Serving you grub in a theme setting

Serving you grub in a theme setting


The concept of a theme restaurant or café has come of age and can now be called a permanent feature of the City’s food market.

With a number of restaurants in the City based on a theme and new ones getting onto the bandwagon real quick, it is becoming difficult to keep a count! In a City of food lovers and eateries, restaurant owners at times find it difficult to make a statement. Thus, they resort to opening their foodies paradise, on a ‘theme’.

When DJ Sidharth Talwar planned to open Café Morrison (CM) on the theme of rock music, industry ‘veterans’ exclaimed that he was digging his own grave. “Because cafés at that time served only coffee in Delhi,” shares Sidharth adding that the fact that he was, “theeming the place on western (and that too hard core rock) music was unimaginable for people from the industry who felt that Delhi being a Punjabi dominated region, a North Indian theme would work better.”

Today, eight years down the line, Sidharth is proud of having “stuck” to his decision. “Rock music as a genre was dying then and being a DJ, I too needed a place to practice.” Located in posh South Extension Part II alongside another theme eatery Rang de Basanti Dhaba – a Punjabi style restaurant, CM has created its own niche.

Speaking of niche, in Sector B, DDA Complex, Vasant Kunj exists Bikers Café proving that the concept of theme cafés is evolving. Decked on the theme of biking, the place is perfect for those who love biking and set out on their mean machines in the wee hours and return with a mammoth appetite for a solid meal.

“I wanted the place to have a character and personality of its own so that bikers could relate to it,” explains Sanjay Yadav, the owner, adding that being a biker himself helped. “I wanted a place where bikers could sit and chat and also get the food that they like such as fresh juices, bun-omelette and scrambled eggs instead of curry-based dishes.

Sanjay made sure that, “the place opens at 7.30 am when bikers get back after some strenuous rounds of riding. I remember we used to get nothing in terms of food at that hour and thus, came up with this theme.” While the meals are fortunately served on normal crockery, the bill is brought on a bike’s air filter!

Carrying the idea of a theme a tad too far is the Amsterdam Kitchen & Bar, in Saket, the newest addition to the long list! The place recreates the ‘red light district’ of Amsterdam with mannequins in the shop window blowing flying kisses at passers by – a concept that interested Sanuj Birla, the brain behind the idea.

“When I toured Europe with friends, I realised that the red light area in Amsterdam was a tourist destination! It had lot of show windows, pubs and discs visited by friends and families as it is not sleazy. I then decided to recreate this in Delhi to attract food lovers,” says Sanuj.

But he does assert that, “While themes are meant to attract people it is really the food that sustains a place!”

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