Veganism is fast catching up all over the world; and so are the eat-out options for vegans. You no longer have to now skip that cheesecake or that Chocolate shake just because you went dairy-free. The Real Green Café at Koregaon Park is the answer to all your vegan cravings – be it pizza, pasta, hot/cold beverages or even a vegan dessert spread.
It is Pune’s first ever vegan café. The owner, Aishwarya Viswanath, is an animal rights activist. Her passion for this cause led her begin this venture.
The Real Green Café is a simple, no frills place located at the beginning of Lane 6 in KP. Apart from eclectic wooden chairs and tables, they also have a community table with high chairs, where I chose to sit. On being seated, the first thing that caught my attention is this pillar located right in the middle filled with some eye-catching chalk-work! They also have a rack of books to keep the bookworms satiated.
The RGC has an open kitchen; a concept that I’m not too fond of, since I do not like to subject myself to the smoke and aromas emanating thereof. But I do know that a lot of people like to watch their food being prepared. Ventilation is a bit of a problem since table fans are your only bet here. Their water bottles though, are a sight for sore eyes –absolutely colorful and quirky!
I started off with the TOFU CHILLY WRAP. Even though I’m not a tofu fan otherwise, I quite enjoyed this. It comprised of chunks of tofu marinated in a spicy sauce with capsicum all rolled up in a whole wheat flatbread. This will make for a good snack or can even serve as a light lunch. Recommended.
The dish I was most looking forward to was the GREEN POWER PIZZA. This comprised of broccoli and corn along with tomato sauce and dairy free mozzarella atop a gluten free pizza base. Even though it looked super sexy, the broccoli was almost raw which did not appeal to me at all. I would recommend ordering different toppings or specifically requesting them to sauté the broccoli before grilling the pizza.
The MUSHROOM CORN SANDWICH on the other hand was very good. Whole wheat bread layered with mushrooms, corn & dairy free cheese with blend of herbs ensured that you didn’t miss full dairy cheese at all. Highly recommended.
I had the IRISH COFFEE which was par excellence. Made with almond milk, hot coffee and whiskey; this is an absolute must have at The Real Green Café. Highly recommended.
The PENNE IN WHITE SAUCE was a letdown. The sauciness as well as the flavor were completely lacking. After tasting this, I feel that vegan cooks should stick to making Arrabiata, Pesto or Aglio Olio; but definitely not attempt a cheesy sauce since it can never compare to the real thing.
The DARK MOCHA shake made with almond milk and chocolate and topped with chocolate shavings was again an excellent beverage. You cannot even point out the difference between this one and the original thing, it’s that excellent!
Even though a variety of desserts such as cheesecake, carrot cake, brownies and cupcakes were on offer; I could only make space for a scoop of MANGO ICE-CREAM. Good on flavor, I didn’t appreciate the texture much since it was somewhat like a granita. Not bad though, considering it was vegan.
FINAL VERDICT – The Real Green Café has some delicious vegan sandwiches and rolls that you pair up with their amazing hot and cold beverages. Evenings would be the ideal time to visit.
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