Consider this a first in a series of many to come. Not food reviews, or place reviews, or anything that can be bought with product or money. Rather, my personal experiences of meals shared around the city/country/globe. Much more fluid that even a regular blog. Live pictures and the likes: spotting good food and earmarking it for the gastronomically inclined.
So we start with one of my favourite chains in the country: Shiro’s. I can’t think of many places in India that (a) get ambience and (b) food right, (c) consistently. Shiro’s is a great example of a homegrown chain (that’s right, the same guys may bring you Hard Rock but thus is entirely their baby) that has managed to break into the nightlife scene in three cities successfully.
Here are my reasons for liking each of them.
1.Shiro’s Mumbai: the mothership; gave us a taste of space in an otherwise cramped city. Loved it for the ambience (first one as it was) and some lovely cocktails. The food was good but never as important.
2.Shiro’s Bangalore: This one took our Asian food experience a good couple of notches higher. The chefs manning the grills were nothing less than showman, tossing and juggling even as they served up the “Best Fried Rice in the Country”. Even today, one of the few times I exercise my powers of knowing the manager is to wrangle a space at the grill bar to be able to enjoy the sights, smells and sounds. This one has the highest ceiling but it also has the most gifted of outdoor spaces. Tough call then where to sit.
3.Shiro’s Delhi: Call me a sceptic (or a Delhiite) but I think it is a tad dearer than the other two. But the food quality is right up there. The indoor space may not seem all that spacious at first but the way the restaurant converts into a club is something to be seen. Quite an amazing transformation as the walls part to expose the DJ console and a visual “globe” display. Entry is controlled (Delhi after all) and rightly so. Place exudes charm and class for the city’s hot crowd. Speaking of hot, try the Mehtani chicke (I hope I have the spelling correct) at your own peril.
I love all three and going by the trend, the owners are creating more focus on the food than the party. For me this is perhaps the best plan if there ever was. The party set migrates every six months. Foodie come back. Like I do.
So what would I like to see them do? Maybe launch a loyalty card given that now they have a veritable chain of repute and standing (and so many other outlets in their kitty). Not that a visit is rewarding in itself, but loyalty rewarded is future loyalty earned.
Philosophy of marketing aside, as long as they keep churning out the good food and music, they will never run short of people queuing up at the entrance.