It's all in the name

humour

It's all in the name

What’s in a name? The rose by any other name would smell as sweet. This is very true of restaurants. They vie with one another for catchy names to lure the hungry into their dens. There are a formidable array for hoteliers and restaurateurs to choose from. And believe me, it is a no-holds-barred battle to search for names that are self-proclamatory PGPG.

During my peregrinations — I am possessed by the wander lust — I often come across restaurant names that are intriguing, but quite often, apt. For instance, ‘Tandoor’ evoked a vision of red hot coals and cosy comfort on a cold day. My olfactory organ could literally smell the freshly baked rotis. This must have set the other restaurateurs thinking. Not to be outdone, one came up with ‘Angeeti’, another with ‘Sigri’, a third with ‘Chula’, and a fourth with ‘Kund’, without violating rights.

Soon, anglicised versions will appear. ‘Earthen Oven and Charcoal’, I am sure, will gain popularity. The day is not far off when ‘Microwave’ might appear, in keeping with technology. ‘Blaze’, ‘Flame’ and ‘Spark’ are likely to enter the fray.

Being a multi-lingual society, before long we may have ‘Aduppu’, raising hopes of the mouth-watering, authentic cuisine South Indian grandmothers are famous for. Equivalents in other regional languages, which again will bring nostalgic memories of fond grandmas, will follow suit.

Kitchen utensils offer quite a repertoire to the culinary entrepreneurs. ‘Wok’, ‘Tava’, ‘Kadai’, ‘Thali’ are just a few examples. I haven’t come across ‘Tumbler’ yet, but it should be on the cards with ‘Spoon’, ‘Ladle’, ‘Chopsticks’ awaiting their turn.

Herbs, spices, vegetables and fruits will seek representation and will, no doubt, have mass appeal. If ‘Basil’, ‘Mint’, ‘Coriander’, ‘Lemongrass’ come, can ‘Bay Leaf’, ‘Clove’ and ‘Cardamom’ be far behind? ‘Cummin’, ‘Pepper’, ‘Oregano’ and ‘Mustard’ will clamour for attention. ‘Tamarind’ will also sneak in somewhere.

As for vegetables, ‘Drumstick’ brings to mind slenderness. ‘Cabbage’ and ‘Cauliflower’ may find favour with dieters, but ‘Potato’ is a big no-no and best avoided because the poor, benighted vegetable is associated with flab, adipose, fat and bulge. The restaurant bearing this name will be shunned out of sheer prejudice. There are a lot of wrong notions about this hot favourite and a lot of people love it in any avatar.

‘Mango’ and ‘Banana’ may claim to be exotic. ‘Tangerine’, ‘Orange’, ‘Peach’ and ‘Plum’ will offer a mélange, with promise of wide choice. People in the food business will never run out of ideas. Retail chains may come up with names such as ‘Idli Inimitable’, ‘Dosai Delight’, ‘Rural Ragi’, ‘Urban Upma’, ‘Sambar Supreme’ and ‘Gourmet Gongura’.

The world is shrinking and everything has gone global. So have fancy names for restaurants. Entrepreneurs just love alliterative names. ‘Just Japanese’, ‘Chinese Checkers’, ‘Tasty Thai’, ‘Veggie Vietnam’, ‘Israeli Initiative’, ‘Exotic Egypt’, ‘Spanish Splendour’, ‘Moroccan Magic’, ‘Amply American’, ‘West Indian Warmth’, ‘English Elegance’, ‘French Fantasy’, ‘Russian Resource’, ‘Jolly Jordon’, ‘Korean Kiosk’, ‘Sweet Cyprus’, ‘Beirut Balm’ are just some of the possibilities. Names don’t have to make sense. The need of the hour is for them to sound nice and pleasing to the ears. If the ambience complements the name, all the better.

And, of course, every one of them will boast of catering to the ‘discerning palate’ at ‘affordable prices’. This is where ideological differences will arise between the seller and the buyer!

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