Pink Salt : The cruising journey of a volleyball player who turned in to a Restaurateur

Sports teaches you a lot of experiences which can be used in your journey of life. God’s own country, Kerala has produced some of the finest talents in Volleyball for India. So definitely couple of decades back it was one of the go to games other than football for the youngsters in Kerala. Since the opportunities in Sports were limited in those days & to move ahead in life one had to complete his/her education and find a career path. So this young volleyball player, Jithin, from North of Kerala turned his attention towards Hotel Management. Once he completed his hotel management course, he went on to work with two 5 Star hotels in India. This exposure helped him to learn the nuances of culinary skills and customer experience. People with sporting background usually have the ability to take risks to win matches and similarly Jithin took the risk of leaving the ‘5 Star Hotel’ job and joined a cruise liner. It is very difficult to work in a cruise liner as the customers are very demanding and you have to make them content with the available resources that you have on board. This of course gave him the confidence of handling customers from different countries with ease and also gave him the exposure of traveling to multiple countries. After catering to thousands of customers and docking at multiple cities , he decided to anchor his journey in one of the beautiful cities in the Republic of Ireland. When i asked Jithin ‘Why Ireland?’ , he replied with a wry smile saying that ‘it happened somehow, nothing was planned’. Lot of things happen in life unplanned but if you are ready to take risks and half chances then most of the time you end up celebrating your decision. Pink Salt, the restaurant started by Jithin and his partners in the lovely destination Bray in the County of Wicklow (near to Dublin, 40 minutes travel by train) has garnered a name for itself since it opened 2 years back in 2017. This restaurant has been rated in 2018 and 2019 as the ‘Great Places to Eat’ by Lucinda O’Sullivan (Ireland’s highly rated food & hospitality critic). It also features in the 101 great Irish restaurants 2019 list. 

Pink Salt has an elaborate menu serving Veg and Non Veg Indian cuisines. Their ‘Shakahari Thali’ is a visual treat to the customers and captures the essence of Indian cooking. I was happy to see that the restaurant was mostly visited by the local Irish citizens. It was great to listen to them discussing about the Indian cuisine : ‘You should try the Samosas, they are yummy or may be you should try Chicken trilogy’. Jithin still maintains his physique and is ready to play Volley ball, jump up high and spike the ball down the opponent’s defense. Lucky for the people of Bray and Ireland that Pro Volleyball League was not started in India during his college days else this wonderful restaurant would have remained just a dream. Pink Salt is soon expanding to Sandyford and that summarizes the success story of this sporting enthusiast. My daughter Reya recalls him as ‘Pappadom Uncle’ 🙂     

Spyce : Robot Restaurant by MIT engineers

What will happen when Robotics obsessed engineers get hungry and crave for quality food at affordable rates ?

Either they end up searching for new restaurants or use their passion to solve their problem.

Spyce : Affordable, Delicious & Nutritious Meals served at this Robot Restaurant by MIT engineers was one such venture started by 4 young engineers.

Spyce Boyz: Brady Knight, Michael Farid, Kale Rogers, Luke Schlueter

From wearables to hearables to flexibles, Augmented Reality to Virtual reality to Mixed Reality, Artificial Intelligence ; technology has impacted and enhanced all possible facets of life. 
So whenever you have a problem it is quite natural to turn to technology for help. The 4 hungry engineers from MIT were also not different in this. 
The 4 young engineers, Michael Farid, Kale Rogers, Luke Schlueter, & Brady Knight, were finding it difficult to manage quality, nutritious food at affordable cost. They were able to find places giving food at affordable price but then it was missing the quality & the restaurants which were providing quality, nutritious food were priced very high.

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Aavakay : Amchi Mumbai’s Special Andhra Gourmet Delight

Variety of palatable ‘powders’ and pickles will always welcome you with a smile when you enter any authentic Andhra cuisine restaurant.

The Andhra meal’s centre of attraction is Rice. It all starts with hot rice served on to your plantain leaf and a spoon of ghee is poured on top of that. The ghee will melt instantly and disappear in that ‘small heap’ of rice.

