With celebrated chefs like Johnson Ebenezer from Kuala Lumpur’s Nadodi, Mythrayie Iyer, who honed her skills at two-Michelin-starred restaurants, Noma of Copenhagen, to Gaggan Anand and Marco Pierre White doing curated dinners in Bengaluru, the food scene here is exploding.
Celebrity chef White’s curated dinner in Bengaluru last month, priced at Rs 10,000 per head, was sold out. It featured some of White’s signature dishes like wild mushroom risotto and seafood macaroni.
Radisson Blu Atria recently launched Lore, a travelling restaurant concept that brings chefs to curate dinners. It recently hosted an eight-course, multi-sensory tasting menu with whisky pairings, harnessing the local produce: think ragi waffles with crab, toddy coral with scallops and shrimp and potato nest with wilted onion and green pepper caviar.
“Pop-ups give chefs freedom to experiment, as the menu is not limited to a theme, like in a restaurant. We can collaborate with people from around the world to bring great food to people who appreciate it. It also works well as a tester,” Kaushik Raju, founder of Lore, said.
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The Courtyard in Shantinagar, an al-fresco café, hosts pop-ups once every month, said founder Akhila Srinivasan. The restaurant has been inviting local, national and international chefs to showcase their specialty cuisine with an eight-to-12-course menu. It recently hosted a unique pork ‘nose-to-tail’ dinner.
Luxury hotel brands are also not far behind, going beyond food festivals and bringing restaurants from other properties to the city with limited-edition pop-ups. ITC Gardenia, for example, will be hosting a pop-up of its award-winning restaurant from ITC Grand Chola, Avartana, at the end of July. Patrons of Taj Bengal’s iconic Chinoiserie restaurant will get a mini recreation of the original eatery at a pop-up at Taj West End.
Bengaluru is at the forefront of the F&B industry given its diverse population. That is how pop-ups are catching on, Sandip Narang, executive chef at Taj West End said. “With pop-ups like these, guests get a taste of food they don’t usually have access to.”
While pop-ups are doing well, there is much apprehension that the elaborate setup is heavier on the pocket, Srinivasan admitted.
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