Cafe Paashh is a beautiful new vegetarian cafe in Kalyani Nagar by the dynamic Vaishali Karad and celebrity Chef Ajay Chopra. This restaurant is beautiful and cozy but simple and rustic at the same time. Paashh is based on the concept of healthy, organic and sustainable cuisine, using the freshest and highest quality ingredients sourced directly from farmers in the local vicinity. It is a pure vegetarian restaurant serving modern and fusion cuisine. (very reminiscent of cuisine from Masterchef Australia) They are even planning a Chef’s Table right in the kitchen, which sounds quite exciting. (But to me the Chef’s Table seemed a bit cramped and dingy)
My take on the restaurant is that it is really beautiful with high end, innovative and exquisitely prepared cuisine. Apart from 2 -3 dishes, the flavour combinations, fusions and twists just blew me away. The desserts are absolutely to die for! If you’re a food enthusiast, I think you should try their food at least once. Not having meat or fish, though, holds back the cuisine slightly, in my opinion.
We had Kombucha or fermented tea drink. Goji Berry one was sweet, tangy and refreshing. The Himalayan Apple was zingy with the fragrance and tartness of apple with minimal sweetness.
Vegetable Consume with Beet Ravioli was quite a delicious vegetable broth with fresh and slightly tart flavour.
Breads and Greens – An amazing and beautiful salad. Fresh leafy vegetables, radish, zucchini and cheese with thin crispy sour dough bread slices. The smoked carrot and star anise sauce was the star of the show. Such beautiful smokiness and perfectly balanced spice. All this topped with curry leaf oil! This was really interesting and innovative.
Baby Beets and Citrus – Another star dish. The al dente quinoa tabbouleh, was creamy, tart and delicious, with the beets, radish and sweet orange giving such a wonderful flavour combination. Totally refreshing.
Cannoli of Baby Leaves – A savoury twist on the Italian Dessert. Crisp cannoli rolls filled with beans, salsa and yogurt, topped with greens. It lacked a consistency of flavour, however. The beans tasted too starchy, it definitely needed a more consistent filling of salsa and yogurt to balance it out.
Sicilian Caponata Tartines – Brilliant Italian open sandwich, with juicy eggplants, cherry tomatoes and crunchy pumpkin seeds. It was tangy and delicious with the sharp parmigiano reggiano elevating the flavour even further.
Pongal Rice Cakes – Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Great South Indian flavours of molagapodi (gunpowder), curry leaves, spicy red tomato chutney all topped with a tadka of ghee, giving it an heavenly fragrance and flavour. Typical South Indian taste in a tight Armani Suit! Definitely one of the best dishes of the day.
Peanut Hummus – Creamy hummus made of peanuts with delicious crispy Nordic Crisps. The accompanying salad was a bit of a let down due to the use of generic chaat masala, compromising the overall taste.
Green Peas Falafel was beautiful and colourful dish. Superb crispy falafel with creamy beet tahini sauce served with fresh pita. (Served at Chef’s Table)
Corn Tart was quite nice too, similar to the Caponata but in a tart.
Compressed Fruit Chaat was delicious. Sous vide, vacuum compressed fruit, flavoured deliciously with a cumin chilly glaze with jaggery and chaat masala (worked excellently here). So sweet and tangy with the freshness of fruit that were so soft and luscious.
The Soba Noodles were absolutely delicious. Served with Thai green curry loaded with the flavours of kaffir lime, lemongrass and thai basil in a creamy coconut gravy. It even had okra (ladies fingers) but fried wonderfully until crisp, avoiding the slimy bitterness that okra haters (read – me) know too well! One of the best dishes of the day.
Pearl Barley Risotto – Very different risotto made with barley instead of rice. But it lacked a bit of flavour and was slightly harsh on the palate for me.
The desserts more than made up for any shortcomings earlier. They were just incredible, innovative and just blew me away!
Chocolate Pumpkin Pudding – A crazy dark chocolate and creamy pumpkin pie with a ridiculously good star anise cream sauce. The sweet, creamy and spice flavours just tickled my senses!
Organic Jaggery Pongal – Delicious creamy pongal singing with the flavour of jaggery. Served with a caramelized banana and a crispy Nordic crisp. This is how you take a traditional dish and elevate it another level with pure innovation and technique!
70% Single Origin Bavarois – Looks sinful and was sinful. The delicious dark chocolate, creamy texture along with the incredible orange sauce and nut chilly soil was amazing and the flavour combination was insane.
White Chocolate Raspberry Tart – Absolutely delicious, sweet, creamy and tart.
This is a beautiful place with and awesome concept. Most of the food is incredible and just beautifully presented. I feel this place may slightly suffer slightly due to too much emphasis on presentation and experimentation than flavour for some dishes. But overall it is hugely successful at what it wants to achieve. The place feels special. It is something everyone must try once, but it definitely is a cuisine that only enthusiasts or people really committed to the concept of organic and sustainable food will enjoy. If nothing else, definitely go there for the desserts!!