Sequel Juice Bar & Bistro (Bandra, Mumbai)

“Shall we lubricate this evening with a little libation, darling?”

Let’s be frank, a place like Sequel is going to emotionally trigger a number of people. It’s a niche, specialist health food café serving indiscriminately expensive raw food, juices and world foods. Even for a well-travelled, global citizen the menu is a lesson in provenance and origin, ingredients like “Kashmiri Honey”, “Peruvian Cacao”, “Mexican Chocolate” are littered across the menu.

Anyway, back to the libation. The juices and smoothies are thick, delicious and packed with fresh fruits. A personal favourite is the Blueberry Mango Jar. The scattering of Chia Seeds on top of the mauve coloured liquid is a lovely touch, and it’s all ‘crackle and pop’ from then on. The Matcha Smoothie bowl might just turn you into the Incredible Hulk. It’s a fluorescent bowl of green Matcha soup filled with every conceivable health goody: pumpkin seeds, bananas, granola and more.

The Avocado Toast has a strange taste, which I couldn’t put my finger on, but the Waffles (only served at the Weekend) are a delightfully healthy twist on the Belgian classic we all know and devour. They were not as soft as one would have hoped, but sin-free food must have some compromise. Finally the Avo-Mousse reminds me of a Jamie Oliver “Cheeky Chocolate Pot”, smooth, rich and worthy of commendation.

The place itself is an ode to sophistication, arguably overly so for a man of my humble origins. It’s hard not to appreciate the melodic jazz music in the background, the whitewashed walls or even the off white textured paper the menu is written on. If Sequel was in any other capital city of the world – Paris, London, New York – you still couldn’t deny its aspirations. The fact that Sequel has been conceptualised in Mumbai, with known sourcing constraints and limitations of the market, makes it even more remarkable. A truly fine accomplishment.

“Hoity toity”, “posh”, “elitist”, you might call this place, but inferior never.

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