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Suresh Hinduja

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Suresh Hinduja last won the day on May 25

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About Suresh Hinduja

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    Suresh Hinduja

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    Bangalore - India
  • Interests
    food innovation
    single malt
    consulting chef

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  1. Suresh Hinduja

    My Pixels

  2. Suresh Hinduja

    Awadhi Lucknow cuisine

    Yes, that's what we have been able to establish. 1. I would sprinkle it on top for the aroma, it doesnt have any inherent flavour or texture. 2. Use any means to tenderise the meat but not to the point where it it becomes quishy like liver . Vinegar, yoghurt, papaya paste... 3. Nope. That's me with the Grand master chef himself :-)
  3. Suresh Hinduja

    Rendezvous with Chef Alfonso Montefusco of Bengaluru Marriott Hotel Whitefield

    For quite some time The Park has lacked a GM or an F & B director, which has left it stagnating as far as innovations are concerned. Toscano is now an Italian Chain with many branches, maybe that is why many people have complained about inconsistency across their locations.
  4. Suresh Hinduja

    modern Indian cuisine

    From Time out Mumbai 2004 Plate tectonics We happily order contemporary European, Italian, even Japanese food. So why aren’t we thinking out of the kadhai with Indian cuisine too? asks Rachel Lopez. The next time you’re at an Indian restaurant ordering a platter of reshmi tikka, mopping it up butter chicken gravy with a garlic naan or spooning dal tadka from a metal bowl over your share of jeera rice, think about what your well-travelled, free-spending, trend-savvy counterparts in other cities are doing. If they’re in New York restaurants like Devi or Tabla, they’re probably being served crunchy bhindi fry as a pre-dinner snack, a square pyramid of sukkha bhel on clear glass plate and drops of meetha and teekha chutney on each side as an appetiser-for-one, having dal as soup, and a tandoori steak between two triangles of naan as a sandwich. In London restaurants like Amaya, Benares, Cinammon Club or Zaika and they’re probably getting their ragda pattice as three aloo tikkis stacked over a little puddle of ragda on plate criss-crossed with trails of tamarind sauce. They’re ordering a lamb kebab starter that’s actually a single minced-mutton ball balanced on a dab of yoghurt and topped with another dab of chutney. They’re getting duck, prawn and chicken in the same dish (but cooked to different styles and served in a segregated glass plate as a tasting portion), enjoying pao bhaji as a main course (with a burger-bottom of spiced pao topped with bhaji and onion garnish) and getting their fish-curry-rice in a single white plate (featuring a cutlet of rice topped with curry and filets balancing on the whole affair). Restaurants in cities as far apart as Mauritius, Moscow, Toronto and Dubai are offering sophisticated four-course Indian meals with nary a kadhai, oily tadka or sharing-portion of biryani in sight So much for India being in sync with international dining trends. While our cuisine is making big leaps abroad, it seems to have stagnated in the country of origin. Even Indian restaurants advertising contemporary or modern Indian fare are, for the most part, serving light fusion, wary of venturing further. Khana Sutra, which opened at Kolkata’s new Chrome hotel in November, claims to be the India’s first restaurant serving nouvelle Indian cuisine. But instead of the one-person servings, lighter sauces, clearer flavours, short menus and artful presentation so characteristic of the French nouvelle cuisine movement of the 1970s, KhanaSutra simply updates regular restaurant khana. Generic green, yellow and red gravies are dispensed with and the tandoori betki, a popular main course, is served whole, but their signature dal still comes in a big bowl and every one ladles out their share. “The new Indian middle class isn’t as curious and open to new ideas as everybody would like to believe,” said Antanu Chowdhury, Chrome’s F&B executive and the man behind KhanaSutra. “But there is potential for change.” The rest of India’s food industry desperately believes that too. “May be we wanted to eat the way we have eaten all our lives and that is why it’s taking time, but I do not feel people are reluctant,” said Hemant Oberoi, executive chef for the Taj group, who opened Varq, a contemporary Indian restaurant in Delhi in 2008. “There’s life beyond tikka, makhani and biryani in our cuisine.” The bestsellers on the menu include martaban ka meat (lightly spiced lamb with onions and tomatoes) and Varqi crab (a tower of crabmeat sandwiched between crisps of filo dough, topped with a prawn and garnished with chive, vinegar, chilli and a red chilli flower). Suresh Hinduja, a food consultant who runs GourmetIndia, India’s oldest and perhaps most respected food forums, in Bangalore believes that Indians “deserve better than standard plating and presentation”. But he lists several reasons for its failure to take off in India, the most obvious of which is the way Indians view their own cuisine. “Its comfort food for us,” he said. “Recipes and dining styles were all invented in our villages so as we move to cities, the last thing we want