Oberoi to Rasa: A 33 years old dream finally coming true for this hospitality worker turned entrepreneur

In 1989 a teenager aged 17 years and 7 months, joined the famous Oberoi hotels as an apprentice in their Delhi hotel. As any young person getting started in the hospitality industry, Benny Jacob also dreamt of opening his own restaurant. Little did he know that the dream will be fulfilled far away from India , at a place which has lot of similarities to India including the national flag, in Dublin, the capital city of Ireland.

Benny , after spending 13 years in Oberoi and one year at Hyatt Regency Delhi, moved to Ireland in 2003. He came to the island of Ireland to work for the Jaipur (Ananda) group of restaurants.

It was another long association for Benny and finally in 2016, he decided to partner with Sunil Ghai who is an award winning chef to open the now famous Pickle restaurant.

“Our concept at Pickle was to serve good food, regional Indian cuisine at its purest form. We are very happy to say that even after 6 years Pickle is going very strong. ” said Benny.

Two years after the launch of Pickle, Benny along with his manager Prasanna Kottan, opened Chutni , a takeaway in Knockylon, delivering Indian cuisine.

While most of the businesses , especially in the hospitality industry, were struggling to keep going, Benny saw this as an opportunity. He realised that takeaways were the need of the hour.

The latest one from Benny, a completely owned restaurant opened up on 17th Aug, 2021 for takeaway and finally started dine in services from Dec 2021.

“At that time, I along with my wife Smitha thought of opening a takeaway and we started to look for ideal locations. When we looked at the site at Belarmine Plaza, Stepaside. We were both impressed by the size and layout of the unit, carparking facility and also the fact that there was space for small restaurant. It was always my dream to own my own restaurant someday back from the Oberoi days. ” added Benny about the reason for selecting Stepaside location.

When you finally achieve your dream, the final outcome has to stand apart. So it did take some thinking to get the name right for Mr. Benny’s very own exclusive restaurant.

Rasa means taste in Sanskrit and it took us few weeks to finalise a name because I wanted a name which is short, powerful and easy to remember. ” Benny spoke about the thought behind Rasa.

Benny’s journey from being a hospitality worker to an exclusive restaurant owner is a fine example of the magic of thinking big.

Rasa has now moved from just a takeaway to a proper casual dine in restaurant. The restaurant is open from Wednesdays to Mondays.

Sometimes the little things make a huge difference. In Rasa, each dish is explained in detail while serving to the customer including to the Indians. It does bring a subtle pleasant smile while listening to it and adds that extra zeal to dig into the food.

Benny has a special connect with the number 13, it is indeed lucky for some :). He worked 13 years with the Oberoi, another 13 years with Jaipur (Ananda) group of restaurant and all these has helped him to achieve his dream. When looking back, Benny recognises the importance of all these experience, especially the one with Oberoi.

“I would credit the training at the Oberoi for what I am today.” says Benny.

Talking about the chefs and menu at Rasa, Benny mentioned : “I am from Kerala and I have 2 dishes with recipes from my mother on the menu. We have great team of chefs who have worked at Oberoi, Taj and Mariott hotels in India with plenty of experience. My concept for Rasa was very clear, we will serve simple Indian food exactly as it is served in India. We have just started Sunday lunch with Paani puri, Masala Dosa, Chole Bhathure and kathi kebab roll as well. Rasa will give you an experience of the real taste of India.”

It is a 45 seat restaurant with a warm ambience and an open kitchen. The Indian restaurants have been in a steady rise in Ireland, courtesy the local people who like exploring the Indian palate and also the growing Indian population of students and professionals relocating to Ireland. Hope Rasa will be another feather to Benny’s entrepreneurial journey.

From Delhi to Dublin, a journey that started 33 years ago is definitely a story of recipes, cuisines, flavours and gourmet culture. The icing on the cake of this amazing story is that Benny’s dad moved from Kerala to Delhi as manager of the famous Indian Coffee House with a ‘dream’. The taste buds are running similar through the family chain and an apt way to celebrate it by naming their dream as ‘Rasa’.


Follow your passion and it takes you to places. Benny is a great example of this and literally it has taken him to places.

You can read more about Rasa here: https://rasa.ie

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