By the end of the second week of following the #MeatlessMondays routine, meat starts feeling a bit heavy on the appetite and you’re having lighter vegetarian fare on other days of the week too. I wasn’t a convert and I wasn’t even headed there but the veggies and salads were definitely starting to make my stomach feel strangely clean, green and happy. So I chose a place for the third Monday that’s clean, green and happy – The Yoga House. Now, I have been wanting to go here ever since I heard of it first. But fidelity towards meat kept me straying back to Imbiss on Hill Road. Once I resolved to stick to greens and made it as far as Chimbai, its previous location, but my feet automatically led me to the now closed Serpis Wild Side Café for something more red.
That Monday, I finally made it to The Yoga House, now at Shirley Rajan village in Bandra. Every morning, I stretch just enough to hit the snooze button on my alarm; but here I could totally spend my mornings twisting into a pretzel. A sea green bungalow on the outside, it’s quaint and Mediterranean on the inside with pastel shades and scattered cushions. You’re infected instantly with its calm, laidback vibe. It made me want to begin with ‘I am Sunbathing’, which is a Mediterranean salad.
A lot of thought has gone into crafting a menu that uses moods to describe meals, which nourish the body and mind while complementing and enhancing the effects of Yoga.
The vivacious juiciness of tomatoes and the sardonic sourness of sundried tomatoes coming together, in this salad, was a first for me. The onions spiced up the drama while the feta cheese and cucumber played peacemakers. The salad greens were content to fill in a crunchy applause. They serve much of the fruits and vegetables raw, which means that these are actually living foods with active living enzymes. This makes them easier to digest and full of essential vitamins and minerals. The focus lies on whole cereal grains, seeds and nuts, and local, seasonal fruits and vegetables. I could taste this very clearly in ‘I am Detoxifying’, their signature Quinoa burger. Burgers are not taken lightly by any meat lover – if it absolutely must be vegetarian, it better be phenomenal enough to make you not miss the meat. This patty of the magicians is made of quinoa (surprise, surprise!), watermelon seeds, basil, coriander and spring onion, and has managed to magically acquire the KFC meat patty bite to it. It’s slightly dry but that’s why you have the homemade hummus it comes with. Slap on a good layer and it’s the vegetarian burger you’ve been waiting for.
The food, here, is based on a subtle combination of cutting-edge macrobiotic recipes and ancient dietary wisdom and traditions.
I was told this by the people there and didn’t understand it until I tried the Ayurvedic Sattva Smoothie. This one isn’t easy on the palate for people who aren’t fond of Chyawanprash – that’s correct! It’s a Chyawanprash and almond smoothie and it took me back to the days when I used to sneak spoons full of it.
The café is one part of The Yoga House, and I’m planning to visit all the other parts too on weekends, ever since the place successfully reminded me of the joy and positivity you feel after a pure, simple, Sattvic meal. Catch me there on weekend mornings and I would be twisted into a bow with a Zen smile on my face; but if you spot me in the afternoons greedily wolfing down ‘The Traveller’s Plate’ of mini tartines and salad, leave me alone because that delicious food has made me go rogue.
How to Get There:
The Yoga House
Where: Nargis Villa (Water Bungalow), Sherley Rajan Road, Opposite ICICI Bank, Carter Road, Bandra West
Contact: 022 33126014
Timings: Tue – Sun 8 AM to 9:30 PM
Cost: ₹1,200 for two people