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Features

Five environment-friendly options from where you can order food in Mumbai

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Hate ordering in because of the plastic it comes with? Here are five options that both you and the planet will digest well

Vikhroli resident Dr Suvajeet Duttagupta loves cooking his meals. But, the 31-year-old cinematographer admits that some days are long and tiring and the only option is to order in. Yet, this comes with its share of heartaches. “The worst bit about ordering out is the amount of plastic that they use to package the food. While I make it a point to ask the restaurants not to send any plastic cutlery, there’s only so much one can do.” But, Duttagupta isn’t the only Mumbaikar who wishes ordering in was more environment-friendly. With the plastic ban coming into full effect on June 23, Mumbai establishments have little more than a month to find alternatives. While some places now pack their containers in cloth bags, the containers themselves remain plastic, thus almost negating the good work done. But, there are a few who have switched to eco-friendly alternatives:

The New York Burrito Company
Pics/Bipin Kokate

This brand new Mexican quick service restaurant has a takeout menu that includes Mexican bowl, burrito, tacos, nachos, quesadillas, chips with guacamole and more. They use recyclable bagasse trays and kraft bags (made from recycled paper). They also add wooden spoons and forks to their takeout bags. Senil Shah, partner, says,
“As our packaging is eco-friendly and fresh, we don’t fear food getting bad. Costs have risen, but we see it as an investment for our future generation’s betterment.”

Senil Shah, partner, The New York Burrito Company
Senil Shah, partner, The New York Burrito Company

Where: Chowpatty
Timings: 11 am – 11 pm
Meal for two: Rs 600
Call: 8999347000

29 – Twenty Nine

This pan-Indian restaurant which opened in 2016, is much loved by the patrons for the range of regional dishes (29 states) available under one roof. “We have been experimenting with various packaging material at our Kemps Corner outlet, long before the plastic ban. The packaging material we have found best for our use is made of paper and cornstarch with an eco-friendly dissolvable lamination. This was then applied to all other 29 outlets,” says owner Nishek Jain. The initial sourcing of the products came from an exhibition called PackPlus hosted in New Delhi. Certain items, like rabadi with jalebi all come in a kulhad. They pack the curries in an eco-friendly thick-bond-with-lamination pack.

Nishek Jain, owner, 29 - Twenty Nine. Pic/Bipin Kokate
Nishek Jain, owner, 29 – Twenty Nine. Pic/Bipin Kokate

Where: Kemps Corner
Timings: 11 am – 3.30 pm and 7 pm – 11.30 pm
Meal for two: R1,000
Call: 7208022929

O Pedro
Pics/Datta Kumbhar

This Goan eatery became an instant talk-of-the-town thanks to its mix of flavours soaked in the coastal calm. From healthy options such as corn falafel lettuce wrap to good ol’ chorizo chili fry poie, their menu has something for everyone. Before starting their takeaway services, O Pedro’s tried and tested their delivery menu so that they knew that the food ordered for delivery would travel well. All these dishes are packed in products made of sugarcane, sorghum and wheat that are sourced locally from Pappco Greenware. “Working without plastic has its own challenges as one is not able to secure or seal in liquids completely, but we seal our boxes with paper tape to reduce chances of spillage,” says Yash Bhanage, Partner at O Pedro. He adds, “The quality and the experience of eating the meal is most important for us. Therefore, we are only looking at delivering within a limited radius where we know the food would reach our guests quickly and in the way it was intended to.”

30-60
No. of days in which sugarcane bagasse decomposes

Where: Bandra Kurla Complex
Timings: Noon to 1 am
Meal for two: R1,200
Call: 26534700

Mandala
Pic/Ashish Raje

This delivery kitchen offers a wide range of salads, sandwiches and soups. Sticking to their organic living philosophy, they also ensure that their food reaches their patrons in bio-degradable containers made of sugarcane bagasse — the fibrous residue. They source these products from a company that buys the packaging raw material from the UK and then processes it to create biodegradable bowls. The company also provides data on how many carbon credits they save by using their boxes. “We don’t add any items on our menu that don’t withstand our rigorous testing. This means that we let our food sit out at room temperature for up to an hour to see if it retains its flavour and freshness,” says Sarvangi Shah, director of marketing.

Where: Kemps Corner and Prabhadevi
Timings: 11 am-midnight
Meal for two: Rs 700
Call: 8291817376

The Pantry
Pic/Suresh Karkera

Tucked in the bylanes of the city’s art district, this artsy café is a perfect hideout. The Pantry was established six years ago with principles of using fresh, local produce. This even translates in their packaging where they use food containers made of cornstarch while their straws, sleeves, boxes are all made of paper. Soup containers are made of bagasse. “Liquid foods like soups are the trickiest to pack but as we use bagasse container for the same and they are with an airtight lid which holds liquids safely, it makes it easy to travel,” says Sumit Gambhir, the partner at The Pantry. In order to avoid spoilage due to temperature, they ensure that they maintain the delivery timings.

Address: Kala Ghoda, Fort
Timings: 8.30 am – 11.30 pm
Meal for two: Rs 1,400
Call: 22678901

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