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Home > Mumbai Guide News > Mumbai Food News > Article > This new all veg cafe at SoBo promises innovative fare made with fresh produce

This new all-veg cafe at SoBo promises innovative fare made with fresh produce

Updated on: 27 June,2018 07:02 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Snigdha Hasan |

A new all-veg cafe and diner in SoBo offers innovative gourmet fare that moves beyond vegetarian staples while championing fresh produce

This new all-veg cafe at SoBo promises innovative fare made with fresh produce

Botanica special cottage cheese sushi burger


For a vegetarian who chooses to eat out in the city, it's likely that the meal they have will fall under one of the following categories: street food, Gujarati/Rajasthani thalis, a random selection of "continental" food (think pizzas, burgers, Chinese-Indian dishes, nachos and other Mexican offerings) and fare christened as Punjabi/North Indian.


While diners in SoBo's Opera House-Girgaum area have had several options to choose from in each of these categories, what the locale had been missing was a place that goes easy on multiple iterations of the paneer tikka and instead, plays with ingredients like zucchini, jackfruit and yam by giving them an edgy twist. The newly opened Botanica promises to plug that gap, and whether or not it delivers is what we aim to find out on a rain-soaked Monday night.



Basundi rose caviar
Basundi rose caviar


From the potted plants swaying in the stiff monsoon breeze to the cutesy succulents on each table, framed botanical diagram-like floral paintings and an aesthetically designed menu, true to its name, the restaurant has a nature-based theme running through it. For a rainy weekday and a restaurant in its third day of existence, the place is fairly well-occupied.

Rajma galouti
Rajma galouti

We settle in and the lady waiting on us recommends we try their botanical cooler (Rs 250) and butterfly on flower (Rs 275) from an interesting-sounding mocktail menu designed by mixologist Gaurish Rangnekar. The drinks take longer than usual to arrive, but when they do, they make for a pretty picture. While the cooler is a refreshing mix of fresh mint, malta, cinnamon and pomegranate, the mauve-coloured butterfly pea tea (imported from Singapore)and elderflower syrup drink is a tad sweet and well, syrupy for our liking.

Makhni Ravioli
Makhni Ravioli

There is a range of Asian, European and Indian appetisers to choose from and we have our eyes set on the eggplant parcels and assorted savory cakes, even as we are told the latter is much like kothimbir wadi. However, we are informed minutes later that the dishes are unavailable. The restaurant didn't expect such a good turnout on a Monday, they tell us with sheepish candour and apologise.

We pick rajma galouti (Rs 370), truffle edamame and sweet potato dim sums (Rs 380), and Botanica special cottage cheese sushi burger (Rs 400), and the kitchen seems quicker this time. The kebabs come with a crisp skin and melt-in-the mouth rajma filling that lends itself beautifully to this veg version of the mutton dish. The dim sums get the sweet potato stuffing right, but we don't find any trace of edamame in them. The red and green chilli sauces manage to salvage the dish somewhat. Our pick among the starters, though, are the sushi burgers. In sync with the sushi-with-a-twist trend being seen across Mumbai's restaurants, this one is a perfectly balanced preparation of sticky rice, tofu and black sesame with a thoughtful addition of lettuce and cucumber slices.

Botanical Cooler
Botanical Cooler

From the mains, we choose makhani ravioli (Rs 450), which arrives in a robust orange gravy with pasta made of spinach flour. One bite into the dish and all our apprehensions of a gimmicky stunt melt away. The rich gravy blends seamlessly with the pasta, which chef Santosh Parulkar tells us, has a filling of ricotta and walnuts, and a sprinkling of crispy garlic and kasuri methi — their take on progressive Indian food, he shares.

The dessert section boasts of some fairly innovative options, but the only dish available is the rose caviar basundi (Rs 300). It arrives in a miniature bell jar, with a layer of rose-flavoured pearls on a bed of basundi made in mousse-like consistency. A good dessert, they say, can tip the opinion in favour of the entire meal. This one, though, was the perfect ending to a meal that we wouldn't mind calling a vegetarian delight.

TIME: 12 pm to 12 am
AT: 2, ground Floor, Patel Chambers, Opera House, Girgaum Chowpatty Bridge.
CALL: 23802828

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