Back to brass tacks
That's the philosophy In The Pink, the new organic vegetarian restaurant, lives by. But organic and vegetarian don't always connote a bland, unexciting meal, as they showed us
It takes a lot for a proud carnivores like us to try a pure vegetarian meal. But the 'organic' tag of the three-month-old In The Pink got us curious. Reluctant to meet the same fate as the proverbial cat, we set forth to discover what the restaurant had in store for us. And who better than a vegetarian nutritionist friend, to accompany us on this culinary sojourn?
A buffet meal at In The Pink
Organic is the latest buzz word in the culinary scene. But how many set-ups actually ensure that what they serve is plenary organic, sans pesticide and chemical? Paneesh Rao, the man behind the restaurant, assured us that the vegetables and perishable commodities come from farmers in a farm on Kanakapura Road who produce the certification on their visits. The vegetables also come from farms in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Hubli and Dharwad in Karnataka. Even the oil used here is cold pressed.
The d �cor is rustic, with white rangoli on the walls and cane lamp shades hanging from the ceiling that beautifully complement the cane curtains in this 36 seater. We tried their buffet (R 250), which includes 24 dishes including condiments. It's not humanly possible to try all 24, but we did try the majority of the spread. We started with the refreshing coriander soup, which could have tasted so much better with a dash of salt and chilies. The crispy mint rice papad went well with it. The Aloo Paratha here would offend any true blue Punjabi, given its sleekness and hardly any filling of potato coupled with the absence of the customary dollop of ghee on top. But we enjoyed it with the Bhindi Curry, that was delightfully flavourful, albeit a tad oily. The slivers of tomato in the curry went a long way in adding the zing to the ladies finger dish.
Next on our radar was the Benarasi Aloo that came with a stuffing of cottage cheese, raisins, cashew and tomatoes. Although they did away with the fennel and cumin seeds and ginger, the dish was well made and had a tangy aftertaste once you went past its initial sweetness, courtesy the raisins.
The dal was the most comforting dish of the meal. There's nothing like a bowl of good homemade dal served hot, and this one proved it. We had it with the unpolished red (hence more fibre and nutrients) red rice, which, we were told, is sourced from Karnataka and not Kerala. They use the same rice for the curd rice, which, one of us pointed out, didn't have enough curd and was rather dry. The sambar, made with ridge gourd, didn't impress us but was less disappointing than the Carrot Halwa that followed it.
Setting aside out personal preference for the North Indian Gajar Ka Halwa to its South Indian counterpart, we must confess that this was the most dismaying halwa we have ever had. What more can you expect from overboiled carrots cooked with sugar, milk and cardamom? The Gulkhand flavoured ice cream, with a pronounced Gulkhand flavour and the Mysore Pak somewhat made up for the halwa. Besides the buffet, we also tried the pasta salad, that came with a creamy dressing, a wall of carrots cut in robust triangles and was pleasant on the pallete Regular meals here will ensure that you are In the Pink, we're convinced. And doubly so, when we learnt that renowned vegan Dr Nandita Shah will host a cooking session at the restaurant this Saturday.
Where In The Pink, No 93, 6th Cross, NS Palya Dollars Colony, BTM Layout, Bannerghata Road
Meal for two Rs 575
In The Pink didn't know we were there. The Guide reviews anonymously and pays for meals. The review of Bon Aroma last Monday was also anonymous and paid for.