Collaborations between reputed brands such as Qualia and Ahilya by the Sea, and The Table and The Lodhi, are not just a way to survive harsh lockdown restrictions but also, a gateway to new experiences for diners.
Restaurateurs and hoteliers are coming up with unique innovations to work around the lockdown restrictions imposed in several states. With dining-in completely shut down in some states, it has become exceedingly difficult for restaurants and bars to survive. A ray of hope has emerged for these businesses in the form of partnerships with hospitality groups.
Ahilya by the Sea, a Relais & Châteaux boutique hotel in Nerul, North Goa has an ongoing 10-day culinary experience with Chef Rahul Akerkar of Qualia. Chef Akerkar is well known for his ingredient-focused menus, and the setting in Goa presents a unique opportunity to explore local flavours. The experience offers a set menu with both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options, with two seatings daily until April 11. Chef Akerkar’s connect with Goa is reflected in the use of famous local specialities such as amsul and pork, and even in dishes such as Ajji’s kairi curry, which is the chef’s version of a recipe from his grandmother. Given the use of fresh ingredients, the menu changes every day, based on the chef’s finds in the region. Of course, the chef also uses ingredients and elements of dishes he has discovered across his decades-long career.
““I like playing with local flavours and ingredients. But the dishes on the menu are influenced by a bunch of different places,” says Akerkar. “For instance, there’s a banana flower ragout that’s based on a dish I once had in Kerala.”
Ahilya by the Sea is an amazing setting for this unique partnership, with its stunning location, two pools, sea-front alfresco dining and lush gardens.
Another Mumbai institution, The Table, in partnership with The Lodhi in New Delhi, is taking its unique cuisine concepts to the capital for the first time. Known for it farm-to-fork philosophy, use of fresh ingredients and menu inspired by foods from across the world, The Table’s menu will be on offer at Elan at The Lodhi from April 9th to 18th. Aside from signature dishes such as crab royale, duck salad with hoisin glaze and Australian lamb shank, there will also be trademark cocktails such as beetroot mezgroni and cucumber saketini on the menu.
“We had been wanting to bring the experience to Delhi for a very long time, so, when we were approached by The Lodhi, we didn’t think twice about it. This has been a difficult year for the industry but collaboration and working together is what has got us through it, and this is just one more example of that,” says Gauri Devidayal, co-founder of The Table.
Elan, with its open-air alfresco dining overlooking The Lodhi’s lush greens, is a great backdrop for Delhiites to experience the unique cuisine from The Table.
With the near future seeming uncertain, and restrictions torpedoing the restaurant industry, collaborations are perhaps one of the best ways to survive this new round of lockdowns. Brands coming together is not just a celebration of the spirit of collaboration through difficult times, but also allows patrons to have wonderful new experiences, even at a time when we uplifting the most.