The USP of The American Joint is that it serves organic products in food and beverages, writes GITA HARI.
The Capital Building in BKC houses a new eatery, by the name of The American Joint, on its first level. Take the escalator and when it lands, you will find yourself bang in front of the glass frontage of this all-day vegetarian restaurant with Jain variations. Started by four young and enterprising friends – Vishesh Kadakia, Parag Vakil, Manan Mehta and Sahil Sheth – the USP of the place is that it serves organic products in food and beverages albeit in a limited menu as we discovered.
Small in space and contemporary in décor with ‘less is more’ theme evident, an accent wall in colour scheme of green, earthy brown and red appears to be the only eye-catching feature besides their devnagiri-angrezi logo that says it all – Indo-Western Organic cuisine which allows you to expect desi tang in their offerings. Yes, it’s American menu with Indian flavours. The entire kitchen is open and guests can view their orders being carried out by Chef Parag Vakil and team.
The green upholstered sofas/chairs have small tables where you have to jostle dishes and beverages. But then regular cutlery (no plates here) is sidestepped as you are encouraged to eat direct from the serving bowls and pans a la Americano. If you are averse to sharing food from the same service with your dining partner, you may request for another bowl I guess. All seen and settled in a two-seater table, we asked for the menu and were presented a tablet with very narrow choices that dampened our binging mood. With only one salad and one dessert option, just a handful of fries, burgers and no pizzas (flatbreads which American food is known for), to say we were disappointed would be an understatement.
We began with the lone and okayish salad Pick the Greek consisting of cucumbers, tomatoes, black olives and feta cheese with lemon wedges….nothing novel here. This was followed by Hummus To You that lifted our taste buds a little with toasted pita triangles to the accompaniment of garlicky chickpea dip with a creamy texture – good but nothing unusual. Our next order for In Queso Emergency had a tray of tortilla chips joining decent melted cheddar cheese sauce with organic tomatoes, chillies and cilantro. It was tasty yet nothing to rave about. Beverages too have nothing to write home about in the cold category.
We highly recommend two items at The American Joint as must-haves. One is Bombay Streets – a spot-on fusion of French fries in a bambaiya chat-base of onions, sweet and sour chutneys – served in a pan tickles the palate.
The other is Chilli Cheese Burger, a pleasingly delicious burger with a plump spiced organic potato patty, green chillies and cream cheese. Never a doughnut fan, with a heavy heart we ordered “Coffee” & Donuts (the only choice in sweet treats). It had powdered sugar donuts, which had sticky dough touch on the palate, served with Nutella espresso dip.
We were informed many dishes had been taken off the menu (and this being only 15 days old) since the raw ingredients come fresh from farms in Nashik and being organic the life span of the greens are limited. They plan to reintroduce the dishes gradually as the place starts getting noticed. Also we learnt from Manan, “The Chef attempts to retain the biological quality of the dishes, eliminates the use of microwaves or artificial additives, colourings or flavourings, and creates recipes that use organic elements wherever possible.” We are sure they will overcome the teething issues soon, start including more dishes and stand by their philosophy ‘To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art’.