When we heard about a restaurant themed around ‘Farm to Table’ Asian cuisine a few days ago, we were stoked. Finally, we won’t have to wait for an excuse to go to a friend’s house with the sole intention of binging on the scratch-made wholesome bowl. After months of research, visiting different farmers in Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Gujarat, and going back and forth on recipes, three friends from the same culinary school (all of 25) — Jatin Talreja, Pragun Baja, and Raghav Simha launched the city’s first farm to form, fast-casual dining restaurant, Project Hum, recently.
The pet-friendly diner invited us for testing, so without any delay we decided to meet these boys on a weekday, expecting that the diner will be less busy but we were mistaken. This newly opened place was full of repeat customers and some new, who told us that they heard about this place and have come to try the food for the first time, just like us. We chose to sit outside to enjoy the cold breeze, for it was a pleasant evening.
In tune with the name, their food menu has farm-fresh ingredients blend into as many as 20 dishes apart from their dessert and smoothies menu. We took a quick tour of the restaurant decked in earthy colours like mustard, mint, peach, saffron, and blue. The walls here are laced with frames that boast of sustainable and healthy dining adages with a huge celebratory ‘Farmer of the Month’ framework on the right.
As we settled in, we were greeted by Jatin, one of the founders and quickly we shot our question to him, ‘What’s with the name – Project Hum’. We learn that the name came from conversations about being more than just an eating joint, but instead an inclusive space that would keep growing with the movement. “We want this name to be reminiscent of a community that would keep on building a more holistic way of conversing around and consuming sustainable food,” Jatin told us as he took us through the whole menu.
Jatin Talreja, Pragun Baja, and Raghav Simha
We started our meal with refreshing iced tea. By the time our tea arrived, Jatin recommended we try their seasonal Berry Surprised Salad. We loved the salad which had a lasting taste of strawberry vinaigrette. The strawberry, cranberry, crispy goat cheese, broccoli, pickled beetroot, and almond flakes tossed in the strawberry vinaigrette was just what we needed to know that we were set to have a meal-full blast.
Next on the menu was a tempting Paprikash bowl which was super filling with brown rice, Madras chilli sauce, roasted potatoes and veggies tossed in basil oil. We were so thrilled with the delicious meal the place served. Next, Jatin recommended us their staple Rad Thai Bowl with buckwheat noodles, byadgi-peanut curry, glazed bok-choy, mushroom, and pickled cabbage. The Thai curry in the bowl was the highlight, for it tasted the Indianised version of Thai curry and was so light to our palate.
We really enjoyed our meal, more so, with the kind of warmth the food was served to every customer by the owners themselves — an inspiring sight. “we aim to put food on the table with purpose while calling for greater conversations around sustainability, nutrition and local food systems. Our collaborations are built around community-supported farming with a focus on seasonality and local sourcing. We assure small distances between producers and consumers, involvement of small farmers and commitment to social, economic and environmental dimensions of sourcing,” Jatin told us. ₹
It took us a little longer to realise that the restaurant is completely eco-friendly with their biodegradable cutlery made from sugarcane. “When you eat with us, you’re a part of an alternative food system – which we believe is the future,” Jatin said.
While we were speaking to Jatin, Pragun also came to meet us and told us that each dish at Project Hum is made from scratch, “to ensure no compromises to the quality of the dish.” Apart from wholesome and healthy bowls, you can also try their freshly made wraps. Artisanal sandwiches, fresh fro-yo, and dessert toasts. We loved their Organic Wildflower Honeycomb which had Vanilla flavour. This delightful dessert is a must-try and we highly recommend their Berry Surprised Salad.
Price: ₹ 1,500 for two.