Foodies in three cities will get to sample food from high-end restaurants at a special price.

When food enthusiasts gather, what do you expect? Good food and some more? This is exactly what’s on the cards — at a pan-India culinary event, ‘Citibank Restaurant Week’, with participation from some of India’s finest restaurants. In its fifth edition, the weeklong event from September 24-30 will be held simultaneously in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.

This initiative of Desi Restaurant Week Events Company, in association with BBC GoodFood India, will allow foodies to explore several F&B venues, and serve as platform for interaction and feedback.

Culinary creations from high-end restaurants would be available through a fixed menu at a special price, which is a fraction of what the participating restaurants normally charge.

This allows the restaurants to showcase some of the best selections from their menu, while the diners get to sample restaurants they may not be familiar with or those they want to re-visit.

“Restaurant Week started off in a controlled fashion and we have tried to improve it gradually. Our approach has been to ensure quality in execution and, more importantly, ensuring our growth was organic and sustainable.

“What started off as a passion project is now gaining momentum, and allows us to have our ideal job — coming up with interesting culinary events such as Chef’s Table Week, which promotes Chef’s tasting menu experiences,” says Mangal Dalal, Director, Desi Restaurant Week Events.

Sabyasachi Gorai, Executive Chef of Olive Bar and Kitchen, Delhi — one of the participating restaurants, says, “Earlier, very few restaurants participated in Restaurant Week.

“Now, the number has increased and it has become a larger event. It has made a platform for Olive Bar and Kitchen to reach out to people who took it to be a high-end dine-out.”

Chef Saby, as he is popularly known, says with a wink that this time he is all set to offer the classical with “a touch of Sabyfy”; Khandvi Ravioli with goat cheese and khakra is on the top of Delhi restaurant Indian Accent’s menu, as planned by Executive Chef Manish Mehrotra.

Gautam Chaudhry, Executive Chef of Ista Hotel, Bangalore, plans to showcase the modern Indian cuisine popularised by The Pink Poppadom.

Abhijit Saha, Founder, Director and Chef of Caperberry and Fava has lined up new dishes specially created for the Restaurant Week.

Chefs at Bangalore’s Café Noir would be promoting authentic French bistro cuisine, says Thierry Jasserand, the co-owner.

“We’ve invested in overhauling our reservation system, made a more concerted effort with our communication and marketing, and worked extremely hard in coming up with — what we feel — the best line-up of participating restaurants thus far,” says Dalal.

“With 70 restaurants across three cities, we hope to cross 10,000 diners during the week (last round it was just over 6,500). Reaching that landmark will encourage us to expand further — for example, one of the complaints we get is that one week isn’t long enough, so we may run it longer, as New York Restaurant Week does.”

Getting down to specifics, the restaurants will offer a three-course set menu (with vegetarian and non-vegetarian options) in Delhi and Mumbai at Rs 1,000 for lunch and Rs 1,200 for dinner, and at Rs 750 in Bangalore.

Online reservations at www.restaurantweekindia.com will open from September 14 for Citibank cardholders with zero reservation fee.

Other reservations will commence from September 16 with a reservation fee of Rs 100 in Delhi and Mumbai only.

(This article was published on September 13, 2012)
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