There are no quips at Project Hum. While an open counter readies your bowl of green, seasonal-friendly dish, a scan of the QR code decodes where its many ingredients come from. Dining at this restaurant means getting a heartful bite of health, sustainability, and newer perspectives.
For emerging restaurateurs today, when terms like organic, sustainable, eco-conscious in the market are already being used (more often than not) as decorative adjectives than being substantial in reality, the challenge and a blessing in disguise is to turn the tables in their favour. The latest arrival of Project Hum, a chic-casual eatery in the nexus of Mumbai’s neighbourhood Bandra exemplifies this without holding any bars.
The founding team of three young, 25 year olds— Raghav Simha, Jatin Talreja and Pragun Bajaj—one certain day decided to finally give identity to their progressive idea of bringing the perfect platter of organic food to everyone. Accessibility was the motivation, while a collective sense of clean eating with a focus on the real food providers, that is the farmers, became the point of focus. Thus, was born Project Hum, remoulding the common notion of farm-to-fork being a conversation only in the circles of fine dining.
Shouldered by existing popular spots like Suzzette and The Irish House, Project Hum stands proud and poised with its blue, beige and white colour scheme. With a glass-bordered indoor area, the restaurant also hosts comfortable outdoor seating overlooking the bustling street view of Pali Hill.
With someone so accustomed to first score the design and decor details of restaurants and cafés, here my eyes first landed on the picture of ‘Farmer of the Month’ Ganesh Hande from Junnar in Maharashtra, a poster hung on the wall right opposite the entry door.
Jatin Talreja, one third of the founder said, “The idea is to award one farmer every month whose produce is being used most in our dishes and the one who uses more sustainable ways of farming in their farms.”
My conversation with Raghav Simha also reveals that the role of the farmers does not just cease at being the ingredient providers for the restaurant. In fact, this direct connect with them will soon culminate into special events where the farmers can visit the outlet themselves, sample the recipes made and witness the final output of farm-to-table in person.
Making my way to Project Hum on a Friday evening that’s ready to spill on to the weekend, it is a surprising delight to see a flock of young guests gravitating here and choosing to munch on healthy meals over junk. After a quick glance of the menu, I ask Simha and Talreja to recommend me the bestsellers.
In a while, two different trays of open sandwiches arrive on the white-tiled counter table I am sitting on, which also works so well as a community table for solo visitors here. The first toast ‘Fico’ looks vibrant crowned with grilled zucchini from Torus farm and mushrooms, bellpaper jam, arugula and kale pesto. The second one is a ‘Br-avocado’ with byadgi macha, bellpaper jam, pickled onion and arugula from Satviki Farm. I noshed it up in a matter of minutes. And, that’s self-explanatory. Isn’t it?
Project Hum’s menu is elaborately sectioned into many categories—from wrap trays, seasonal salads and bowls to artisanal sandwiches and toasts, crafted salads to frozen yoghurt, desserts and more.
You would not find cocktails and spirits here, though. Keeping up with the concept of clean eating as Talreja informs, the idea was to have such beverages that could go fittingly well with the meals here. So you will find smoothies, cold-pressed juice, refreshers, coffees and teas.
Sustainability trickles onto the tableware as well. The menu is served in bowls, trays and little cups made out of biodegradable sugarcane bagasse that the team informs, saves about 40 per cent water, too.
What has now become my favourite, the light, oil-free and mucho delicious sweet potato fries are a must have. The menu at Project Hum will keep rotating every few months to bring in the best of seasonal produce to the table, I’m told. The restaurant may soon introduce a strawberry-special lineup once the red berries are in season next month.
In those moments of anticipating my order, as I keenly look around the space decked up in hues of brick orange, beige and whites, the design plays as a beautiful bridge between the concept and food served here. An open counter with a closed pantry behind it overlooks neatly lined up chairs, couches and tables with a large orange shelf, racked up with books and other curios.
Project Hum, as I see it, is not a one-time visit eatery. In fact, to make sure your gut and resolutions to eat better every day stay intact, even when hitting a restaurant, this new gem in Bandra’s Pali Hill comes with some bright, greener promises!
Overall rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (Max: 5 stars)
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