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'Cool' drinks

Bangalore has any number of coffee and beer joints. In case you're looking for a place that has the best of fruit juice, head for Quench.



Quenching thirst in style — Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

COFFEE IS cliché and pubs are passé. Inhaling passive smoke while sipping on a latte is not everyone's cup of tea. So what do Bangaloreans do when coffee culture has been done to death? That's where Quench - Bangalore's only exclusive juice bar - comes to rescue. With low calorie, healthy alternatives to caffeine and empty calories, here is a place that promises its patrons wholesome and nutritious drinks to lighten one's day, in terms of the calories too.

Barely two months old, Quench already has its dedicated clientele, right from early morning joggers to college students, families, and corporates.

Their "jumpstart breakfast" and wide range of pancakes is available throughout the day, providing patrons with a filling and a fully satisfying meal that doesn't weigh on one's conscience about that extra half hour on the treadmill.

Farah and Alia Mahmood, the sisters who manage Quench, reveal: "Quench is a place that caters to everyone because apart from serving health drinks and smoothies, we also have homemade desserts and the more conventional tea and coffee on offer. If a group of friends come in, not everyone would opt for fruit juice. So we see to it that there is something for everybody, though smoothies and fruit yoghurts are our core products. We also make all our drinks to order. So if anyone is particular about the amount of sugar that goes into their smoothies, we ensure that they get what they want."

For those under the impression that Quench is just another juice joint serving fresh fruit juices and snacks, one look at their menu will prove otherwise. Atypical combinations of fruits such as watermelon and green grape, pomegranate and orange, carrot and apple, go into their juices. The smoothies, made from yoghurt and fresh fruits are as unusual - banana and coffee, banana and grape, banana and apple, banana and mango, chikoos and apples - are some of the ingredients used. The two are constantly conjuring up new combinations of fruits to be included on the menu so the more adventurous will not be disappointed.

In addition to fruits and yoghurt, vegetable blends like tomato, celery, beetroot, and cucumber are also going to be introduced, laced with natural remedies like ginger and tulsi. All the juices, smoothies, and yoghurts served here are fresh and preservative-free. The food here is primarily health-based with a view to do away with sugar, preservatives, syrups, and processed fruit of any kind. Only seasonal fruit is used, and Farah and Alia insist that they don't serve their customers anything they wouldn't eat themselves. They oversee the work themselves and run the juice bar as an extension of their own kitchen. While Farah takes care of the beverages, Alia is in charge of the desserts. Apple cake, date and walnut cake, light lemon sponge cake and brownies are some of the desserts one can find here, though the menu changes almost everyday. The spinach and mushroom quiche is also wholesome and made from scratch. But isn't this a health food eatery? "Most of our food and beverages are low calorie and natural but we don't claim to help people lose weight by drinking our smoothies. What we do promise is that even if our foods aren't calorie free, they're all good calories," says Alia. So one won't find cream pastries or heavily sweetened cakes here. Non-vegetarian food is also avoided, as nothing is kept overnight.

In addition to the range of milkshakes and food they serve, each item has a lighter option. Milkshakes could be low-cal or thick, made with skim milk or whole milk and cream as per individual tastes. The pancakes could be served with honey instead of cream, and one could leave out sugar in any of the drinks on offer.

The décor here is effectively bright and cheerful with non-fuss furniture and magazines strewn around the tables. Fruity pictures of kiwis and citrus, along with sporty collages on the tables, lend a youthful ambience. Perfect for hanging out with friends and family or settling into a quiet corner reading a book. Incidentally, Quench subscribes to magazines such as National Geographic, Wire, and F1 so that their regulars have more than one excuse to keep coming back. Besides, its timings - 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., makes it perfect for arranging a cheerful breakfast meeting or picking up a take away after a long day at work.

Quench also encourages amateur and aspiring artists to exhibit their work in its inviting interiors. Paintings, photographs, sketches, ceramics, and handicrafts can all find a space here. A juice bar that has an eye for art is just what the doctor prescribed. Quench is located at Figurine Fitness, Indiranagar, and can be contacted at 5293948.

SOMIKA BASU

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