Mumbai is experiencing a terrible summer where, it is not just hot but incredibly sticky. It is an effort to step out and even most of the time, you have no appetite for a heavy meal. This season we will happily trade all the meaty, fried, cheese filled dishes for cooler lighter ones. Sadly, most menus offer just some token salad options and even those are a combination of either Greek, Caesar's or the staple watermelon and feta salad.
The concept of a salad bar seems to be an alien one with just maybe one or two stand alone cafés with an extensive salad menu. Thankfully, with the launch of the brand new Ministry Of Salads, this trend seems to be changing. They are a tiny café located in Breach Candy in South Mumbai and have just about three or four tables since most of their space is taken up by their incredible salad display counters.
The theme here is of course, all about the greens but they do offer some interesting juices, both hot and cold teas as well as sandwiches. The star of the menu is their list of signature salads and thankfully there is no sign of any traditional well known salad. These are all their innovations and their own flavour combinations. If for some reason none of their standard fare sounds appealing then you can also pop across to their next counter and tailor make your own salad. There is plenty of choice from grains, lettuce, vegetables, cheese, garnishes and dressings. You are spoilt for choice when you are custom making your own salad and with so much to choose from, you almost do not realize that except for the occasional egg, there is no meat or poultry on this menu. Vegetarians can rejoice and non - vegetarians will hardly miss it.
What makes it more appealing is that apart from their ingredients being fresh, (no wilted leaves or bruised tomatoes) the dressings offered are not heavy and most are devoid of any mayonnaise so you do not feel heavy post your meal. It also does not hurt that you are enjoying a delicious but healthy meal. Currently this is their only outlet but they have great plans to expand and open another in Juhu. Apart from additions to their existing menu and changing their signature salads to keep things seasonal and interesting, they have plans to come up with tailor made meals as well. In case you are diabetic or have been advised a specific diet where you count your calories then they will plan your meals and have them delivered to you. Sounds ideal but these will be implemented over time.
Truth be told, it is a really small seating area and even then tends to feel cramped with just a few people in the café so that might be their only disadvantage. However, do not let that discourage you as they also do home delivery and seemed to be quite dedicated to ensuring you get your salad fix. With Suzette tucked away in Nariman Point or The Bombay Salad Co that is nestled in Bandra, there is not much left in between, so for people who live in and around the area, this is a breath of much needed fresh air.
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.
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