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Many Flavours of a Gastronomical Drama

Theatrics is as important as good food in Ahmedabad’s newly launched restaurant

Published: 17th October 2015 10:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th October 2015 12:50 AM   |  A+A-

Drama

As you wait for the third course of the tasting menu at Nautanki-Gastronomical Drama in Ahmedabad, a team comes in with a trolley carrying the ingredients of a papdi chaat with an unusual addition—the local favourite snack called khandvi. After adding colourful chutneys on the tray and assembling the chaat, the chef comes up with a surprise—he pours liquid nitrogen in the khandvi and creates a thick white fog, almost like a smoke.  “This kind of theatrics and dramatic presentations is the USP of Nautanki,” says Arsheen Kazi, the 33-year-old owner of the restaurant.

True to her words, there are spheres of tamarind that look like caviar, edible flowers, an egg yolk look-alike that bursts into lassi when you pop it in your mouth and lamb chops with amla murabba. “These are all part of the drama of dining at Nautanki,” says Kazi.

Drama1.jpgKazi and her husband, Parvez Mohammad (35), came to Ahmedabad from Dubai when Mohammad was posted in an airlines company in the city. “Since I was familiar with the cuisine of the Arabic-speaking world, I started Souq as a café serving falafel, manakeesh and saj in 2009. As it did well, we moved the eatery to a larger area and started a restaurant serving cuisines from the Middle-east and Mediterranean countries,” says Kazi. Later, Mohammad and other partners started Souq Bistro & Grills that offered Mediterranean and other cuisine.

Travelling offered them the opportunity to explore the food industry in other cities of the country and abroad. “A few restaurants in the big cities of India use modern cooking methods. We were fascinated by molecular gastronomy that uses technical innovations in cooking,” says Mohammad.

They then decided to start a restaurant that would serve modern Indian food in a fine dining environment and opened Nautanki-Gastronomical Drama in Ahmedabad in September 2015. To meet their requirements, they selected an independent building and converted it into a restaurant with a small garden. “We chose the peacock as our mascot—the peacock’s mating dance, which is full of drama and nautanki,” says Mohammad.

The place is located in Ahmedabad’s university area. The outdoor bistro in the garden is called Mortantra. “The chef’s tasting menu has soup, salad, bite-sized starters called amuse-bouche, main course and desserts. It also includes a sorbet, which is served as a palate cleanser between the starters and the mains. We are planning to introduce á la carte menu, especially for repeat or frequent visitors who know what they specially liked from the tasting menu the first time,” says Kazi.



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