How did food happen to you?
Born in Mumbai, in a family of gourmands/foodies, I was exposed to the thrills of great food from early childhood. From the aroma of spices in the kitchen to the acumen required to run a successful business, I soaked it all in my growing years. It, therefore, came as no surprise to anyone when, at the age of 18 years, I decided to pursue a career in the business of culinary arts. Working my way through everything – from researching people’s dining preferences and branding, to gaps in the market and international trends, I knew that I had found my calling in hospitality. I have worked with some of India’s most prestigious bars, restobars and nightclubs, creating brand after brand that would slowly usher in the new age of India’s dining outexperience.
Tell us something about Bayroute and Hitchki.
Both our brands – Hitchki and Bayroute are absolutely different from each other. The offerings at both the places are different with varied set of audience and there is something for everyone under one roof. Bayroute is a fine dining restaurant known for its impeccable middle eastern culinary, brings the world’s most exotic, sophisticated, and delicious cuisines. Bayroute’s menu aims purely at middle eastern cuisines and the essence & vibrancy of the food will make you feel like you are enjoying it in the bustling streets of Egypt, Turkey, Lebanon, Morocco, and Greece. Whereas, Hitchki as a brand is built on the thought of nostalgia evoked by Food & Music. Hitchki (the Hindi word for “Hiccup”) cleverly evokes memories of time gone by, in a contemporary chic setting. Hitchki serves never seen before drinks each with its own unique spin. The economically priced menu incorporates regional & traditional flavors from across India & offers classic favourites with modern twists. Each dish has a quirky, modern touch in a manner that suits the palate of the current trends.
How are these brands creating a new meaning for Mumbai’s nightlife scene?
Bayroute Powai has recently introduced the most elegant Friday plan with “GINITOES’ FRIDAY”– a night of great food and the most soothing jazz. GINITOES’ Friday will transport you to another world as you walk through their doors, and into a world of beautiful jazz and delectable Middle-Eastern food and drinks. Patrons can choose to have either 3 delectable cocktails plus 2 Bidayah/Hot Mezze or pick their favourite food, a-la-carte, off Bayroute’s unmatched menu. GINITOES’ FRIDAY is just the antidote you need to a long week!
Hitchki seamlessly transforms itself from day to night, defined by international skill & service, it is sure to make you travel back in time to the ‘days of joy.’For Bollywood lovers, Hitchki organizes the special Bollywood Night every Friday to lit up the weekend vibes. Also, Hitchki organizes “Ladies Night” every once a month for the women, offering Unlimited IMFL cocktails for women from 8pm to 10 pm.
You have worked with multiple brands. How do you tap the Millennials preference and dining trend according to your restaurants?
We have defined the word ‘Experience’ as uniqueness of five attributes – Food, Drink, Music, Service and Ambience and we assure that we never let any of these attributes go below our defined standards. We always keep updated with new trends keeping the millennial generation in mind. Hitchki, is one of the hippest resto-bars in Mumbai, has fast grown to become the home to the grooviest weekend parties. At Bayroute, patrons get to enjoy the exotic middle eastern food at the most affordable price, which is why it draws many food lovers to this restaurant.
We see that there is a sudden trend of Middle Eastern restaurants with people going deep into regional cuisines. What is unique about Bayroute?
Bayroute is a tribute to the Middle East’s impeccable culinary legacy. The restaurant adopts the classic bread- fermentation process and cooking techniques such as ﬂat stone atop burning ember, spinning rotisserie and open ﬁre roasted skewers that were discovered in the middle eastern lands.The seasoned chefs whip up the most exotic dishes, prepared with generations-old family secrets from the deepest corners of Lebanon, Morocco, Turkey, Egypt and Greece. Bayroute’s charming old-world exteriors blend beautifully with its modern, minimalistic interiors. It further incorporates their most frequently used and savour-able ingredients such as chickpeas, olives, za’atar, saffron, sumac and dates to create a range of mouth-watering delicacies. With a plethora of delicacies patrons get to savour a few hidden gems like chicken falafel, Baba Ganoush, Muhammara, Za’atar Chicken, Baklava and Gold Souk which are among the popular menus at Bayroute.
Also, how do you balance as both of your brands cater to two different genres?
Both our brands – Hitchki and Bayroute are absolutely different from each other. The offerings at both the places are different with varied set of audience and there is something for everyone under one roof. Hitchki is a fun and quirky place which aptly reflects its Hindi meaning ‘hiccup’ cleverly evoking memories of a time gone by, in a contemporary chic setting.The internationally aspirational brand focuses on regional cuisine and elements of nostalgia to the dining experience, the food and the bar offerings.
Bayroute on the other hand is a fine-dine restaurant with a never seen before concept. The Middle Eastern delicacies at Bayroute have connected the enchanting streets of Egypt, Morocco, Lebanon, Turkey and Greece to the coast of Mumbai, holding the most invigorating cuisines. The culinary map of Bayroute is an expedition to rich cuisines around the globe which will transform the city’s food segment forever. Classic exterior and elegant modern interiors reflect the rich vibrancy and culture of the region.
Tell us something about your expansion plan. It is in the news that Hitchki is opening doors to people of Dubai?
Yes, Hitchki has finally opened its door in Dubai on March 15 at the tony Grand Millennium Hotel, Al Barsha. Dubai is the cultural melting pot of the world. Nostalgia, love and great food know no boundaries, which is why we knew that we had to come soon to Dubai. It shares Mumbai’s pace, multi-culturalism and passion for cuisine. Owing to its strong Bollywood influence, it will offer a new spin on many childhood favourites, offering regional and traditional flavours from across India. It’s casual and energetic ambience along with its nostalgic food and drink elements make it the perfect place for Dubai and a signature will be the Bollywood Nights, since Bollywood has been a major hit in Dubai. It’s a very chic Indian concept for the global audience, adapted to the Middle Eastern palette.
Tell us something about footfall. Who are the general customers?
Consumers are always looking for a place where they are welcomed and can come back to. We aim to provide services that cater to the masses and create a brand recall value that our consumers can connect with. Both our brands – Hitchki and Bayroute are absolutely different from each other. At Hitchki and Bayroute, patrons can enjoy medley of alternative cuisines from around the world, including bountiful options for vegetarians too. Those with a sweet tooth will have enough to choose from. Both the restaurants also serve an Instagram-worthy beverage menu so it definitely caters to the Millennials. Anybody who is into fine dining, love exotic middle eastern cuisine and prefers jazz music and soothing ambience, will definitely like to go for Bayroute. Whereas, food lovers who enjoys going out with friends, socialising and has a great taste in Bollywood music would love to visit Hitchki.
If not a restaurateur, What can we expect from you?
I have always liked being on this side as Restaurateurs, however, I am also a professionally trained voice over artist. That’s what I love to do when I am not busy in the restaurant.