Over the past few years, Bangalore has certainly seen a spike in the largely unexplored area of conceptualised restaurants and cafes. Contemporary spaces now want to appeal to customers not just with flashy menus, discounts and unreal near-perfect photographs of their food. Rather, these establishments are now community and society centric with a purpose to spread a specific message with Enerjuvate and The Repair Cafe being the perfect examples of this effective left-field approach.
‘GO Native’ is the most recent addition to this exclusive club of eateries and is a beautifully remodeled bungalow nestled in the green suburbs of Jayanagar, Bangalore. This boutique vegetarian restaurant and store is based on the principles of an individual recognizing the need and impact of reducing his or her carbon footprint by embracing all things indigenous and homegrown. Rooted in tradition yet embracing a contemporary aesthetic, Go Native focuses on enhancing one’s quality of life through sustainable living and healthy lifestyles to help offset the impact of a fast changing cityscape. A contrivance of entrepreneurs Radeesh shetty, Anvitha Prashanth, Jenny Pinto and their enterprise ‘Discovery Village’; this unique venture has many takers and has already set tongues wagging and mouths watering.
One of the main reasons for this is the type of cuisine on offer and a menu that is really about finding a balance between familiar, traditional recipes and contemporary tastes.“Our Menu attempts to reinterpret classical Indian recipes in exciting new ways. We decided to keep it vegetarian as it was easier to stick to our organic promise. We also believe in reinforcing the need to maintain ecological balance by growing and eating seasonal produce” says the team elucidating the inspiration behind it. As a result, the dishes are seasonal and are in tune with the produce available at that point in time which currently focuses extensively on the bounty of summer fruits - mangoes, litchis, ice apples and the jackfruit.Go Native sources as much as possible from regional farms that also believe in sustainable, chemical free farming; conscientious of water consumption and soil conservation thus also supporting local agriculturists in the process.
One of the main draws however is the exquisite boutique store that is housed within the same premises. Apart from being aesthetically gorgeous the store itself is also modelled along the lines of environmental viability. Describing their direction, the team says “In keeping with our ethics to support fair trade and native art and craft, Go Native sources directly from the grassroots, ensuring that every product benefits the livelihoods of the farmers and artisans who make them. Our curation is also aimed at ensuring that we offer the complete sustainable lifestyle experience we seek to provide by reiterating how conscious living and consumer decisions can impact, to large extents, our communities and our own lives”.
The store houses hand-woven cottons and linens, upcycled furniture and accessories, eco-friendly lights, toys, handmade soaps, organic oils, and much more. In their own words, the retail outlet is designed to be a ‘one-stop shop for a gamut of lifestyle needs’ and hence also offer baby diaper rash care products, natural detergents, cork wallets, banana fiber bags and clothes to home lighting solutions, decor, jams, pickles and believe it or not , Rasam powder!
And It doesn’t stop there as this boutique restaurant also has a dedicated fitness zone too where they currently host yoga sessions that are more inclined towards the internalization of the practice through Vinyasa flow and Hatha offerings rather than vigorous exertion as is usually the case.In time the team are also looking at incorporating pranayama and meditation in their schedules as important aspects of fitness and health - activating both mental and physical components of the human body.
The team at GO Native also leave no stone unturned when it comes to preaching their message to nearby residents as they look at engaging them in as much dialogue and activity connected to the Earth and environment as possible. Vagrant initiatives such as nature walks and workshops teaching communities to use natural dyes, seeds and ferns for printing have been received with great enthusiasm as well with a lot more activities in the pipeline for later this year.
So what does the future hold for Discovery Village?
“We would like to reach other neighbourhoods in Bangalore, and eventually India. In our view, Go Native as an actionable model, is an open sourced concept for any neighbourhood to adopt. Bridging the gap between where India is and where we would like it to be on the spectrum of sustainability” exhorted the team with enthusiasm.
Here’s hoping there are many more initiatives like this one that help shape the course of our country sustainably and sensibly and not exploit the environment in the name of development.
Where: #39, 10th Main Road, 5th Block, Jayanagar, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560011