to do is abandon our past by changing the food.” We’re wary of exoticising what is familiar. We’re scared of fixing with what ain’t broke. We like to share and we’re reluctant to use forks and knives for food we so proudly eat with our fingers. We’re also not likely to pay higher prices for what is essentially the same food, plated prettily in single portions and not subsidised by family-size quantities. Meals for two at Varq are a steep Rs 4,600 and the tasting menu at Devi, New York is $85 per head, both not including drinks. Food columnist Javed Gaya, who makes frequent trips abroad, recalls seeing “plenty of Indians” forking out 60 pounds for nouvelle Indian food at London’s Amaya. But Indians abroad aren’t the same as Indians in India. We may eat out several times a week and be familiar with sashimi, truffle oil and carpaccio, but it will be a while before we can pay Rs 1,000 for vegetable koftas without thinking of how our mums can make it for less. “We’ll pay Rs 1,000 for something only if it is completely foreign,” said Hinduja. In the time it takes for Indian diners to accept that style is substance with nouvelle Indian food, chefs will do well to keep busy. Nouvelle menus take time to develop because they are so dependent on the chef’s imagination. “I took almost five years to conceive the idea [of Varq], that too in a city of Indian food foodies,” said Oberoi. “At times my own colleagues thought it will not work.” Gaya believes that the chain of command at five-star hotels are too complicated to let chefs develop menus independently and there aren’t enough stand-alone places willing to make the big leap. Indian restaurants today are also in a difficult situation, believes Hinduja. “It will be tough for European or Indian restaurants to introduce nouvelle Indian because [customer] expectations there are different,” he said. “We need a whole new category.” He slots nouvelle Indian restaurants into three grades: gentle (the slightly tweaked food at Devi), mid-way (the slightly more elaborate food of Benares) and radical (Debu’s in Toronto, which served a single main course of Mughlai-style chicken with fried quail egg, panseared quail with cardamom flavoured ground caribou and veg kathi roll with chicken vindaloo for Valentine’s Day). “We’ll have to start at the gentlest,” he said. Until then, there’s new hope in Juhu’s Azok. The menu has been developed by Vineet Bhatia, whose Michelin stars (two) and restaurants (in London, Mauritius, Los Angeles, Dubai, Libya, Saudi Arabia and Moscow) may just give local diners the confidence to try something new. Bhatia calls his food modern Indian cuisine – dishes that “look European, but feel Indian if you eat with your eyes closed”. Azok serves blue-cheese and dhaniya naans, banana cakes dusted with cumin, wasabi flavoured kulfi, and a Punjabi Penne: red chicken tikka with asparagus and penne in a makhni sauce. Their main courses come plated and people still ask how many it can serve, but the kitchen is accommodating. It’s willing to do the old one-by-two and plate them separately. Maybe nouvelle Indian just needs a little push. Codified classical cuisine, with its set proportions and combinations, was a reaction to the ancient regime and was sparked off by the French Revolution. Nouvelle cuisine, like similar movements in theatre, film and literature, was born out of Sorbonne’s student revolution in the late 1960s. Could it be that we’re happy enough with our bowls of gravy and there’s nothing to protest?
  5. Hello sir. I read your book times food guide, restaurants in Bangalore. I am very much pleased by your way of writing and giving info about a retaurant in so less words. Coming to the point, I am planning to open a andhra restaurant in koramangala 5th block. I am making the rental agreement this month. When I read your reviews about all the andhra restaurants I observed that you were searching for something different in andhra cuisine. I would love to take insights from you sir. Please share with me your email id or reply me. I will be waiting for your reply. Your insights would help me alot sir. Thank you.

  6. Hot on the heels of his successful Farzi café launch Zorawar Kalra is back again with his clever, modern interpretation of Maharaja Ranjit Singh's robust, earthy cuisine from the Land of the five rivers- Punjab. In the comfort of a trendy, fine dining space, you can sample, tuck in or gorge on curated dishes that celebrate the culinary richness and diversity of this fertile, hospitable part of the country. His menu appeals to the well traveled, global Indian with a taste for the authentic and an eye for the stylish and original.Incorporating secret family recipes from Punjab, tried and tested Dhaba specialties and world class presentation Kalra uses his skill and discerning palate to create a dining experience in the city that is quite unique.Credited as the entrepreneur who made Indian cuisine cool again with his impressive award winning portfolio of restaurants across cities, he brings you Made In Punjab a fine eatery that will add a whole new exciting dimension to Bangalore's eclectic dining scene. To pique your interest and tease your palate some of the dishes on the menu include maa ki dal, changa burger,LOL tikki, luxury bc..!! (butter chicken), nalli hard kaur, barnala town fish curry, goushalla di kulfi…..and....plenty. Plus a microbrewery and fabulous cocktails .
  7. Suresh Hinduja

