Introduction and the History of the Mineority:
Mineority by Saby opened its doors to Pune on 15th October 2016.
MINEORITY is a beautiful story and a tribute to the mining community in India and the world over. It is started by Singh family along with award winning, celebrity chef Sabyasachi Gorai, who was the Director of Kitchens for Ai-The Japanese Restaurant, The Love Hotel, Lap -The Club, Olive Beach, Olive Qutub and The Moving Kitchen by Olive. Mineority is a project of passion and the story is straight from his heart as he grew up in different mining towns and every corner of this gastropub tells a story of his life and travels.
He has won many awards for his food and restaurants and one of his biggest accolades was being honoured by the President of India as well as Varli Awards as the ‘Best Chef of India’. He was one of the ‘5 people to watch out for’ in Fortune India ‘s list 2013, which covered only the top five people from five different fields from all over India.
Mineority’s name comes from the combination of the words ‘mine’ (that was dug), ‘ore’ (that was extracted, be it gold, copper, coal) and the ‘minority’ group of people who brought it out of the ground risking their lives every single day.
The restaurant is divided in two sections with an indoor area located on the first floor and a rooftop area, each spread over 2900 square feet.
Climbing past the staircase, one comes across a beautifully painted wall, giving a feeling of walking into a coal mine. The floor begins with a large wooden door that opens to a world of mine with bright and cheerful interiors. Each wall, corner and element at Mineority has a tale to tell, a symbolism and a deep connection with mining stories and towns from around the world. Unique artwork like a wall with a collage that has a depiction on old books, cages used as lighting, flooring like red ore, hanging windows and installations are a visual treat.
The menu here is derived from the mining towns in India such as Bihar, UP, Orissa, the North East states and parts of South India. Also, to complete the mining map there are dishes from international mining countries like Australia, Africa, Latin America and parts of Europe. As a cuisine the menu also takes inspiration from tribal and local eating cultures of these regions.
The food at Mineority is made with ingredients sourced from local produce and freshly available components. Use of flowering plants, mountain herbs, jungle sourced berries and seasonal fruits are very evident in the cooking and flavourful to the palate. One will find dishes ranging from Calcutta Club Chilli Paneer, Hill Coriander Sichuan Prawns to Ethiopian Injera Roll and Tailgate Ham and Cheese Sliders amongst the many others.
Just as much miners loved their food, drinks were an important part of their life after a hard working day. Staying true to their essence, Mineority has a vast drinks menu with large cocktails, apt for a long evening. Drinks like My Yellow Canary that come in a little cage to illustrate the story of miners carrying the canary bird over their head in cages to depict the level of Methane gas comes with a mix of 120ml liquor, rightly made to look after your evening after a long day and priced carefully at Rs.335/- only. Another interesting drink is the Rat Hole Mines which was a name for the Jaintia hills as the inside use to be hot, humid and sweaty. This drink has a potent concoction to give a feel of the similar heat along with a cooling tamarind flavour. The 90ml infused liquor drink is priced at 375/- and is served in a quirky glassware. Each drink comes with a story and is served in an unusual way.
Speaking to the co-owners and partners with Chef Saby, Singh family says, “Mineority is a fun and young concept dedicated to the miners, their loved ones and the mining community. Our spaces are designed to be lively, interactive and bring to Pune a place which serves a unique cuisine and is an ideal hub to unwind.”
My experience about the Mineority by Saby:
I was invited for the food and drinks tasting by Carpe Diem’s Shivangi. Many Thanks to her and the team Carpe Diem Pune for considering me to be the part of the Bloggers table.
We started the evening with some signature Drinks from the menu:
My Yellow Canary: There is fascinating story behind it!! A pretty little yellow birds that were carried in a cage hoisted above the head in coal mines to judge the levels of Methane Gas, thus preventing the miners from inhaling the dangerous fumes.
This Drink is a fantastic combination of Gin (90ml), White Wine (30ml) Muddled Fresh Turmeric, Fennel, and Lemonade. The presentation of this drink was really good. The Glass was kept in a Cage with the Yellow Flowers Petals were used to replicate the feathers of the bird…. Wow #MustHave
Black Diamond: This drink is named after the first English style train that ran from Calcutta to the neighbouring coal mining areas of Asansol, whereas Black Diamond is also refer to Coal. This had the Combination of Old Monk (60ml), Earl Grey, Honey, Edible Charcoal Colour, and Cola. When the Drink arrived on the table it had a Sparkling light in it, which took the drink to next level. #MustHave
Georgy Peg: This drink is dedicated to the Iconic hollywood Actor, Gregory Peck of “Mackenna’s Gold” Chef Saby has put his life emotions in the theme of this restaurant. Drinks Combination Vodka (60ml) Gin (60ml) Cucumber, Dill, Olives, Tonic Water. You can try if you like the combination.
