Cyrus Todiwalal launches restaurant in India
Apr 2015 - by
One of the UK’s most renowned Indian chefs Cyrus Todiwala, has opened a restaurant in the Goa’s newest deluxe resort, the Acron Waterfront Resort on the banks of the Baga River.
Todiwala, who already owns a handful of restaurants in London, including his flagship establishment Café Spice Namaste and the recently opened Assado in London’s Waterloo, has appropriately called his new venture The River Restaurant. The 60-seater restaurant aims to strike a delicate balance between the expectations of international epicureans and locals seeking to experience the tastes, textures and flavours associated with Todiwala’s culinary style.
Run on a day to day basis by executive chef Mark Smith, who has been working closely with Cyrus and Pervin Todiwala in the development of dishes that make full use of Goa’s fresh produce, the restaurant is Todiwala’s first and only restaurant in India.
“I spent eight formative years in Goa,” said Todiwala, “so The River Restaurant marks a homecoming for me. Before I came here as executive chef of the Taj properties, I was mostly enamoured of classical French and other European cuisines. It was my need to learn more about Goan food to meet the demands of our guests then that led me into a deeper exploration of what Indian food is all about.
Today is evolving into India’s culinary hub. I hope that this new restaurant enables me to bring to Goa the food innovations I either developed or absorbed as a chef working in Britain, while raising the profile of Goan food in the eyes of the rest of the world. It is still early days and we are treading carefully and will be evolving ourselves, but in time we hope The River Restaurant will be considered a true bastion of fine cuisine in Goa.”
Returning to The Sun & 13 Cantons
Often regarded as the creator of London’s finest Indian supperclub Darjeeling Express, Asma Khan, has returned to the pub where she initiallydid her residency last year, The Sun & 13 Cantons, in London’s Soho.
With a three month stint, which began in January, Khan will be overseeing a short menu of freshly cooked dishes that will change on a weekly basis. Sample items may include tamatar gosht, chicken chaap with lachedar paratha, and Bengali aloo dum with paratha.
“Last time I had done a very short stint,” said Khan, “just eight weeks as I was worried to make a longer commitment. One reason was the impact it would have on my family as I had not worked full time out of the house before. I also wanted to test the ground and see if I could survive and hold my own in a place like Soho which is overcrowded with restaurants serving such a diverse range of cuisines.”
Khan added that the big difference between a supperclub and a residency is that with the former the tickets are pre-sold and you know exactly how many people will be catered for. With a residency the stint can sometimes be more stressful in that you never know when a large group will turn up or how quickly they might want to be served.
Nevertheless, with Khan enjoying the residency thoroughly, she stated that a lot of her supperclub clients also come to the pub: “I always try to keep one of my classic supperclub dishes on the menu like kala chana, chicken chaap and paratha or prawn malai curry as I know these will be popular choices for my regulars. At the same time, I’m also enjoying meeting new people who turn up for a meal and making new contacts and connections.”