This ghee rice becomes the base for the different variety of powders. Tur dal powder, curry leaf powder, gun powder, etc are mixed with the above base and enjoyed one after the another as per your taste buds’ liking.

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Vanakkam : Tamil Vazhga Tamil Sapadu Vazhga, Authentic Tamil Cuisine, Restaurant started by five foodies

‘Vanakkam’ Namma pasangala, Namma tamizh sapadu now in Thane.

The typical day for a Tamil person starts early in the morning with reading the newspaper while sipping hot coffee. These are two inseperable things in most of the traditional Tamil families. The aroma of filter coffee in the house makes your morning fresh.

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Rabbito : Annoyed by the exorbitant delivery charges, friends start a new Food Delivery App in the capital city of Kerala

Food delivery is very synonymous to pizza home delivery. It goes back to as long as late 19th century when the first pizza was delivered in Italy. The evolution of food delivery has slowly and steadily moved up notches. In 2001 Pizza hut even managed to send a pizza to the space.

The next big bang moment which happened for the food / restaurant industry is the online ordering service. It was in 1995, the first online order service was started (in USA) : world wide waiter, now known as At that time they used to deliver food from approx 60 restaurants in Silicon Valley.

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Maggi Dosa to Puttu Kadala : Mallu Couple’s Kerala Konnect restaurant

“Life is a Kitchen : put on your prettiest Apron & whip up something Incredible”

It is great to see people following their passion and glistening through the journey with utmost determination.

When you have a corporate job and a monthly salary then it is difficult to come out of that ‘comfort zone’ to try something different and put your hard earned money in a mini startup.

Suraj , whose passion is to experiment with cooking, decided to quit his ‘mundane’ corporate job and open his own restaurant. To manage a restaurant all alone is a tough nut to crack. Understanding the tall task ahead of Suraj, his wife Shreeja also quit her job to support him in this new entrepreneurial venture.

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ChewBao – KungFu Panda’s fav food with an Indi-Paw

‘Your Honour’ please listen to my argument. This is the typical way in which a lawyer’s day would begin. But lawyer Mehul starts his day by taking a count of the number of Baos he has sold till now.

KungFu Panda’s pursuit of Baos made him the chosen Dragon Warrior. Similarly the story of this lawyer turned restaurant owner is no different.

The beginning of ChewBao was also accidental. The need for helping his sister to expand her cake shop made him wear the Chef’s hat. The law college stint at South Mumbai made him try different cuisines. One such cuisine that stuck his taste palate is Bao. Bao is a soft steamed bun which is served along with a patty filing. The name ‘ChewBao’ was finalised keeping in mind that Bao is going to be the main dish and also it sounded similar to ‘ChaBao’ which means to chew in Hindi. The moment Mehul realised that this is what his heart wanted to pursue , he wore the Chef’s white coat and the Lawyer’s black coat was sent as a take away to his attic.

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Indian International Restaurant: Filter Coffees, Dosas to Wiener Schnitzels : Homely Food in Vienna

The love for food can take you to places. You end up traveling miles to try a new cuisine or wait for hours to get a table at your favourite restaurant. The satisfaction you get after achieving this Foodie feat cannot be explained in words.

Sridharan aka Roger ended up traveling 7000 miles to fulfil his passion for food. The story goes back to 1986: At the age of 17, he was working part time at a small restaurant in Salem, Tamil Nadu, India. He would finish his college classes and rush to the restaurant to take care of their cash counter in the evenings. All this in return for free dinner at the restaurant and a salary of around INR 2 or 3. Seeing this crazy craving towards food, his brother who was working in Germany gave him an opportunity. An opportunity to do a Hotel Management course from a reputed institute in Zurich, Switzerland.

Sridharan was in a fix. He was thinking “Whether I should leave everything behind and go abroad to study ? “ , “Is it worth to sacrifice my free evening dinners ? “, etc. But as the saying goes fortune favours the brave, he decided to move to Zurich to study Hotel Management.

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