Mahua Mehul: Its a Flowering plant that has the most fragrant flowers in Eastern India. It attracts bears that come to drink the Nectar of the fragrant flowers and get intoxicated. All the ingredients are freshly procured from their origination.
Drink Combination Mahua Flower Berries muddled with Gin (90ml) Mint, and Lemonade. #Musttry
Narangi: This has an association with the country liquor. This takes you back when there were country liquor was the only option for the miners and common man and all other drinks were just for the high class and educated class of the country.
Drink Combination Vodka (90ml) freshly muddled Kinnow Oranges, Blood Orange syrup and fresh Mint. Tangy in taste with a hint of vodka made this drink unique.
Ethiopian Injera Roll: This is an East African sourdough-risen flatbread with a unique, slightly spongy texture. Traditionally made out of teff flour, it is a national dish in Ethiopia and Eritrea. The filling is crushed tomato and flaxseeds pesto.
Paneer Suya Kebab: Suya is a spicy shish kebab (skewered meat/Paneer) which is a popular food item in West Africa. Small Panner cubes are marinade with ground spicy peanut and served with Salad/Kachumber. #MustHave
Smoked Jungle Wrapped Paneer: The chef takes all the efforts to create and present the dish on the table. Cooked with flavourful tribal leaf wrap from Manipur comes with gooseberry green chilli salsa and potato wedges. Each Paneer Cube is carefully marinated and wrapped in a tribal leaf and then it is cooked, the flavours of the leaf is felt with every bite. #MustHave
Laloo Aloo Samosa: The most common evening snacks of Bihar. Samosa ghugni chat is also one of the most common snacks from the streets of Bihar. A very popular evening snack being eaten over a cup of tea. Samosa being very common snack largely eaten all over india and ghugni very common in Bengal and Bihar made with dry peas. But Chef gave a twist to this dish instead of Samosa shape he cooked in a Gujiya shape with a buckwheat. #MustHave
My Litti Chokha and Ghugni: Litti along with chokha is a complete meal originated and popular in Indian state of Bihar and Nepalese state of Madhesh; it’s a dough ball made up of whole wheat flour and stuffed with Sattu (roasted chickpea flour) mixed with herbs and spices and then roasted over coal or cow dung cakes or wood then it is tossed with lots of ghee. Although very often confused with the closely related Rajasthani Baati, but it is a completely different dish in terms of taste, texture and preparation. It may be eaten with yogurt, baigan bharta, alu bharta, and papad. #Musttry
Kasundi Vegetable Jhal: A pungent mustard paste called Kashundi is a dipping sauce popular in Bengal. With this veggies are cooked with all the bengali spices making this a on of the spiciest dish on the menu. This was served with the triangle paratha.
Desi Dip n chip: This is the eastern variant of serving Padad. A duet of pumpkin and yam chokha from under and above the ground comes with local nachni papad.
Jurassic Cheesecake: This was the winning dish of all the desserts. This is the most talked about dessert in the town. The origin of Cheesecake from the Indian context takes you to Odisha/Orissa. The Jurassic cheesecake was made up of chenna poda (early stage of cottage cheese) topped with a layer of custard and crushed guaja flakes. This is just Brilliant in taste. #MustHave
Dehati Cookies n Cream: It is one of the oldest recipe preserved for the generations in mining community. An all-American postdinner snack of cookies and cream finds a ‘dehati’ avatar — the biscuits are Bihari, a shortbread called thekua, of wheat flour, jaggery, coconut and cardamom, besides lashings of ghee. These are served with gaja, another East Indian revelation of flaky pastry, alongside a saffron-spiced tumbler of cream and condensed milk to dip into.
Gorans Bajadera: The Goran’s Bajadera had a nougat, chocolate and crumbs of biscuit. Not much of my type.
Food: Concentric to mining community which is close to Chef Saby’s Heart as well. Some dishes are not even heard of or you wont find it in any other restaurant with the recipe passed on from generations.
Service: Perfectly good no issues.
Ambience: This is something to talk about. All the interiors is a glimpse of Chef Saby’s journey of life. Every wall and wall art has some connection to Chefs life, and he can explain it in much better way.
Value for Money: Looking at the uniqueness of the dishes served it was completely prized.
Big Shoutout for Shivangi from Carp Diem and team Mineority for hosting us.