Vegetarian Revolution: Fine Dining Veg Restaurants Flourish In The City

Vegetarian Revolution: Fine Dining Veg Restaurants Flourish In The City

With more people embracing vegetarianism the city beholds a surge in fine-dine veg restaurants

Gita HariUpdated: Saturday, April 27, 2024, 02:40 PM IST
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Mumbai’s foodscape, noted for its range of varied gastronomic fare, has witnessed a spurt in vegetarian eateries post pandemic. Vegetarian cuisine has garnered more and more followers with the resultant escalation in the number of delivery services and vegetarian restaurants.

With diners opting for hygienic, well-cooked herbivorous dishes in chic ambiance, it is not surprising to note that pure vegetarian fine dine restaurants have mushroomed in the city.  Be it Oriental, European or any other international cuisine, restaurants serving only vegetarian food have adapted seamlessly to the flavour, texture and taste of popular global dishes.

Marrying mixed flavours

Known for their lip-smacking multi-cuisine vegetarian fare of unique wholesome platters, comforting soul food, Thyme & Whisk incorporates creative menus and appealing flavours which can entice even non-vegetarians to try and enjoy plant-based dishes. “Our recently opened Mad Doh in Mulund, which puts forth sourdough pizzeria and bakes has only veg options, and the footfall has been quite high,” observes Bobby Patel, Co-founder and Cuisine Director at Thyme & Whisk and Mad Doh.

Most vegetarians are repelled by seaweed in sushi for the fact that it springs a seafood flavour. But there are ways of circumventing it. Shobha Bhatt who runs a veg home delivery kitchen substitutes seaweed with thin slices of zucchini or cucumber to roll the sushi.

Non-vegetarians too are catered to - though in a different way - in an all veg restaurant. Bobby says, “There is an obvious difference between meat and mock meat, but substitutes like paneer, soya and jackfruit can be prepared in creative and appealing flavours so as to satiate the cravings of the non-vegetarian.”

Awareness

People have become more aware of environmental and social matters now than ever before. And vegetarianism validates the manner in which recipes and ingredients are in sync with sustainability and health care.

“With a locavore, vegetable forward and vegan-friendly menu,” informs Vedant Shah – Founder of Plural Restaurant in Kala Ghoda, “we celebrate vegetables and give patronage to mainly local vendors and purveyors. Diners with a proclivity towards eating nonveg food tend to occasionally indulge in vegetarian dishes, and they form some of our most loyal patrons.”

An intensified awareness of the environmental effect of meat boosts veganism as a conscientious, eco-friendly choice, which heralds a culinary and ethical paradigm shift. Burma Burma has recently opened its offshoot in the western suburbs and according to Ankit Gupta, Co-Founder, Burma Burma, “In general people tend to lean towards vegetarianism due to ecological, moral, and ethical apprehensions apparently related to meat eating. Though Burma is a meat-eating country, our Burmese restaurant serves only vegetarian preparations.” In addition, the various health repercussions of excessive meat intake have been fervently promulgated in the social media and medical realms.

Vegans and flexitarians

Flexitarians could be those on-the-way to vegetarianism dieters. They primarily consume vegetarian food but include a meagre quantity of meat or seafood, and who indulge their taste-buds in veg places more often as a precursor to their changing food preferences. Maneka Israni is one such foodie who is on the ‘shifting to veg’ track. She prefers to visit only veg restaurants which she feels are very innovative with the ingredients and relishes mock meat occasionally.

A profitable venture

The surge in vegan population has prompted investments, innovation and an expanded vegan menu in the food industry. With more people taking to vegetarianism, veg cuisine has become very popular thereby revving up the number of cloud kitchens and veg fine dine places.

Hindi film industry’s doyen Amitabh Bachchan announced on his television show Kaun Banega Crorepati that he had relinquished eating non-veg. Genelia, and Riteish Deshmukh who is actually a meat lover, turned vegetarians since 2019. And today he is a co-founder of a plant-based meat brand. Undoubtedly, few can beat the fittest ever actor John Abraham who turned vegetarian since long. Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma are vegans and their restaurant has a menu dedicated to Virat’s vegan choices.

  As the country sees more development, the purchasing power of the middle-class rises. Diners are ready to try out something different on their plates. Vegetarian restaurant franchises and delivery kitchen chefs have been able to cash in on this fad by serving veg fusion and exotic cuisines to discerning palates.

Government initiatives too, like “Green India, Healthy India” and “Eat Right India” are on a promotional spree of vegetarian diets.

Kunal Mutha, Founder of Only Earth vegan products, points out, “The global surge in vegetarian and flexitarian dietary preferences provides a robust customer base. Ongoing culinary innovation, marked by inventive vegetarian and vegan alternatives, introduces diverse and flavourful dishes, appealing not only to committed vegetarians but also attracting a broader audience, including non-vegetarians.”

A combined awareness of health alertness, environmental care, cultural preferences and favourable market conditions are responsible for the scaling up of vegetarian fine dine restaurants in Mumbai!

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