Healthy eating does not have to be boring. Sante’s elaborate seventeen-page menu is devoted to dispelling the stigma attached to health foods. Santé began its journey in Pune and is the brainchild of Sonal Barmecha, an avid fitness freak. Unhappy with the existing health food options, she collaborated with Chef Shailendra Kekade to craft a space that would appeal to both food lovers and the health conscious. For the Hyderabad outlet, an opulent villa has been converted into a cosy and welcoming dining space. The façade of the building is reserved for a fashion boutique, while the restaurant is towards the rear end. This lends Santé an air of serenity, in spite of being on the busy Rd No 92. The grub at Santé is imaginative and draws inspirations from around the world. On offer are dishes as disparate as 'Biryani', 'Thukpa', and 'Mac n Cheese'. Fresh, organic produce along with whole grains and millets are used creatively to lend a healthy twist to the preparations. The pizza base uses ragi, while the hommus incorporates spinach. Many of the dishes are gluten-free, and there are several Jain and Vegan-friendly options on the menu. Even those on low-carb diets will be able to find something to nosh on. As they say, the proof is in the pudding and Santé does not disappoint. Once a dish gets a Santé makeover, it can feel very different from the original. But, that is not necessarily a bad thing. The restrained use of oil and spices often allow the nuances of a dish to surface. Many recipes incorporate additional elements, such as the 'Baked Khakra in Hummus, to avoid becoming a stereotypically dull health food. The expansive menu requires multiple visits to give it a fair spin but do not leave without relishing some of their guilt-free indulgences.
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