Venkatachari Jagannathan says Masala Library is opening branches in Dubai, London and New York 

amuse bouche - sev puri on the go Come August and Masala Library by Jiggs Kalra, the legendary Indian foodie’s maiden foray overseas, is set to begin commercial operations at Dubai’s Radisson Royal Hotel, a top company official said. It’ll serve up pan-Indian food with an Arabic twist.

Zorawar Kalra, managing director of Massive Restaurants Pvt. Ltd., said the company is also looking at opening in London and New York and is likely to finalise the terms for raising $8.5-10 million from a venture capital fund.

“We plan to begin our 100-cover Masala Library by Jiggs Kalra restaurant with a 1,500 sq. ft bar in Radisson Royal Hotel in Dubai by the middle of next month. The trial run will begin soon,” Kalra told IANS on the phone from Gurgaon on the outskirts of the national capital.

“The restaurant will be spread over 8,000 sq. ft and will be serving pan Indian food with a blend of Arabic flavours. Our USP will be progressive modern food made with scientific techniques like molecular gastronomy,” Kalra added.

There will be lot of local flavour and use of local ingredients. And lots of molecular cocktails will be on offer on the alcoholic side.

One of the key highlights of Masala Library by Jiggs Kalra will be its specially crafted Chef’s Tasting Menu. Guests will experience all the chef’s recommendations, individually portioned, with the option of a course-by-course wine pairing.

The tasting menu will have both a vegetarian and non-vegetarian option.

While not willing to divulge overall financial numbers, Kalra said the company has invested a “good amount” on the interiors of the restaurant and other elements, apart from over $150,000 in sophisticated equipment to whip up modern Indian food with technologies like molecular gastronomy.

“We expect an operational break-even from the first month onwards,” he said.

DubaiAs for the staff manning the restaurant, he said an Indian, Saurabh Udinia, would be the Chef de Cuisine or executive chef, while a lot of expats have been hired for other positions.

The restaurant premises has been taken on lease from the company that owns the Radisson Royal Hotel property.

Queried about other international forays Kalra said stand-alone restaurants in London and New York are on the cards.

“We are looking at locations in these two cities,” he said.

He said Massive Restaurants is in the process of signing up with a venture capital fund for raising between $8.5 million and 10 million.

“The term sheet is likely to be signed soon,” Kalra said.

Pinenut pattice, ragda humus, feta salad



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