball all the better to play with.