    Mysore Mylari Dosa

    That we knew, but I thought a idli-dosa joint would survive nevertheless.
  8. Suresh Hinduja

    Zorawar Kalra's Farzi Café in Bangalore

    What can be expected of Farzi café - Reverse Vada Pav Then Cool off with a Apple Foamantini Mishti Doi Spheres Reinvented fruit rabri – seasonal berries and fruits in different forms, mixed in mascaporne rabri, served with almond and raisin tuille, dehydrated pineapple sheet and constantly erupting butterscotch foam. \ Chilly Pork Ribs (imported) in Kashmiri Rista Reduction … and wind up with Hajmola Candy @EarnestTaster Looking forward to your next visit to Bangalore.
  9. Zorawar Kalra's Farzi cafe is opening in Bangalore Counted amongst one of the youngest, successful restaurateurs of India,Zorawar Kalra has a rich heritage spanning over four decades in the Indian culinary space and hospitality industry. Considered as the ‘Man with a Vision on a Mission’ and ‘the Prince of Indian cuisine’, he has recently been recognized amongst the 50 Most Influential Young Indians by GQ India, “Restaurateur of the Year Award, 2014”, Vir Sanghvi Awards, HT Crystals, 2014 and “Entrepreneur of the Year in Service Business - F & B Services”, Entrepreneur India Awards, 2014. His concept of a revolutionary modern Indian bistro- Farzi Café, is best described as a gourmet experience, an amalgam of traditional global cuisine, with Indian influences, contemporary presentations, culinary styles and ambiance with the aim to bring Indian cuisine, back “in-Vogue”.
  10. IRIS – The National Restaurant Summit I am honored to have been invited as a moderator to this event. :- Day ONE Theme: TRENDS - The Game Changers – A world-view… 1 – Keynote: Eating Out Trends - Key Trends in Key Markets – 10.00 – 11.30 What are the latest trends for 2015-16? What is emerging that you need to know about? Hear from those on the ground as to what innovations and trends are exciting consumers in their markets. (A focus on the UAE, Asia and India market as key markets for Indian f&b operator going forward). For India – TechnoPak, For UAE – KPMG Tea/coffee break – 11.30 – 12.00 2 – A Panel Discussion - Eating Out Trends in India –12.00– 13.30 (includes Q&A) What is happening in our backyard… what is working and what is not? Is there room for growth? How the consumer spending patterns are changing? challenging the mindset of the way F&B is sold (Speakers - Kabir Suri – Mamagoto, Mihir Desai – Bar Stock Exchange, Kishore – WTF and Moderated by - Riyaaz Amlani - Social) Lunch – 13.30 – 14.30 3 – Keynote - How is social media changing the game – 14.30 – 16.00 (The first part needs to be an overview…insights on to how social media is changing the game, stats, technology, influencing patterns etc. The second part could be the likes of Zomato and some other powerful food sites/engines who drive massive opinions and traffic to a restaurant – what do they do, how do they keep the traffic coming, what are the kind of restaurants that engage or interest them, can they share a case study or two. The third part would be – foodservice operators who have used social media effectively from India – the likes of Impresario, Dunkin Donuts, Pooja Dhingra etc) who need to share maximizing the brand presence – the dos and donts in media, their learning curves and finally their outcomes resulting in greater footfalls/business. Food critics, bloggers and social media savvy restaurateurs share their insights (Moderator – Shobita Kadan and Speakers – Kedar Teny – Director Marketing, McDonalds, Chef Kelvin Cheung, Roshni Bajaj Sanghvi (food critic), Harshil Karia (Social media agency - Schbang) Tea/Coffee – 16.00 – 16.30 4) – A Panel Discussion – Trends - What Not to Do in Restaurant Design – 16.30 – 18.00 A look at some of the most serious design faux pas that turn a dining destination into a disaster. How to avoid these and create a space which works operationally and aesthetically. What are some of the stand out openings around India in the last 12 months? (Moderator is Veer Vijay Singh and Speakers are – Kamal Mallik, Ayaz Basrai, Pronit Nath, Shabnam Gupta) 5) – Case Studies – The winning formula – 18.00 – 19.00 Three presentations of 20 minutes each from the trend-setters. Get into their minds, hear their learnings, know what they did and what makes them tick… (Moderator – Snehal Kulshreshtha and Speakers are the current 4 top restaurateurs –Yash Banage (Bombay Canteen), Zorawar Kalra (Farzi Café), Priyank Sukhija (lord of the drinks) Cocktails DAY TWO Theme: Managing Money – Building your Restaurant Road Map… How can you find the best equity partner, and what are they looking for? How should you approach them, and how can you ensure your projects are investment ready? 