Vineet Bhatia revealed to Catering News Middle East that he will open a third restaurant in Dubai.
The twice starred Michelin chef, who already operates Ashiana by Vineet at Sheraton Dubai Creek and Indego by Vineet at Grosvenor House, said the third venture will be a move away from fine-dining.
“It will be a new brand and concept altogether. We’d rather do a new concept because we don’t want to be stereotyped as doing only the classics or modern and we also want to do street food style, and casual, so as a chef you wear different hats.
“I wouldn’t want to do a third restaurant that competes with my other two restaurants because that’s pointless. It will have its own USP and will be more casual because Ashiana and Indego are quite formal in some ways. We want to make a larger restaurant but more family oriented, a more casual, relaxed style,” he said.
The location has not been confirmed yet, however Chef Bhatia revealed that the restaurant will be in Downtown Dubai, JBR Walk, or in City Walk 2.
The opening is being earmarked for the middle of 2017, with discussions having been underway now for eight months already.
“There are plans in the pipeline and things in discussion right now but nothing has been signed off. We have been involved in Dubai for a very long time and we understand the market quite well and because of what we’ve done in Dubai we have grown a lot in the Middle East in our portfolio of restaurants. I think Dubai can still take many more restaurants,” he added.
Vineet Bhatia also has another restaurant coming up in Riyadh in the fourth quarter of the year, located in a residential district with just 80 seats.
In addition, he is eyeing locations in Jeddah, Muscat and Kuwait for new concepts, and is in discussions for more projects in Doha.
“Muscat and Kuwait are quite big markets in the GCC and I just think the kind of cuisine we do is well appreciated. It’s a natural progression to move into places like Kuwait and Oman because all the people from the GCC travel internally very frequently, and they like what we do,” he said.
The Muscat location will be a standalone restaurant, and the brands will be decided once locations are confirmed.
Vineet Bhatia has six restaurants in the Middle East, with Saffron Lounge by Vineet in Qatar, two Maharaja by Vineet outlets in Riyadh, Ashiana by Vineet and Indego by Vineet in Dubai and Rasoi by Vineet in Bahrain.
The chef last year announced plans to close down Michelin-starred Rasoi in London, and is currently developing a new concept for the UK capital, which will focus on sharing dishes.