What is conscious Gen Y eating today, and why? City chefs and culinary experts decode aware youngistan's fave foods
With great wokeness, comes great responsibility. Tell a self-consumed baby boomer that and they're likely to laugh at you. "Oh please, you guys! What is 'woke' anyway?" is a standard response. It's simple actually — waking up and being aware of and responsible to your surroundings.
This has not only impacted the way we communicate, but also how we dress, or more importantly, eat. Phrases like farm-to-fork, single origin or organic may have been as ubiquitous as paid trolls on Twitter. But if you pay close attention, a pattern — driven by a larger collective conscience — is eminent. "There's renewed interest in 'good eating' and a growing awareness of food systems, which includes where our food comes from and how it is grown and distributed," says Neysa Mendes, who runs the popular wellness blog, Good Slice.
"Over the past few years, there's been an interest in organic foods across the country and so, farmers' markets have multiplied. While global trends do affect our consumption habits, there's been a small but steadily rising interest in indigenous ingredients and an eagerness to reclaim the foods which have always served our ancestors," Mendes elaborates, adding that city chefs and food consultants such as Saee Koranne Khandekar have played an exemplary role in making indigenous ingredients and extremely localised cuisines cool.
And while, for many, eating healthy or local might be equivalent to "jumping on the bandwagon", some are approaching these trends with concerted and genuine effort. This has spilled over to city eateries who are offering dishes that embody the tenets of the millennial food movement. We bring you the best!
Chia for life
"Chia seeds are one of the most popular superfoods amongst millennials. High in fibre, a great source of omega 3, antioxidants and a completely plant-based protein, they contain all nine essential amino acids, making for a great hit" explains Vanika Chaudhary of Sequel, speaking about going nuts (R360), a chia seed pudding made with almond milk, cacao peanut butter and berry and chia compote.
Time 8 am to 10.30 pm
At Sequel (Kala Ghoda and Bandra West).
Call 7506477710 (Bandra)
The caramelised onion, slow roasted mushroom and brie sandwich (R290) from Nuzha Ebrahim's Fromagerie is a big hit among those obsessed with gourmet grilled cheese. "Kids these days are definitely a lot more interested and informed about food. They love the idea of comfort food in a little paper pocket, leaving them free to move about and eat it with no hassle. They are interested in food that is relatable," Ebrahim points out.
Time 9 am to 4 pm
Call 9819445721 (minimum order of 10 sandwiches with a 24-hour notice)
In keeping with the buzz around zoodles, The Pantry introduced the dish as part of a menu curated by celebrity chef Karishma Sakhrani. Here, the pad thai zoodles (R375) are made using fresh zucchini zoodles tossed with peanut dressing and served cold with red pepper, roasted peanut and lime. "Millennials are adventurous, open-minded and informed. They are also hard to please. So, they are interested in food that is beyond the ordinary, imaginative, creative and most importantly, Instagrammable," Sakhrani shares.
Time 8.30 pm to 11.30 pm
At The Pantry, Kala Ghoda, Fort.
Pasta with a pop of colour
Colourful and healthier variants of pasta have managed to capture the millennial's attention. At Out of The Blue, chef Vivek Swamy is experimenting with black and spinach pasta. The former finds place in the spaghetti nara which uses squid ink, and the latter becomes spinach carbonara (R575 each). "These pastas are seldom available at restaurants. Millennials are always keen on trying something new. The colour has a visual impact, too, so it works well for them," Swamy tells us.
Time 12.30 pm to 12 am
At Out of The Blue, 14 Union Park, Khar West.
Call 61344948 (spinach pasta only available on preorders)
Keep it rollin'
A classic Japanese delicacy, served in the form of one of the world's most popular snacks, burrito — the hybrid sushi burrito has been a rage among millennials for a number of reasons, ranging its healthy quotient to compact handling. It arrived in the city a few years ago and is available at this little Bandra eatery in several flavours. The prawn tempura (R640) seems to be the favourite, owner Yugo Tokuchi tells us.
Time 12 pm to 11 pm
At Yugo Sushi, Pali Mala Road, Pali Hill, Bandra West.
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