Out­let 360

Caterer Middle East - - Outlet 360º -

What sets Mo­halla apart from its com­peti­tors in Dubai’s In­dian food scene is the team’s de­sire to go be­yond the usual sus­pects and bring in dishes from around the coun­try’s 29 states.

Head chef Ad­wait Anant­war is the Tresind-trained man in charge of mak­ing it hap­pen.

He says: “I wanted to make a menu that peo­ple have never seen in Dubai. I wanted to bring the sub-re­gional In­dian cui­sine and the street food which has not been ex­plored much.”

Anant­war has spent much of his time re­search­ing dif­fer­ent dishes from around his home­land, and find­ing a way to bring them to a new au­di­ence with­out af­fect­ing what makes them great in the first place.

He ex­plains: “The con­cept here is stick­ing to the roots. Not go­ing into too much modern stuff, I’m not go­ing to do any­thing fu­sion. It’s tra­di­tional food with a tra­di­tional taste, but with a less amount of fat and we’ll tone down the spice a bit.”

While you can still find the likes of but­ter chicken on the menu, as it is a com­mon street food in In­dia, the idea be­hind Mo­halla is get­ting peo­ple out of their com­fort zone, some­thing Anant­war isn’t too con­cerned about.

“Peo­ple are open to try­ing new things,” he says. “It’s not like we are in a small town in In­dia where peo­ple don’t want to try some­thing else, it’s a place where peo­ple want to ex­plore.”

With al­most 80 dishes on the menu, in­clud­ing ev­ery­thing from small, light bites to larger main cour­ses and desserts, Anant­war has se­lected a team able to cope with the de­mand and who are no strangers to the cui­sine.

He says: “The whole kitchen team I have got­ten di­rectly from In­dia - they’ve never worked in Dubai be­fore. The rea­son why I did that is be­cause there are a lot of restau­rants here which are do­ing fu­sion and all the chefs who are work­ing here are all a jum­ble of some­one who has worked here and there. I didn’t want that to hap­pen with Mo­halla so we have hired di­rectly from In­dia. I’ve got chefs who have worked 20 plus years in the in­dus­try, they’ve worked in the best restau­rants in In­dia, so the food is go­ing to be amaz­ing for sure.”

Key to mak­ing that hap­pen, says Anant­war, is fresh in­gre­di­ents. “Ev­ery­thing I’m sup­ply­ing is fresh. I have lamb from New Zealand, fish from Europe, prawns from the Philip­pines. If you don’t have fresh in­gre­di­ents then the food is not go­ing to be amaz­ing, even if you cook it in the best pos­si­ble way.

“We have the best sup­pli­ers like Fresh Ex­press and Chef Mid­dle East."

While Anant­war nat­u­rally be­lieves the food to be ex­cel­lent, he isn’t chas­ing awards, say­ing that “my pri­or­ity is to feed good food to peo­ple and if things hap­pen ac­cord­ing to the plan and if peo­ple like then what­ever has to hap­pen will hap­pen".

What the team at Mo­halla want to hap­pen is po­ten­tial in­ter­na­tional ex­pan­sion. Ma­hen­dra ad­mits that as Ate­lier House is from the United States, a Mo­halla in New York could be the next step.

HEAD CHEF:Ad­wait Anant­war was pre­vi­ously at Tresind.

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