All The Deets About Kitchen Garden, Suzette’s Younger Cousin
Fans of Suzette around (basically all of us), have a lot to look forward to with the fresh opening of Kitchen Garden at Pali Naka, Bandra. Let’s talk about what you can expect here!
The 30-seater all-day café serves up a variety of international food at an unusually wide price range. Pick from sandwiches, salads, desserts, meals-in-a-bowl, fresh sourdough, smoothies, and cold-brew coffee. All the coffee at Kitchen Garden is by popular roasters Blue Tokai, for which they use Pride of Cows milk which you can also replace with soy or almond versions.
The kiosk by their door acts as a Quick Service Counter, serving healthy, fuss-free meals that you can grab and go on a busy day.
Kitchen Garden’s ingredients and vegetables are typically organic and farm-to-table. Owner and co-chef Jérémie Sabbagh says, “The idea is to get the best version of an ingredient, as local and organic as possible.”
However, this doesn’t stop them from importing Haas avocados, Spanish ham, or edamame.
Quick tip: Everything in a bold font on their menu is certified organic.
Range is the keyword here, as the menu is big on customisation. You can make your own salads and sandwiches starting at just 180 rupees. Adding certain proteins or dressings can bump up the price anywhere from 30 rupees for shredded carrots to 350 rupees for ½ Haas avocado.
Some truly exotic dishes are available here for far cheaper than other places serving them. The Italy Small Bowl, for example, contains Burrata, a delightfully rare cheese to find in India. It’s served here for 450 rupees, while most other restaurants would change something north of 700 rupees.
Quick tip: Their range is from an Egg & Avocado Sandwich at 200 rupees to a Chicken & Avocado Caesar Salad at 550 rupees.
What We Ate
Italy Small Bowl
Here’s a small bowl with the heart of a meal. This indulgent, salty Burrata cheese fills your mouth with delightfully gentle texture. Combined with sprigs of fresh basil, tangy baby tomatoes, and rustic pesto, one can hardly ask for a more comforting and simple dish than this one.
The gentle ginger and miso dressing elevates this salad of versatile texture to another level. Japanese soba noodles form a base with edamame, red cabbage, and sesame seeds, topped off with a hearty helping of 3-4 generous prawns. If you want a salad with a non-leafy base that’s light and mild, this is likely to become a favourite.
Chicken & Avocado Caesar
The Haas avocados make their humble presence felt in this one. With a base of romaine lettuce, this one also sports sourdough croutons. If that isn’t impressive attention to detail, they also balance the proportion of these ingredients, with an effortlessly light Caesar dressing that still has all its flavour intact.
We went with an impressive sourdough loaf, Spanish ham, parmesan, and their excellent pesto. Words do not do justice to their sourdough, which is made using Mulshi spring water and chunks of organic sea salt. It’s ambitious for a casual café to have bread of such quality coming in. The ham and parmesan combo makes it a sandwich with fascinating texture. The thick sourdough acts as a superb foil for the generous ham atop the nuanced, fresh pesto.
Cocoa, banana, date, and homemade almond milk combine to form this Captain Planet take on a smoothie. Its richness is only slight in body, but with a flavour that’s more detailed than you’d expect. The cocoa doesn’t overpower the other ingredients at all, letting all the goodness sink in.
This natural shade of the colour looks good enough to wear. With kale, avocado, organic mango and lime, this one could taste like any of them. Instead, it pleasantly surprises you with a mild mango base, with a tangy finish from the lime. The kale and avocado shine through as accents, mostly providing the colour we want to see at a hipster fashion label soon.
Chocolate & Walnut Cookie
Yes, it’s gluten-free. That’s not why you should have it, though. Their Belgian chocolate base is just one part of why they’re the crumbliest cookies we’ve eaten, giving most others more than a run for their money.
Quick tip: We ran out of stomach space, but their Mini Philadelphia Cheesecake looks like it’s worth watching out for.
What The Owners Eat & Drink Here
Pierre Labail: Chocolate Walnut Cookie and Green Smoothie.
Jérémie Sabbagh: Soba Salad and either a Cold Brew Coffee or their Green Booster cold-pressed juice.
Antonia Achache: Veggies Salad and Powerhouse Smoothie.
What We Recommend
Get anything with their Sourdough, a labour of love that comes in fresh from their central bakery thrice-a-day. It’s one of the finest breads in the city, and costs just 50 rupees to add to your salad. Their cute Mini Philadelphia Cheesecake portions are deceptively heavy for their size, which is barely more than a 2-rupee coin. Jérémie grins, “The base is real Graham Crackers, the way it’s made in America. None of that Marie biscuit goes into these.”
The Soba is a great way to have a salad and experiment with a pleasant, refreshing Miso sauce. The Green smoothie is fantastic if you like the idea of a mango flavour.
Kitchen Garden opens on 11th of October opposite Gold’s Gym in Bandra.