If you can get past the way Root’d is spelt, you’ll find that this quiet, refreshing restaurant is a great addition to Delhi’s restaurant scene for its integrity, service and commitment to making the planet a little better without sacrificing culinary innovation.
Run by a large, bubbly family – many of whom seem to be present on the day we visit – Root’d is owned by an ex non-vegetarian who wanted to inspire others to make the switch. A month and a half into business, the café is still in soft launch phase, but thankfully, that does not make anything on the A4 mock menu less exciting.
The space is brightly lit, with comfortable orange and yellow seats that add a burst of colour to the otherwise earthy, natural tones of the restaurant. The music is soft and mellow, contributing to the larger peaceful-from-the-inside-out vibe.
We browse through the menu with help from a super chill and attentive staff member, and have a hard time deciding between the various offerings; aside from redundant scare quotes that accompany every mention of meat (“beef” “pepperoni”) the expanse is large and mouth-watering, covering everything from fresh nori in a deconstructed sushi bowl to “meats” on thin crust pizza.
Aside from redundant scare quotes that accompany every mention of meat (“beef” “pepperoni”) the expanse is large and mouth-watering, covering everything from fresh nori in a deconstructed sushi bowl to “meats” on thin crust pizza.
We push our new friend to divulge how “pepperoni” is made, offering up the obvious guesses of soy and chickpea flour, but his lips are tightly sealed. Apparently though, if you come to the right conclusion, a buzzer will go off.
As soon as we take a sip of our freshly squeezed orange juices, we know we are in for something good. Kale chips, baked with a sprinkle of parmesan and cashew nuts, are crispy and generously portioned. Our deconstructed sushi bowl – which includes a generous hand of fresh avocado, an okay amount of nori and short grain rice of beautiful quality – is filling, fresh and tastes like its good for you. We polish the dish off with a grilled watermelon salad, perfectly coated in balsamic vinegar and feta.
Finally, the Star of Imitation, a mock pepperoni pizza is served, loaded with powerfully spiced veggie protein and cheesy-tomato sauce. The result is a complex, local flavour that makes the “is this better than meat or as good?” question irrelevant, but rather, proposes a way of its own.
While we doggy bag our leftovers and wait for the bill, we have a long and pleasant chat with a gentleman who tells us more about Root’d. We score a sneak peek of the actual, final menu, which printed on eco-friendly paper, is nicely edited. The actual offerings will include options for non-vegetarians too, as to not make them feel bad, although they are potentially viewed with the same judgment as cigarette smokers in California, confined to small, barely legal spaces.
Getting there: 216/A1, Gulmohar Park Road, near Fr Agnel School, Hauz Khas, a meal for two costs Rs 2,000. For more, see their Facebook page here.
Accessibility: Difficult: 4-5 stairs to entrance.
bpb reviews anonymously and pays for its own meals.
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