A Masters in Electronics and a passionate culinary sophisticate, Anirudh Kheny has breached many gastronomic frontiers in his quest for perfection. Widely travelled, Anirudh is constantly on the quest for unique cooking styles, flavours and ingredients. Realising that a lot of people travel nowadays, he strives to ensure authenticity and quality in every dish that he recreates. Excerpts from the interview:
How it all began?
After completing engineering, I was with KPMG doing strategy and consulting, but food was always a passion for me. From a very young age my parents took us to very nice places, getting the nice experience and having a complete hospitality thing was always there. After spending 6-7 years into job I wanted to start my own business and got into it.
Tell us something about your brand. How is it different from other restaurants?
1Q1 Bar is an art décor inspire space. It’s a fairly large space of 10000-12000 sqft and we have authentic foods. What we are known for is authentic asian food especially Japanese food. We are the only restaurant in India doing the Nikkei cuisine, which is a distinctive blend of Japanese and Peruvian cooking. About 40-50 years ago, Japnese went to Peru and made the Japanese food with Peru ingredients and Peru ingredients are mainly Indian ingredients. So, that ways it was very well suited for Indian palate who do not like the bland food.
Focusing on Authenticity!
Either you do the fusion right or go to the authentic way. So, our food is very authentic and somebody who have been to Singapore, Japan and other Asian countries, the food is very similar. We haven’t customized it for the Indian palate because the customer who comes to us is discerning, well travelled and the one who travels all over the world. So, they understand the food that other places offer and we try to replicate it as much as we can.
Trends in coming years
The gimmicks, authenticity is going to come down. People are going to focus more on quality. Other than distracting people from fancy plating and molecular food it is just going to go down. People are getting back to the basics, giving good food with experiment will rule the world. So, if we talk about India there are so many cuisine and the food that the country has. We can look at more Tapas restaurant, Spanish restaurant. So, the focus would be about getting more outside food to India but maintaining the basics and the authenticity.
What new we can see happening at your restaurant?
We are constantly experimenting. We are doing lots of food festivals. Right now we are running a seasonal menu which is completely around berries. So, right from your salads, to desserts to small plate, all Asian food is taken and mixed with berries. It gives somebody a very different perspective, healthy food and so far people like it as it is different.