Restaurants serving healthy food items are a growing trend in metro cities. While it remains to be seen if Indians are going to become more health-conscious with growing prosperity and higher disposable incomes, these restaurants with health-oriented menus do provide an alternative to the standard eating out experience.
Guardian20 looks at some of the best options in NCR for those who want a restaurant whose food they can enjoy without much guilt.
Nutri Punch, located in Greater Kailash, is a unique food outlet which delivers highly nutritional meals to its customers along with providing a scientifically-planned diet to their subscribers. The place was established by Vikrant Bose, a certified fitness trainer and nutritionist who was working in Australia before coming back and starting this place in 2014. After some initial difficulties, the restaurant has now gained a loyal following with many high-profile subscribers that include celebrities and top executives. The unique feature of this delivery-only restaurant is that it looks at the health information of its subscribers and then crafts a diet programme based on their requirements. It then delivers 5 meals daily to them which they take during the course of the day.
Explaining the idea behind the restaurant, Bose said, “I observed that while there were a lot of professional gyms around, there weren’t any quality healthy food options in the market. There were some but they absolutely failed to provide pure and quality health food. That’s when I planned to launch Nutri Punch after a thorough research in the health food sector.” He also described the process of planning the menu, “First of all, I had three things in mind - protein, carbs and fats. Then I thought of the sources high in these nutrients and after this I started designing meals that had the right balance of nutrition and taste. From there, we went on making meal plans going from low-carb, high-protein to low calorie and so on.” While most of the customers of Nutri Punch belong to the upper-middle class, some athletes too have subscribed to it for ensuring they get a healthy and sufficient diet.
Another option for health-conscious food lovers is Hwealth cafe in Defence Colony. Faiz Ali Khan, operations manager of the restaurant, told Guardian20 about the idea behind the café, “We see junk food everywhere and there is a requirement of places serving healthy food, this is what led us to establish Hwealth café.” The unique feature of this restaurant is that the menu mentions the calories, carbs, fat content, amount of protein and fiber contained in each item.
“We believe people must know what they are eating, that’s why we did 10 months of research to find out the nutritional details of each offering on our menu,” said Khan. The menu is simple but has many options in various categories like drinks, starters and sandwiches. The food is of continental variety. Some of the more popular dishes on the menu are Thai-grilled chicken and Basil Pesto. The restaurant ensures that there is no compromise with the taste by replacing less healthy ingredients like sugar and polished rice in their food with healthier substitutes like honey and brown rice. The place also uses exotic vegetables to make their food appealing. Khan is overwhelmed with the response and is optimistic about the future. “People are becoming more knowledgeable about health and are trying to adopt a healthier lifestyle. The growing popularity of health-conscious food will slowly start hurting the popularity of junk food,” he says.
Zoe, a delivery-only restaurant based in Gurgaon, presents another great choice for consumers looking for healthy meals. The place was launched in March this year and has gained popularity among young professionals with high-disposable incomes. Talking to Guardian20, Taniya Dhirasaria, the owner of Zoe described the process that went into creating this restaurant, “We worked with eminent food technologists and nutritionists to craft meals that would improve metabolism and immunity along with helping the digestive system. But it turned out that apart from all those, the meals had another benefit, weight loss. So, our menu provides wholesome healthy meals which will are not lacking in taste also.” Dhirasaria also said that the most popular item they deliver are the ‘one day cleanse and detox diet’, which is a collection of six items delivered to the customers who have to consume them over a period of 12 hours with an interval of two hours each.
Apart from this comprehensive food programme, the menu also has other delicious items, all of which are made without sugar, butter, cheese, preservatives and artificial colour. Dhirasaria feels that the response so far to the restaurant has been phenomenal, “We are being invited to organize corporate lunches by top companies and have even set up permanent kiosks in some of their offices. The repeat rate of our customers is 70% and our popularity is growing every month.”
The success and popularity of these outlets shows that in big cities, at least, healthy food outlets are gaining ground. The target audience remains well-off young professionals, mostly. Needless to say, growing health-consciousness in this demographic group is likely to drive the demand for more places like these.