Jitin Joshi, executive chef, Taj Dubai tells Catering News how he makes his fine-dining Indian restaurant Bombay Brasserie shine in the competitive marketplace of Dubai
Please describe the menu concept of Bombay Brasserie:
Bombay Brasserie is a contemporary Indian restaurant. Miniature paintings exclusively commissioned for the dining room reflect Indian heritage and the food is cooked using traditional techniques. Yet modern and creative styling and presentation create a contemporary feel and cocktails and a botanical bar complete the dining experience.
You recently launched the ‘At Chef’s Mercy’ brunch. Tell us about this?
Brunches are usually a long, lazy and food-filled affair where the afternoons merge into the evenings. We have created ‘At Chef’s Mercy’ so that our chefs can truly pamper the guests. There is no menu; the food is served in small tasting portions, with snacks in the style of those sold by Mumbai hawkers, to tandoori delights and sophisticated curries. You have to trust the chef and relax and enjoy dish after dish until you are done! Our weekly brunches will showcase the diversity of the vast Indian sub-continent, with regional cuisines like Goan, Bengali and Kashmiri to name a few.
You are planning on launching a whisky and food pairing menu – tell us more!
Whisky is a popular drink in the Indian sub-continent and works well with spices and smokey tandoor flavours. We have liaised with Dewar’s to create a menu that complements the drams and have even developed cocktails with the Dewar’s blend. Food and beverage parings are a work of art where the food and drink have to work in tandem in one’s palate. It’s not easy to get right – my philosophy is that you should be able to remember both.
What are your best-sellers on the menu?
- Bhatti jhinga – spice-rubbed tandoori tiger prawns
- Martaban ka meat – lamb curry in a pickling spice jar
- Paneer khatta pyaz- cottage cheese with pickled onions
How have you adapted the menu to suit Dubai diners?
Dubai is a competitive market, and the Indian restaurant offer is wide and varied. We have not digressed from our core cuisine and the menu composition is based on classics. This has been accepted well by our diners, as we have shown enough creativity, but haven’t removed the essence of the culture and cuisine that makes people take a trip down memory lane.
What is the major challenge you face operating an Indian fine-dining restaurant in Dubai?
The fine-dining Indian restaurant segment is growing annually, with each one trying to achieve a unique offer. The challenge is to have a balance between creative, cutting edge and contemporary style, which is well rooted in the Indian food that has stood the test of time. It’s imperative for us as restaurateurs to create a memorable experience, by way of offering a modern, creative cuisine, but with comforting, recognisable dishes.