Restaurant Review: Candy and Green, Breach Candy

Candy and Green, which puts the spotlight on veggies, is a welcome addition to Breach Candy where dining options are scant. The garden-to-table restaurant, which opened in mid-February, occupies the top two floors of Hubtown Skybay, a commercial glass building that houses such middling bars and cafes as Doppio, The Bombay Bronx and Filli.

Set up by first-time restaurateur Shraddha Bhansali, who has worked in the kitchens of the Taj hotel group and St. Regis in Lower Parel (when it was Palladium hotel), Candy and Green makes veggies look good. Like a lot of new restaurants in the city, the menu here is ‘globally inspired’. However, the selection of dishes is fairly unexpected and executed thoughtfully.

Bhansali is vegetarian and practices boxing. Her focus is on health-oriented cooking and house-grown produce. She has conveyed this commitment to greens and gardening in the decor across her two-level establishment. The wine bar on the first, air-conditioned level is blanketed with astro-turf and embellished with light installations fashioned like floral wreaths that hang over canary-yellow couches. The room, which has stained-glass windows, feels boxy and closed-in after sundown, but cheerful and welcoming by day when sun filters through the coloured panes. The al fresco terrace, framed by bamboos and street lamps, is defined by a faux cherry blossom tree in the centre of the room that makes for an ideal dinner setting. It houses their vertical herb patch and receives a steady, cool breeze from the sea after sunset.

When their roof garden has matured – they’ve planted basil, celery, lemongrass, ajwain, kaffir lime, peppermint, cherry tomatoes, edible flowers, microgreens and jalapenos – it’s likely to yield approximately 20 kilos of produce for the menu every week. So far they’re reaping microgreens and edible flowers, with which dishes are generously garnished.

It only opens at noon but Candy and Green offers breakfast-appropriate plates such as avocado toast (Rs425) and gluten-free savoury waffles (Rs275). For the open sandwich they employ two house-made sourdough slices that are mildly toasted and smeared with buttery chunks of avocado gussied up with a layer of piquant dukkah, the Egyptian seed, spice and nut mix. Made using fermented rice batter, the gluten-free waffles are an unexpected and fun play on idlis. The crispy idli waffles are garnished with a few pearls of pomegranate and served with a tangy smoked coconut and feta chutney.

The kale crumble tart (Rs350), our favourite dish at Candy and Green, could even please kale antagonists. The snack, which combines crisped kale, sun-dried tomatoes, kale chips and broccoli with creamy whipped tofu and a small amount of cheddar, balances health and indulgence. The delicious blend is spooned into a freshly baked, crumbly tart with walls that are neither too thick nor thin. Virtuous black rice, which is gaining favour in restaurants – it’s served at Koko and 212 All Good in Lower Parel and Sequel and The Village Shop in Bandra – features here as an entree called Black is Back (Rs575). It’s an umami-heavy, purple-hued, porridge-like risotto made meaty with Portobello mushroom slivers. The first-rate rice is finished with confit garlic and truffle oil that deepens its umami flavour.

Even the sesame soba noodles (Rs485) are stellar. Compared to the glutinous rice, the stark noodles, mildly flavoured with honey, ginger and sharp bird’s eye chilli, are light and fresh. The tasty buckwheat tangle is served with lemongrass-infused corn and potato patties that are topped with pineapple chilli salsa. They don’t skimp on portions here. Our meal kept up a feel-good tempo right to the end.

Served in an espresso cup, the No More Depresso Mousse (Rs350), a mood-altering vegan preparation of velvety, rich, mildly sweetened hazelnut cream with a hint of coffee, is unsurprisingly a bestseller here. There’s an equally guilt-less coconut pudding (Rs295) on the menu. There’s barely a hint of sweetness in the chilled pudding, which tastes like freshly grated coconut and is the texture of pate rather than flan. A halo of sweet passion fruit coulis adds to the dessert’s tropical appeal.

Get: Kale crumble tart (Rs350); Black is Back (Rs575); sesame soba noodles (Rs485); No More Depresso mousse (Rs350); coconut pudding (Rs295).

This review was conducted anonymously. It is our policy to wait at least a week after an establishment has opened before we review it.

Prices exclude taxes and a service charge of 10 per cent.

Candy & Green, Fourth Floor, Hubtown Skybay, in the same building as Doppio, Breach Candy, Bhulabhai Desai Road. Tel: 022 2352 3413. Open daily, from noon to 1am. Get directions here.

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