Will open: 14 March
This new Persian cuisine restaurant in Indiranagar hopes to attract the corporate crowd and its menu is priced keeping the slump in mind. The fixed lunch menu, priced at Rs275 plus taxes, changes every day. An à la carte dinner at Kyra costs approx Rs400 per person. “We don’t believe in discounts but we have chosen to price ourselves carefully. Since the times are not good, we know that we are only going to make minimal profits and don’t hope to break even anytime soon. We hope for large crowds and smaller margins,” says Dipali Sikand, chairperson and founder, Kyra Hospitality Pvt. Ltd.
A modern touch: Roast Scallops Balchao with Saboodana Papad at Indian Accent.
Oba Lounge and Grill, Mumbai
Opened: 5 February
Oba is the new venture by partners Raja Dhody and Rishi Acharya, who also runs another nightclub, Play, in the city. Acharya says the upscale bar in Colaba is “for people who can come to the bar for a drink and enjoy the music, run into friends and then go upstairs for a meal together”. The cocktail and wine menu is extensive, but the food menu is limited to a few dishes that combine “European cuisine with Asian influences”. The cocktails are priced at about Rs365 and the appetizers are between Rs300 and Rs500. Pasta mains cost Rs450 and a steak is priced at Rs800. Acharya believes the restaurant is reasonably priced for a place that’s not run-of-the-mill. “I’ve felt no shortage of footfalls despite the economic downturn,” he says.
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Cibo, Hotel Janpath, New Delhi
Will open: 22 March
Yet another swish Italian restaurant will be launched in New Delhi next week by Alok Aggarwal and designer Rohit Bal. After their Indian cuisine restaurant Veda, in Connaught Place, Bal and his partner wanted to introduce Delhiites to “authentic Italian cuisine”. The 15,000 sq. ft plus eatery has both indoor and outdoor spaces. Bal is confident that, in the coming year, Cibo will be “the place” to host private parties. “We started work on this eatery eight months ago before this recession talk started. There was no way we could abandon the restaurant this year especially since it was an ITDC (India Tourism Development Corporation) project. Also, the kind of clientele that we are catering to is not likely to scrimp when it comes to good food,” says Bal. “We are still debating if we should have a separate lunch and dinner menu.” The pricing of the menu is not yet complete.
Indian Accent, The Manor, New Delhi
Will open: 16 March
From Tamarind Glazed Lamb Shank to Masala Morels Water Chestnut Paper Roast Dosai, Indian Accent is likely to tickle your palate. “The Manor largely caters to an expatriate crowd and the feedback we had from them was that they would prefer contemporary Indian food rather than Italian or Chinese,” says Rohit Khattar, managing director, Old World Hospitality Pvt Ltd, which runs Indian Accent. The average charge per person at this eatery will be Rs1,500 (minus alcohol). The menu (separate for dinner and lunch) has been designed by chef Manish Mehrotra, who also heads the kitchen at Tamarai in London. Wine consultant Charles Metcalfe has developed a wine list to complement the cuisine. “Times are bad and we are nervous, but the kind of people we are catering to are not likely to migrate to menus which are cheaper,” says Khattar. “Across our brands we have seen that it is the company expense accounts which have been affected more than personal spenders.”
Pavitra Jayaraman in Bangalore, Rachana Nakra in Mumbai and Seema Chowdhry in New Delhi