The farm gets an upgrade

Updated: 09 November, 2019 09:55 IST | Dhara Vora Sabhnani | Mumbai

Minali Gaba talks about her restaurant's journey and how she is getting Bandra hooked to healthier food

Acai berry bowl
Acai berry bowl

In December 2017, when Minali Gaba saw Akshay Kumar and Twinkle Khanna walk in for a meal at her four-month-old Farmers' Cafe, she couldn't believe it. In that moment, putting her career in fashion on the backburner felt like a smart call. "As a teen, I weighed over 80 kg. But after a point, I gave up fried food and started valuing my body. I loved food, so I began experimenting at home by making a pizza base with whole wheat, jowar or bajra," recalls Gaba.

She reached her target weight by the time she began working as a designer. Then, Gaba launched her granola bar brand, The Nuttyway, after signing up for a one-day baking class at Whole Foods in Miami while on a business trip.

Turmeric Chai LatteTurmeric Chai Latte

The brand's success (Gaba baked bars at night) encouraged her to open Farmers' Café, a tiny space that soon became a Bandra favourite, and one of the few to serve keto, paleo, vegan and gluten-free options. Now, the café has found a bigger home, with a dedicated space for private dining. Gaba has researched hard to revamp its menu, which includes vegan and gluten-free versions of Indian curries. The self-taught chef built a direct connect with the farms she discovered during weekly visits to the Farmer's Market at D'Monte Park, in order to live up to her goal of offering farm-fresh food.

Manali Gaba
Manali Gaba

The new menu includes innovative beverages such as iced almond milk latte made with coffee ice cubes (Rs 290) and the chai ice cube latte (Rs 270). Along with appetisers like sweet potato wedges (Rs 170), quesadillas (made with sorghum flour (Rs 450), fish (Rs 390) and chicken (Rs 340) fingers, which are baked and coated with almond or gluten-free flour for a crunch. Pizzas made of amaranth will tempt gluten-intolerants while the buns and breads for burgers and sandwiches are made with grains like jowar, quinoa and amaranth. If you are craving a carb-free burger, try the lettuce bun burgers. Gaba wanted to focus on eating local and has hence introduced several millet dishes such as millet khichdi (Rs 390) and muffins (Rs 120). And for that sweet ending, indulge in desserts made with no refined sugar (an ingredient absent from their entire menu).

At Farmers' Cafe, Celeste Building, 14th Road, Khar West.
Time 9 am to 11 pm
Call 7506015930

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First Published: 09 November, 2019 08:21 IST

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