1 - Keynote: Financial Outlook for the Restaurant Industry: Weaknesses, Threats and Opportunities – 10.00 – 10.30 (Rahul Singh of Beer Café as Secretary, NRAI with facts and figures) 1P – Keynote – Investment trends – 10.30 -11.00 From quick serve, to the booming fast casual segment, venture capital companies are stirring the pot in many restaurant kitchens. Business dynamics are changing rapidly. (Speaker – Siddharth Bafna from Lodha) Tea/Coffee Break – 11.00 – 11.30 2 – Panel Discussion – On Valuations and what drives value – 11.30 – 13.00 What drives valuations? What is an investor looking for from an operator or concept? Knowing what parameters drive value, what buyers want to see and the steps that increase business valuations should be important to every single business owner. Not surprisingly, value means different things to different buyers. The perceived value depends on the circumstances, interpretations and the role that is played in a transaction. Meet some of the restaurateurs who have raised capital and learn about their journey in creating value… What should you look for when assessing potential partners and opportunities? Looking at the first transactions in the region, what lessons can be learnt and what are the key challenges for those looking at M&A? Where are the opportunities? What’s driving current financial engineering and how does this impact on ROI? (Kabir Suri - Mamagoto, Sunil Kapur and Varun Kapur – TFS, AD Singh – Olive, Pramod Arora - Everstone, Vinayan- JSM, Darius-New silk route etc and Moderator- Siddharth Bafna – Lodha Capital Lunch break – 13.00 – 14.00 3 – Keynote: Franchising vs. Developing Own Brand – 14.00 – 14.30 Both franchisor and franchisee are exposed to huge amounts of risk when entering an agreement. How do you understand the matrix of variables at play? How to minimize the risk? What are the keys to a good relationship for both parties? Discover some of the ‘Bad Practices’ that happen in India and the way forward… C Y Pal – President, Franchise Association of India (FAI) 3 P – Keynote Panel Discussion on ‘To franchise or not to franchise’ – 14.30 – 16.00 Numbers, timelines, risk and return. A side-by-side comparison of developing through the two different business models. (Speakers – Chetan Arora-Subway, Sanjay Coutinho-Baskin robbins, Dheeraj Gupta-Jumbo Vadapav) Tea/Coffee Break – 16.00 – Round Tables – 16.30 – 19.00 Round table ‘hosts’ will facilitate discussion with delegates around the table’s assigned topic. After 30 minutes participants will be given the opportunity to swap tables and participate in another discussion. This is an excellent opportunity to share industry challenges and knowledge in an intimate and interactive setting. Cocktails - 19.00… DAY THREE Theme: Connecting with the Chefs… Chefs are no less than artists and cooking is definitely an art form. On the other hand, food is big business these days. This creates a beautiful synergy of art and commerce. In keeping with this trend, the role of the chef too is undergoing a massive change. From abysmal anonymity in the kitchens, they are the superstars of today’s hospitality industry and are brands in themselves. Taking their place under the sun comes with its own set of challenges, like maintaining that perfect balance between art and commerce. Another big challenge is keeping pace with the evolving yet fickle taste buds. IRIS is dedicating a day to Chefs which allow these food wizards to get together with their contemporaries across the country and share, debate and display their skills, besides trying to find innovative ways and means to overcome the challenges of constantly pushing the envelope and reinventing themselves and their art form. 1 – Keynote Panel: Times are a changing…A bird’s eye view for the chefs on New Frontiers, Fresh Challenges, Unlimited Opportunities in the business of F&B – 10.00 – 11.00 Marc (Director) and Hemant Teneti(Area Director, India) - Marriott International , Ayaz Basrai and Chef Gresham Fernandes Tea/Coffee – 11.00 – 11.30 2 – Trends – Going Local - Farm To Plate – Meet the Farmers – 11.30 – 13.00 Discover the farmers that are producing regular and exotic foods in your backyard. Figure out if it will be possible to work with them closely to customize your menu and bring fresher ingredients to diners. Will this type of local sourcing become a trend in the restaurant industry? Lunch Break – 13.00 – 14.00 3) – Trends – Banqueting Menus - How creative can we be? – 14.00 – 14.45 As we peer into our crystal ball for 2016, do we see another wild and wonderful year for banqueting. What does the customer want? Do we follow popular demand or do we lead by creating new menus? Karan Kapur – CopperChimney, Chintan & Mithun Suchak – Trupti Caterers, Chef Sahara Star, Chef Grand Hyatt, Chef Renaissance 4) Be Inspired – 14.45 – 16.00 Sharing the journey of a few chefs - inspirations, learnings, discoveries, approach to work, falls and victories