Bandra is known to be the hub of Bombay’s avant-garde. From culture to cuisine, if it’s modern and exciting, you can usually find it represented here. Of the many cafes and eateries that can be found in the area, there are some with unique ideas and offerings that make them stand out. Bloom is certainly one of them.
Stepping into Bloom, Conscious Eatery and Cafe is like finding refuge from the city. Even though just beyond its gates lies the busy Turner Road crossing, the small outdoor patio decked out in wood and neutral hues exude a certain peace. Though the space indoors is small, it’s innovatively arranged to give each table an identity of its own and a highly Instagrammable floral nook. Designer Ankita Sharma, Founder of Design Alma and the mind behind the restaurant’s decor describes it as a homage to beautiful French cafes with an added floral layer, “The name ‘Bloom’ is inspired by ‘blooming flowers’ which is another sub-concept for the interiors.”
Conscious, plant-based foods are on the rise and it’s a space that founder Niketa Sharma knows well. After the success of Blah! In BKC, Bloom was set to up the ante on healthy living with a menu that was conscious, plant-forward and also mouthwateringly delicious. With options that are vegan, keto, gluten-free, PCOS-friendly and diabetic-friendly, she aimed to create a space where everybody could enjoy a great meal, regardless of their dietary restrictions. “It is a place for everyone,” she says, “Taking it one bite at a time, Bloom aspires to create awareness about conscious eating and introducing a healthy aspect in good quality and tasty food.”
The menu definitely lives up to its promise of healthy indulgence. There is a slew of options from sandwiches, thin crust pizzas, bowls, burgers and an all-day breakfast menu to really amp up the brunch vibes. Their menu is detailed to avoid any accidental allergens, and thoughtfully labelled with tags marking off the vegan, gluten-free and keto dishes but their well-versed staff are always there to clarify anything you’re unsure of.
Executive Chef Rahul Desai is the mind behind this healthy gastronomic affair, and with over nine years of experience at brands like Indigo, Tah, and Masala Library, he has brought together a selection of dishes that are both comforting and innovative in equal parts. Things like the Signature Zen Avocado Toast reinvent the regular with feta, super seeds and basil pesto.
Even though they have steered towards a plant-forward menu, don’t be fooled, they can knock it out of the park in the meat arena too. After trying the Lamb Confit Sandwich, which was perfectly cooked and paired with a house BBQ sauce and peri-peri sweet potato crisps, I had to officially let go of any perceptions that vegan eateries had to be one-dimensional.
In fact, Niketa herself recommends going for items in the Main Course section for the full experience. Things like the Pearl Barley Risotto, the French Onion Chicken Leg or the Homemade Rosette Di Pasta. Bloom is effortlessly proving that healthily doesn’t have to oppose eating heartily and that eating well doesn’t mean eating less.
Along with the usual coffee offerings, shakes and smoothies, they also have a selection of cold beverages, iced teas and kombuchas all inspired by fruit and florals. The Raspberry, Lime Kombucha was a standout with a tart, refreshing finish, the perfect companion to sit outside and enjoy the afternoon. They also have an array of sugar-free desserts to choose from for every taste. The fan favourite is the Rose Tres Leches which also happens to be gluten-free and vegan, but no less indulgent for it.
In the short span of my visit, I was pleasantly surprised by the range that this pocket-sized cafe managed to fit within its quaint walls. Every table that came and went had nothing but praise to lavish upon their meal and for the chef behind the magic. According to Niketa, “Food is the source of life and Bloom caters to clean, natural, and healthy eating to promote holistic wellness of the body.” She created Bloom with the intent to shake up the idea of healthy eating, a goal which has been achieved in style.