Opening a restaurant is the dream of many Indians but how do you provide a sense of luxury and opulence to your customers with the liquor ban that has been imposed by the government. Hilton Chennai is making some strategic changes keeping in mind that the hotel cannot serve liquor any more. The hotel has adopted daring strategies for its new Japanese restaurant; a new menu for its Indian restaurant, offering guests more and keeping the staff number intact. These are the daring and challenging strategies that Hilton Chennai has adopted, said the hotel’s top chef. The Supreme Court banned the serving of liquor in hotels located 500 meters from state and national highways. This ban has hit on the business of hotels as they have impacted on the revenues generated. However, Hilton Chennai have come up with a new menu for their Ayna restaurant and opened a new Japanese eatery to combat the decrease in revenue. Also Read - UPSC Prelims: Will Aspirants Get an Extra Attempt? Check Central Govt's Decision
Achal Aggarwal, Executive Chef at Hilton Chennai, told IANS, “The liquor ban is a litmus test for the Executive Chefs as they have to attract customers for their restaurants, retain their long-staying guests and attract short-stayers with their culinary skills.” Keeping this in mind he has launched a new menu for the hotel’s Indian restaurant Ayna and a new Japanese restaurant, Roppongi Hills. Since the liquor ban the bar was empty and hence was put to an alternate use. Achal Aggarwal said, “Following the liquor ban, the bar was empty and it was decided to put it to productive use by opening a Japanese restaurant which would also cater to the Japanese here.” Five-Year-Old Girl Fined Rs.12500 For Lemonade Stand in London, United Kingdom Also Read - Sandalwood Drugs Case: Ragini Dwivedi Granted Bail by Supreme Court
The head chef also said that as a result of the liquor ban a few hotels have asked their Executive Chefs to quit as part of cost-cutting measures and are managing with middle level people in the kitchen. Achal Aggarwal while speaking about Ayna’s new menu said that over 60% of the dishes are new, while the balance was carried over from the older menu. Some new starters have been introduced which will surprise the diners such as the new khasta crab which has the layers of crab meat with tandoori shrimp in a crispy filo sheet, or the orange flavored tandoori salmon. The curry leaf grouper and chicken with a twist of secret spices called kozhi varuval are also new and different recipes. Also Read - Supreme Court Sends Notice to Mirzapur Makers, Amazon Prime Video
Vegetarians also have ample tasty options to choose from. Kathal ke kebab (pulled jackfruit stuffed in poppadum cone) or khasta khumb (layers of spiced mushroom in a crisp filo sheet) are god options to choose from. Achal Aggarwal said, “We have converted some of the main courses into starters, changing their form. There is lot of new varities of fish, including John Dory, for seafood lovers.” For people who love soups, there is the vazhaithandu chaaru (raw banana stem soup) or murgh badami shorba (chicken soup with almonds). “While offering more to our guests, we didn’t retrench any staff. We sent our juniors to our group hotel in Singapore. Their salary was paid by that hotel even as they gained experience,” Aggarwal said.
These tough times also have some benefits as they were able to spot hidden culinary talents in the butchery and commissary departments. He said, “Normally they don’t cook. But one Sunday they turned up and made a few fantastic dishes when I wanted to test their skills. On the whole, we are not making losses in our restaurants as we expected. We are doing the same number of covers,” he added. In order to protect the overall revenue and cut down wastage they also decided to increase the live counters in the buffet. Tamil Nadu Woman Chops Off Husband’s Genitals After A Heated Argument, Takes It To Her Parent’s House
One of the signature dishes of Ayna is the Ayna butter chicken, which has a tasty twist as the chicken meatballs are made with minced chicken tikka. There is also nattu kozhi kolumbu (country chicken curry) that goes well with rice, or the nalli rogan josh (a Kashmiri mutton delicacy). For vegetarians singada palak is a good pick (leafy spinach, pickled water chestnuts and stuffed chilli) or gucchi aur khumb (trio of stuffed morels, portobello and button mushrooms) with olive naan or Lucknowi kulcha. Or else if you’re confused then the best option would be subz tehari (baby potato and seasonal vegetables) with aromatic rice laced with fresh turmeric and served with kachumbar salad. For desserts, apple halwa, baked Indian yoghurt with figs or butter milk ice cream are a good option. The new menu at Ayna Restaurant at Hilton Chennai at J.N.Salai, Guindy is a foodie’s delight. The timings for lunch are from 12 noon to 3 pm and dinner from 6.30 pm to 11 pm. Meal for two would cost around Rs. 4,000 without taxes.