Eleved at Lifeyoga
The refreshing mogra sherbet is undoubtedly one of the best non-alcoholic drinks in the city; and tastes almost like Delhi’s summer. There’s a lot more on offer at the newly opened Eleved at Lifeyoga, a new restaurant in the upscale Malcha Marg area of the capital, that celebrates conscious eating. Its triumph lies in how it transforms regional produce into global modern dishes. Take the heirloom hummus: three-way bowl: It is smooth, silken, has a nutty flavour and is made with local broad beans, vaal beans (used in Maharashtrian and Gujarati cuisines) and Himalayan toor lentil. There’s also the delightful ragi pani puri that’s stuffed with dried green peas, sprouted moong and served with kaffir lime and raw mango-infused spice water. Try the neer rice rolls, inspired by neer dosa and Vietnamese rice paper rolls, Lucknow sheermal burger, Himalayan pizza pie (a cross between Indian mathri and Chicago pizza), and don’t miss the heirloom rice bowls that are created as per the principles of Ayurveda. They have a retail corner that stocks a variety of rice, jaggery, rock salts and teas.
Meal for two: ₹2,500 plus taxes
As soon as you enter this delightful farm-to-fork restaurant that combines a brasserie, roastery and bakehouse, it transports you into an oasis of calm. Elina Vara opened in August and prides itself on serving greens sourced from hydroponic farms. It’s wonderful to eat nutrient-rich greens that are served as fresh, crunchy salads or as toppings on the very special, stone-fired pizzas. My pick: The Farm to Fork Fresh Pizza with artichoke, capers, seasonal vegetables, olives, tomatoes and Mozzarella. The flavour lies in the dough that’s prepared using high-grade Italian flour, following the traditional process sans the use of commercial yeast and preservatives to allow slow fermentation that gives the pizza its light, airy crust. Serving both, vegetarian and non-vegetarian cuisine, the restaurant is an exceptionally good option to enjoy breakfast. It has a wide range of freshly baked artisanal bread that are used to make sandwiches with jackfruit, chickpea, tofu, avocado, pickled beets and caramalised pineapple. Elina Vara was founded by Simran Kochhar following her daughter’s struggle with multiple food allergies.
Meal for two: ₹2,500 plus taxes
Kiara Soul Kitchen
Tucked in Greater Kailash’s M-Block Market in South Delhi, Kiara Soul Kitchen was started by two brothers, Manav and Madhav Windlass to offer vegetarian recipes with an Asian twist. The entire menu was done in consultation with a nutritionist to offer gluten-free, vegan, low-carb and low-salt options. There’s quinoa sushi, millet burrito bowls, freshly baked sourdough bread, barley and pumpkin risotto, and a rather delightful root vegetable burger that replaces mayonnaise with a special yoghurt cream cheese. The Himalayan organic black fried rice with green curry uses an indigenous variety of Manipuri rice. The sweet potato kebab tart served with tamarind chutney is an ode to the ubiquitous shakarkandi chaat in Delhi. The dressings and sauces are created in-house and a majority of the greens and ingredients are grown on the owners’ farm in Mehrauli.
Meal for two: ₹2,000 plus taxes
A leading chain of healthy cafes in Delhi NCR, NutrioBox, with its farm-to-fork approach is fast becoming a favourite of many health enthusiasts. The neighbourhood café, which has six outlets across the city, promotes the idea that healthy food is not boring and expensive. Apart from the nutrient-rich salad, sandwiches, smoothies and shakes, there are low-fat, sugar-free brownies, hot chocolate served with nut milk, chia coconut blueberry pudding, Buddha bowls with the goodness of quinoa, fresh veggies, salsa dips and more.
Meal for two: ₹1,000 plus taxes
Positioned as a plant-forward community restaurant, Greenr collaborates with other eco-conscious brands all over India to ensure ethical sourcing of produce. Its winter menu of 2023 includes seven-day, slow-fermented ginger ale with freshly harvested lemongrass, ginger root, water and jaggery along with a range of warm infusions that include hibiscus, lemongrass, mixed berries and chamomile flowers. There are kombuchas and teas including an Ayurvedic anti-stress chai that uses liquorice root, ginger, cardamom that are believed to be fortifying during the cold. The new menu also has vegetarian sushi plates, ramen (one which uses cashew milk vegetable broth), Himalayan tofu Amaranth burger, pizzas with plant-based cheeses, gluten-free pastas, desserts made with dairy-free options and whole wheat flour. Don’t forget to pick up goodies made by women-led businesses and enterprises from Greenr’s retail shelves.
Meal for two: ₹1,500 plus taxes
People of Tomorrow
In a bid to promote sustainable living and healthy eating, People Of Tomorrow, which launched in October in Vasant Vihar, describes itself as a vegan restaurant that prides itself on being eco-friendly. It dissuades plastic use (not even cling wrap for food storage) and has an array of dishes, including small plates, mains, beverages, cocktails (a new addition) and dairy-free desserts. The delightful vegan take on non-vegetarian classics such as Parsi akuri and pulled meat croquette with substitutes like tofu and jackfruit respectively, gives a glimpse into the innovativeness that goes into creating the dishes.
Meal for two: ₹2000 plus taxes
Abhilasha Ojha is a Delhi-based art and culture writer.