along the way - and what the chefs of today need to be most concerned about. Chef Abhijit Saha – Caperberry, Chef Gautam Mehrishi, Chef Vicky Ratnani, Chef Anupam Banerjee, Chef Bakhsheesh Dean Tea/Coffee – 16.00 - 16.30 5) Panel discussion – On Celebrating India – 16.30 – 19.00 Celebrating India through its’ cuisine, is it a misnomer, is it a dream, is it a reality? With such a rich and varied legacy is it possible to prove to the world that Indian cuisine is as sophisticated and as advanced as French, Japanese, Thai or any other? Also, barring a few, like the Bukhara, Indian Accent etc there are more Indian restaurants overseas that get global recognition – is it just better PR and marketing or is it that Indian food outside of India is better than in India itself? Can we open our minds and deliberate on what truly is the state of Indian cuisine in India (including regional cuisines) and where are we headed? Panelists will be celebrated chefs of India! and Suresh Hinduja Cocktails – 19.00
  11. Bengaluru is ready for the Food Oscars   The city's foodies will be at the Times Food & Nightlife Awards 2016 tonight The most glamorous night of the year is here! Bengaluru foodies get to sample the best of food and nightlife in the city at one venue.The Food Oscars, the Times Food and Nightlife Awards 2016 will see the who's who from the film, social, corporate, fashion, literary, arts and sports circuits rub shoulders and cheer for their favourite restaurants and lounges in the city . The event, which will be held tonight at ITC Gardenia, will honour the best in the food business across 40 categories, in cuisines that include favourites like Andhra and Chinese, to the more experimental like Pan-Asian, Parsi and Japanese. The awards night also includes new categories this year, from Best Chef to the Best Restaurateur of the year. The evening will also raise a toast to the best nightspots in the city in different categories, with a special award going out to the best bartender too. The chief guest for the event, Kannada film actress Radhika Pandit, will launch the Times Food Guide 2016, Bengaluru, which has been anchored by Suresh Hinduja. Radhika will also present some of the coveted awards along with celebrities present at the occasion. MC Anuj Gurwara will preside over the evening as the host with his jokes and repartee. What follows after the launch and awards ceremony is nothing short of a foodgasm, with the guests getting the chance to sample the offerings from the winners, right from the innovative beverages to the choicest of grills, entrées and desserts. With so many treats on offer under one roof, it is a fitting end to a night that pays tribute to culinary kings.
  12. It’s the weather, it’s the traffic – both factors have led to a rise in the new trend of neighbourhood eateries. People no longer want to travel long distances and brave unseasonal rains and dreadful traffic. So every locality has, out of necessity, spawned its own favourite places and with the good logic of maximising available time. The arrival of new players in the Andhra restaurant space is hardly surprising, as they do offer value for money menus, though we are yet to discover any differentiating factors between most of them. Check out more regional favourites here. Maybe it’s been there all this while, but we are also noticing a resurgence of pork. It’s become the buzzword with every bit of it, especially pork belly, showing up on menus across town. Looking at reviews from around the country, I think Bangalore leads the way in this new porcine obsession. Plus, in terms of hotels, the Shangri-La announced its arrival with a glitzy event beneath its massive chandeliers, which drew out the cognoscenti to this lovely property. And finally, keeping up with true Bangalore tradition, the bar and nightlife scene too is much more vibrant now. Late-night restrictions have been relaxed with extended hours on weekends, providing a much-needed break for establishment owners as well as consumers, who can now step out for a drink late after work. Of course, the success of microbreweries has proved to be a magnet for many new brands.
  13. Suresh Hinduja

    Times food and nightlife guide 2016

    I’m sure you’ve already heard that the 2016 edition of the biggest food awards in the country is now live and open for voting. Times Food & Nightlife Awards are centered around the esteemed authors of the corresponding guides published each year, so we thought the best way for you to learn about 2015’s most delicious additions would be straight from the horse’s mouth. The Bangalore guides are anchored by the one and only Suresh Hinduja, who knows the city better than anyone else, so read on and decide who you want to vote for.
  14. Suresh Hinduja

    Weekends in Burma - A culinary exploration

    Keep them coming Anil