Thursday, August 8, 2013

soups n salads: a healthy option

When the foodies group suggested an event here, I was one among the first to grab this offer that was priced at only Rs. 250 for the vegetarians. Health at that price was actually priceless!

Soups n salads is less than a year old and is situated on Rd. No 36, Jubilee Hills, close to Madhapur police station. This is a new kind of offer, hitherto unheard of in Hyderabad. Among my acquaintances,  it is known that I hardly am attracted to the main course of any meal. The soups, salads and appetizers have all my attention. And therefore, I looked forward to the absolute bliss of dining here.
The restaurant runs from 11 am to 11 pm and its ambiance is more like a coffee shop with a long corridor of tables to the left and the cooking station to the right. I was told later that it was supposed to be a self-service place but then we foodies got served at our tables, had a customized menu and a special price. There were both the vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. The lunch consisted of soups, salads, a cooked pasta salad, a wrap, a slush and a dessert. It is debatable whether this constitutes a meal or can be given the status of an evening snack
Well, the good and bad of this eatery--
Soups: Tasted three soups: the Tomato lemon grass soup, Cream of Sorrel and the Tuscan vegetable soup. Must admit that all the three failed to impress. The tomato one was a little too thin and bland for my liking. The cream of sorrel was good as compared to the other two: a first for me. It was slightly thick with the unmistakable taste of local grown 'gongura.' The sourness was prevalent, yet not so sour that we couldn't handle it. The cream in it kind of toned it down. The Tuscan vegetable soup was a disaster. It tasted like 'rasam' with lot of vegetables thrown in. It was neither here nor there.
Salads: After this rather insipid fare, I looked froward to the salads with a slight trepidation.
Yet, when it arrived, like a goat which has found the greenest grass to chew on, I kept delving into bowl after bowl of the salads with a great gusto. What I found delightful was that all the salads had a very light coating of the dressing. I had a Caesar salad with a cream base, a pear salad with balsamic vinaigrette base, a roasted beet salad and a farm-house salad with Dijon mustard dressing.
The strength of Soups n Salads is definitely the salads. The vegetables used within are all very crunchy and fresh...the lettuce and cherry tomatoes deserve a special mention. It also helps, perhaps, that they have the Nature's Basket store right beneath their's. I think that a customer with a good knowledge of salads and dressings can as well get his salads customized according to his taste.
Among the salads, the highlight was the Roasted Beet Salad with its sweet-sour dressing, the greens,orange and a sprinkling of fried nuts.I normally keep away from the rather tasteless beetroot but here a magic was spun with this recipe. Just awesome and a must-have.
We then had the Mexican Bean Wrap which was quite decent in taste. I mean, a wrap is a wrap and consists of boiled and raw veggies wrapped in tortillas or the Indian rotis. The slushes consisted of strawberry lemonade and the orange blast both of which were quite good. No regrets on ordering these.
At the end I ordered a Creme Brulee and I found it quite tasty. I do not have a sweet tooth and therefore am ok with any sweet. But my fellow foodies, some hard-core dessert lovers, were not that enthusiastic about it.
The service really couldn't match up to this kind of 40+ crowd in one go. There were long waits. One of my salads was served without a dressing and a salad without one is just a heap of boiled/raw vegetables.
The pluses of the this coffee shop are the quality of the salads served and the quantities. All your orders come with huge servings. Despite consuming four bowl-fulls of salads, my stomach felt empty within 3 hours' time. This is in sharp contrast (and a relief) to the uneasy and unhealthy feeling one is left with after a dine-out. Here, you  get to eat food that's live, has a soul and prepared with great care
Food: 3.5/5
Ambiance: 3/5
Service: 1/5
Value for money:3/5