THE SECRET SOBO GARDEN

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Sunset, fine dining and a sparkling glass of wine, Candy & Green offers diners a breath of fresh air and a stunning view. Khevna Pandit stopped by for a carbon-free dining experience

For those who are regular restaurant-goers, discovering one that stands out may seem like a task. We’re constantly bombarded with options that either try too hard to stand out or are a miserable attempt to better what we’ve already been accustomed to. So, when we first heard of the ritzy new rooftop restaurant that was taking South Mumbai by storm, we couldn’t wait to drop in and experience it ourselves. Situated in the heart of the city, Breach Candy, Candy & Green offers a unique, carbon-free dining experience accompanied by a glistening view of the sun setting into the Arabian Sea. Look out for the iconic Raymond building if you’re struggling to locate the restaurant. Once you’re there, you may have to wait (quite a while, as it turns out) for the elevator to take you up to the fourth floor, but we assure you that it’s worth the wait.

Vertical farming
Candy & Green is set up on the fourth and fifth floors, with the fourth floor housing a plush indoor dining space. On seeing its green-stained windows, snowflake-shaped lights, vibrant yellow sofas and a ‘green’ bar decked with foliage, we instantly fell in love with the space. Unaware of what the terrace section had in store for us, we were left mesmerised when we stepped in. The tables were meticulously arranged on patches of turf amidst the wood furnished décor. However, the terrace was more than just a fancy diner.

We were told about how Candy & Green houses a vertical garden that contributes to the carbon-free dining that the restaurant promises. The extensive garden produces 25 kilograms of edible foliage per week and grows lush herbs, microgreens and leafy plants. We were even more impressed to learn that the restaurant also grew exotic plants such as kale and avocado by managing the temperature themselves. If gardening fascinates you, you’ll love the sample garden that is arranged right at the entrance with tiny signboards on every plant.

Sparkling sunset in your glass
We picked a table next to the famous, illuminated cherry blossom tree that had already gained popularity on most social media feeds and blogs. While they couldn’t plant a real cherry blossom tree (courtesy the extreme weather conditions in India), the owner and founder Shraddha Bhansali decided to prop up an artificial one instead. And, we didn’t mind that it was artificial, decorated with fairylights and teacup candles, it was quite a sight in the evening — and definitely the centre of attraction at Candy & Green.

Although we weren’t fortunate enough to meet Shraddha herself, her parents Mr. & Mrs. Bhansali were the warm hosts for the evening and guided us through the detailed menu. After a hearty conversation, we flipped through their extensive bar menu (since they were hosting the wine garden festival, it was even more comprehensive than usual) and decided to go for their recommendation of the Vanilla & Hibiscus Bellini (Rs 700). Made of vanilla, hibiscus and sparkling wine, the glistening gold drink is perfect for the backdrop of the setting sun. With a tinge of sweet and sour, it quickly grew on us. We were also asked to try some of their cold-pressed juices, and so we ordered an Ultron (Rs 300), made of watermelon, rose, mint and basil seeds, and The Joker (Rs 300), made of purple cabbage, apple and ginger. Named after super villains, the juices were served in an adorable glass bottle and were as fresh as morning dew. We loved the Ultron; with little to no sugar; we found that it was a slice of watermelon in every sip, with a subtle zing of basil and rose.

A little green on our plates
Quite obviously, Candy & Green also serves a variety of salads for the health conscious. We were served a portion of Favourite Kale (Rs 350), made of kale, dates, parmesan cheese and crumbled garlic bread, and drizzled with tangy lemon vinaigrette. The crunchy salad was an instant favourite and we were left pleasantly surprised as the unlikely combination of kale and parmesan turned out to be a delightful hit. We also tried the Rubies and Pearls Salad (Rs 385), which included mixed greens, pearl barley, pomegranate, hazelnuts, feta cheese, green onions and honey tossed in mustard dressing. The vivacious-looking salad was a fruity delight, even for those who don’t prefer a helping of salad every now and then.

Farm fresh
Before we could move on to the main course, we decided on trying the Achari Mushroom Tikkis (Rs 375), made of apricots and cheese, cucumber noodles, pomegranate chutney and spiced puffed lotus seeds. We were stunned to see a variety of mushroom options on their menu, but we loved the soft and crumbly tikkis that came topped with cucumber noodles and pomegranate chutney. (A point to remember: Always try the chutney!) We then tried the Black is Back (Rs 575), which was a black rice risotto cooked with Portobello mushrooms, garlic and truffle oil. Rich and creamy, we couldn’t get enough of this dish! The aromatic helping came drizzled in truffle oil and chunky pieces of mushroom. We were then urged to try one of their stone-baked flatbreads, and we picked the Pesto Veggies (Rs 395), which had basil pesto and seasonal vegetables. While I’m generally a fan of pesto, this combination on flatbread wasn’t very appealing.

Happy endings...
We wouldn’t call desserts anything else either. The short and sweet (literally!) menu consisted of four exciting options. We were served a neat Coconut Pudding (Rs 295), which came with passion fruit coulis, fresh fruit and toasted black sesame. A scoopful of this pudding will momentarily transport you to a tropical island as you savour a burst of fruity flavours, but what really caught our fancy was the No More Depresso Mousse (Rs 350), which was a simple, vegan hazelnut mousse with a hint of coffee. It arrived in an eye-catching little cup with an adorable coffee bean on its smooth surface. Definitely one of the most delicious desserts we’ve tried so far, the mousse goes perfectly with a shot of coffee, which wakes you up from the pleasant chocolate daydream. Needless to say, we fought for every last bit of the mousse. However, if you’re picking this dessert, we’d suggest ordering it just for yourself, as the portion is just about fit for one (also keeping in mind how delicious it is).

The verdict
We walked out of Candy & Green feeling satisfied, well-fed and happy. Everything from the warm services and the fresh and healthy organic food to the calming ambiance built up to a fantastic and an unmatchable experience. Whether you’re planning an early morning yoga session, a girl’s night out or simply an afternoon date, Candy & Green is definitely a place to keep among your options. We personally suggest sipping on a Bellini next to the cherry blossom tree as the sun sets; you may see the city in a different light altogether!

Where: 4th & 5th Floor, Hub Town Sky Bay, Bhulabhai Desai Road, Breach Candy

Meal for two: Rs 1,600

Alcohol served: Yes (a pint of beer from Rs 185)

Contact: 33126165

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