EAT OUT Don’t miss the paneer dishes at this North Indian joint. GAURAV DANGI
Moti Mahal is a chain of restaurants with over 90 franchisees in India, with the original restaurant established by Kundan Lal Gujral in Daryaganj, Delhi, in 1920. The first Indian restaurant to introduce Tandoori cuisine to the world, the franchisee has been given to a group of three youngsters who have just completed their studies in Chennai. Nikhil Nath, Parthiva Sureshwaren and Paul Raymond went to numerous places across Chennai to finalise their vendors. After undergoing several tests and quality checks, they decided to open this franchise at Jagannathan Road, Nungambakkam.
The interiors are classy, similar to the one at Delhi. Ghazals give you company as you savour your food. But you will forget everything once you start eating. Good food and great presentation; every dish makes you feel on top of the world. The paneer dishes here need a special mention. It certainly seems like the best paneer you get in Chennai. Lassi, kulfi and Pan ice cream are a must try. The jalfrezi was a disappointment but Rumali roti was superb. The only problem here is the variety available for vegetarians is limited. Service is good. So book your table before you go because it is always jam-packed. The newly started buffet is also good, but I would suggest that you go for the A la Carte.
Chat with Paul Raymond:
What made you guys start Moti Mahal in Chennai?
Initially, we found the lack of options for fine dining in Chennai. Of course things have changed in the last few years and the city seems to be doing well now. We decided to get into the restaurant business because of our love for eating authentic food. Moti Mahal — being the inventors of Butter Chicken and Tandoori Chicken — has always been a favourite. We wanted to bring this authentic taste to Chennai. Also, we didn’t want to do a run of the mill job. This is something that excited all three of us and we gave it a shot. Looks like we were successful (chuckles).
What’s your main purpose in starting this franchise: money, customer satisfaction or both?
We wanted something authentic in Chennai; we tried out several options from Delhi and found Moti Mahal to have a very rich heritage. After all they were the original inventors of Butter Chicken!
What do you feel about the Chennai food industry and about the customers?
Chennai is doing pretty well. I have been to at least three new restaurant launches in the past month alone!
Any message for young entrepreneurs?
Just follow your heart and be sincere, you will reach where you want to.
Gaurav is a III year B.Tech Nanotechnology student at SRM University.
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