“Jab ZEERO (Shunya) diya mere Bharat ne,
Duniya ko tab ginti aye ….”
जब जीरो दिया मेरे भारत ने
भारत ने मेरे भारत ने
दुनिया को तब गिनती आयी ….
I started singing this famous song from a bollywood movie “Purab aur Pashchim” as I entered Café Shunya in Gurgaon. Well, Shunya or Zeero has a great significance in our daily life, and this new member of Gurgaon Foodie jungle, Café Shunya aims in doing just that by serving authentic delicacies prepared in traditional Indian styles and with Indian ingredients.
Located on the first floor at Cross Point Mall in Gurgaon, Shunya has set up its vision on showcasing the greatness of traditional Indian recipes and the true essence of local Indian ingredients.
The owner Akanksha Rathi said that she too wanted to make it obvious to the world the importance of Shunya, and hence the name of the café. She proudly mentions about all the local Indian ingredients in the dishes served at the café. These ingredients she says are rarely found elsewhere in the world, yet are super-duper healthy and rich nutrient wise.
Café Shunya has a very relaxed and comfortable ambiance and chic interiors, and the potted herbs add to the peaceful atmosphere. You feel quite settled in the warmth inside the café which has very basic monochrome tones of white and black.
In Finland they practice minimalism, and here at the café Aksansha has used this art of minimalism to give the interiors a comfy feel. The perforated wall paneling and solid wood tables combine with monochromatic benches to give this glass-fronted café an airy vibe. The walls are finished with a pure white square grid of polka dots.It also has a special corner that features a small sit-down cove bringing back the original sit and eats style of Indian eating with a chowk-di and a choki next to the potted window.
One gets a feel of what the café is going to offer, as he walks in because of the trays of Indian herbs that are displayed on the shelf at the entrance. These herbs, Tulsi, Ajwain, Wheatgrass and Aloe Vera etc. are to be used in the kitchen.They plucked Aloe Vera right from the pot in front of me while making an aloe vera infused smoothie and this totally floored me.
The seating area is made out of Sangawan wood, table mats of woven bamboo, the cutlery from mango wood and Sheesham and to finish up even the upholstery used for the cushions and sofa is of hand woven pure cotton material.
The brand logo has also been designed to showcase the importance of Indian symbols and Zeero – Yogi designed with the circle, the oval, and the infinity which are the 3 graphical manifestations of the concept of Shunya.
Well coming to the important part of the story – the Food. If you get a chance to see me, you will never say that I am a health-conscious person, but I did enjoy some of the great lineup of healthy foods. As a matter of practice, I tasted a few dishes on the menu of this café, but if I had more space left in my tummy I would have loved to try out a few more.
To begin with I had the Tulsi Pesto infused Shunya Classic Sandwich, and Jo-Jowar Salad which was an awesome union of Jo n Jowar with hung curd dressing and lemon pickle. We had the Green Topic Smoothies made of spinach, broccoli etc. pureed for taste with a dash of Guava, which made all the difference in flavours.
I also had the Homemade Muesli, which was the best dish of all that I tasted at the café; a healthy mix of makhana, raisins, dry ber, nuts & seeds topped with rose petals and flavoured milk. I also liked the Superfood Salad. It again was superbly presented and had Quinoa, seeds, fruits, veggies, nuts and a lot more. Dressed up with Pomegranate kernels, it was a perfect dish with tangy flavours.
I love Kamrakh or the Star fruit for its sweet and sour taste. And I couldn’t resist myself in ordering the Chickpea- Spinach n Starfruit salad. The Starfruit on the top of the salad made the salad sweet and even chickpeas tasted naturally sweet and tangy.
To make my lunch healthier and filling, I now opted for the Beetroot Pizza. It was a different experience altogether. Quite unlike what we normally get in form of Pizza at other joints, this was a great pizza which crackled in every bite and was generously topped with Chukander (beetroot) which made it slightly sweet.
They also had Kaanji, a traditional Rajasthani drink normally consumed after meals to help you digest whatever rich food you have eaten. But I had only healthy food till now, so I skipped it and instead went in for a Tisane (basically herbal tea with no tea/caffeine content). If you expand the word Tisane – it becomes TI and SAN – and in French this means sans tea (without Tea). Tisane with of ashwagandha, cardamom and Indian whole spices was amazing, it sure helped me infuse some energy to help me gulp in the Pancakes which I had as a dessert. The dessert menu is not yet that sweet at Shunya, so I settled for a pancake preparation with Old Monk sauce on top along with chironji seeds. The chironji seeds added flavours and a little bitterness to the sweet pancake assemble.
Well, in the end allI could say to Akansha was – ‘Bravo’ n wished her good luck. She certainly has given the word Shunya a new meaning,
Décor: 4.5/5 Food: 4.5/5 Drinks: 4/5 Service: 4.5
Address: 115, First Floor, Cross Point Mall, DLF Phase 4, Gurugram
Meal For Two: Approx INR 1000
All pics by Parej Chamaria for exatraveller.com, and also all the inputs for this review from Parej Chamaria
Disclaimer: We were invited by the café for a review, our views are based on a particular day and time of review. No money exchanged hands, and one might find slight differences hen he/she visits the café.