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    For wholesome European cuisine, Cafe INXS fits the bill

    TOUTED to be India’s first European lounge and salad bar focussed on anti-aging and anti-obesity, Café INXS lets you gorge guilt-free! Inaugurated by Bollywood actor Sridevi Kapoor only three weeks ago, the founders and cosmetologists/dermatologists, Keerthi and Sangeetha Patel, have their practice above the swanky lounge, complete with red lounge chairs and chaise sofas, and believe in slowing aging, by watching what you eat.
    Starting out with a pineapple gazpacho – a pineapple and mint shot with bromelian enzymes (an anti-aging enzyme) and vitamin A and C, we knew the rest of the meal would dispel all notions of health food being like hospital food. Thirst quenchers here come with a difference. So fruit and vegetable juices reign supreme, and we settled with a tomato and pepper one which promises healthy hearts and supple skin, as well as carrot and ginger for better eyes! Don’t be surprised with how filling they are, as they’re totally undiluted.
    Salads, being a focus point here, vary from the simple Greek and Mediterranean variety to the more interesting prawn and pepper version tossed in French dressing. We opted for the chicken and pineapple one – pan tossed chunks of meat and fruit in a chilli garlic dressing. If you’d like to have a soup, you could well complete the meal at just that, especially if you pick the basil and chicken which is rather thick, and comes with two slices of garlic bread too. Broths are also on offer, if you’re looking for a lighter option.
    Skipping starters such as bruschetta, peri peri chicken nuggets and chilli cheese (yes, they have a low-fat Parmesan layer), we dived into grilled fish and chicken for the mains. We loved that the options don’t mean compromising on flavour. In fact, since they are strict about freshness, even the herbs they use are natural, and bring authentic flavour and fragrance. The fish (grilled basa) arrived lightly tossed in tomato and chilli flakes, along with steamed vegetables and mashed potato minus the greasy butter and cream, of course. We were surprised by how tasty the food was as all of it was grilled with minimal olive oil and even cut salt. The chicken, marinated in herbs such as oregano, thyme and rosemary, was flavourful itself, but the mushroom and pepper sauce only enhanced the taste. Pastas, currently off the shelf but soon to be made from scratch in-house, and a few sandwiches are also part of the menu. Desserts include fresh fruit and vanilla ice cream, but on a fitness path, and inspired by the great food we’d had, we chose to end our meal minus sweet treats.
    If you’re on a health food path then this place should be at the top of your list with light yet flavourful menu. And if you’re just looking for authentic European food, then it fits that bill too.
    `1,500 for two. At 2nd Main Road, Vyalikaval. Details: 23311774

    — Aakanksha Devi

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