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Many years ago, the only two places in town that had a dedicated salad bar or even took their salads seriously were Jazz by the Bay at Churchgate which had (and still has) an afternoon salad buffet and Just Around The Corner ( JATC ) in Bandra. Both places were immensely popular and did a great job in providing some variety to the eating out scene in the city. Over the years, restaurants have taken cue from these places and started to incorporate more salads in their menu. Even the ever popular Bandra favourite Candies has a small but interesting salad counter along with the rest of their constantly expanding menu.
A new trend of health food, eating right and incorporating a good lifestyle change helped give the humble salad a boost and now you see it in more than just a health store or fancy high end restaurant. However, it has gone way beyond its health benefits. People are enjoying a good bowl of salad because let's be honest - It tastes good!
While most think that comfort or fast food and noodle bowls are what people want to indulge in, Chef Karishma Dalal, with her hole-in-the-wall salad joint, has taken that notion and blown it to smithereens. Nestled comfortably between a popular kabab joint and a burger place and infested with people at any given time is her brain child, Bombay Salad Co. One would imagine the long lines would be for the burgers and the kababs, but make no mistake, this salad bar has become one of the most popular spots in the neighbourhood. Which is interesting, because not many Indians consider salad to be a filling meal, or even a meal at all.
This is not the sort of place you dress up for and make a reservation at. It has got a few tables outside, a massive menu on the wall inside, a salad counter where you can see them toss up your orders, and a few tables inside. It can get claustrophobic the minute all the tables are occupied, but that does not discourage hungry clients. They have excellent salads – you could, of course, give them all a miss to make your own – light sandwiches, teas, juices, smoothies and even a small dessert menu. The emphasis, however, is on the salads and, with delicious choices like soba noodle-based salads or Goan chorizo salads, it is not hard to understand why this place is so popular. The ‘hipster’ salad with kale, quinoa, ricotta, pomegranate and a whole lot of other goodness is a delicious choice for a vegetarian salad. The ‘frenchman’ with lettuce, apple, bacon and goat’s cheese and more is a great choice for meat eaters.
The emphasis here is on quality ingredients and fresh produce. The idea is to innovate and make food that is healthy for you fun. They have aced that department if the crowds are anything to go by. Bombay Salad Co. do a bang-up job in dispelling the myth that only fast food or greasy food is popular. It just proves that no matter what kind of cuisine or dish, as long as it is tasty, people will enjoy their meal and will care about little else.
Follow Roxanne @The Tiny Taster
Better known as the Tiny Taster, Roxanne is an internationally respected blogger and expert on the Mumbai food scene. She has hosted many events, including the Upper Crust Food & Wine Show and travels the world, sharing her knowledge and gaining more experience.