This 30 day series will follow the day to day lives of 3 dudes who have been given the responsibility of opening a mallu restaurant in the city of Hyderabad. None of us have any experience in this vertical prior to this and we are all learning as we go. I thought it would been an interesting idea to join my mates in this quest and document our journey day to day and learn a little bit about the restaurant business and a little bit about ourselves. Expect things to be funny, dramatic and sometimes down right absurd, cause the characters involved have all the attributes to turn this thing on its head. So hopefully, by the end of the month, we will have Hyderabad’s top mallu restaurant.( The metrics of comparison are not quite sure for me at the moment.) But when you and your best mates decide to give it a go. At least all of us will have some fun with it.
Where the fuck is the restaurant ?
Hyderabad Deccan railway station. Noble comes in with Odiyan. Our 19 year old Zen which can break down at any point of time. We call it Odiyan cause then at least it will live upto its name when it decides to fuck us over. We make our way to Gachiboili. The prime location in North Western Hyderabad. We make a pitstop at this Marwadi department store. 50 Kg of Maida and 30 Kg of onions lifted on to our backs. Needless to say, Noble was looking forward to this since there was a chick there. Lifting 50 kg was fun, but the fact that the chick was M.I.A (Missing in action) didn’t help us. Then Odiyan carried us home to this place opposite DLF IT park in Gachiboli. We drive in past all these food joints. Filled with hopeless techies and homeless immigrants into this chasm where there are no business joints. I am like, macha, we going to our quarters? And Noble replied that all my questions will be answered in a few seconds.
Odiyan rolls into this 3 story apartment from what looks like pre war Kolkata. To its left a run down house with the most hideous coat of paint you can possible put on a building. ( Maybe the Trump tower tops that in terms of acrimonious appearances.) And in front of that. Is this sign. Bamboo foodz. With a fucking Z.
MY QUESTION WAS- “ WHERE THE FUCK IS THE RESTAURANT ?”
LETS REWIND 2 MONTHS
My mate Jeevan was offered this chance to manage this Mallu food kitchen in Hyderabad. It would be the first time that he is leaving kochi. Soon after, my other mate Noble followed him with a degree in hotel management and a stash of Banglore’s finest weed. And I thought it would be a great idea for me to join the boys in this venture and apply some of the business acumen which I had acquired over 9 months scoping chicks in Decathlon and help a new business find its feet. I have been hearing a lot about this over the past few months. And finally after the Russian classes and the Kerala cycle trip. It was time to take the train up to Nizam country and start this restaurant.
Now back to the question – “ WHERE THE FUCK IS THE RESTAURANT ?”
Well. All I see is this abandoned building. What I had in mind is this building with 4 walls and a roof. ATLEAST. This setup didn’t have anything. Literally, a fucking roof was such an upgrade to what it is now. The look on my face…..it was not new. Jeevan. And after him Noble had the same pucker faced, “ I am so fucked” visage which anyone would have. I will elaborate on it soon.
But the day went on recovering from the shock of having to be incharge of publicity of a restaurant. Which exists only on a signboard. Fuck man.
Meeting the executive chef
For what Bamboo foodz lack in…..structure. The chef there is a super kosher. Chandrettan ( No, its not a generic Mallu ammavan name for a chef) is an amiable man who looks more like that Paavam mathematics teacher from secondary school. Quite spoken, calm and with a Kavi mund and a shirt which has oil stains below the convex lens belly which is a prerequisite to enter into the hotels business in Kerala. His food was great though. I tasted the Biryani with some beef and fried chicken on the side. For a restaurant which exists on paper. The food is legit good. I can’t call it great. And we are not aiming for fine dining Kerala specialities from the Malabar coast with a hint of Portuguese flavours. Its a mid range Mallu restaurant which serves the basics with quality.
Chandrettan has a lot of stories to tell and if you are patient enough to listen to him, maybe we can unearth a lot of value in this guy. While I was tying at night. He told me the story of how his son confronted him after reading Chandrettan’s diary. Even after Chandrettan had coded the steamy bits. ( Fucking kids). As of now, the kitchen is undermanned and Chandrettan has a lot on his head. For a sexagenarian, it’s a bit much, but his enthusiasm somehow seems to make it look easy. He is the only person who makes this look easy. The rest of us are struggling.
Well a lot more happened that day and there is a long way to go. Tomorrow I think I will do my area reconnaissance and get some insights into how I can channel more people into this place. You will meet more characters soon. Even I am yet to meet a few.
There are a lot of problems here. And the most pressing being the lack of mutual respect between the workers and their constant efforts to undermine Jeevan’s authority. But more on that latter.
But even though this has flushed down my expectations on what to expect from a restaurant. I see potential here. Low competition with high demand in the Mallu expat community can lead to us getting a lot of orders through our delivery partners Swiggy and Zomato. That is what I am here to do. Increase that traffic. The dining thing is still beyond me at this point, but I will have to contribute into that facet of it too. But no expectations there. I am here to sell the business online and increase our revenue there and I think the amount of potential there is still worth the effort and we can really make a go with this.
CIAO. Oh sorry. I meant Namaskaram.
I thought it would be a good idea to create a problem solving group for this where I can crowd source ideas and get some insights from anyone who is interested in how a restaurant works. We can trade a lot of information from the business end and you can help us out with your suggestions and ideas on the finer details. I am attaching this Whatsapp group link. If you are interested. Do come and be part of this 30 day tryst with destiny.
Whats App group link – https://chat.whatsapp.com/GME8ruaTrIK1HLtznnqUb2
If you live in Hyderabad. Do try out our dishes on the following link on Swiggy – https://www.swiggy.com/restaurants/bamboo-foodz-marwa-township-narsingi-and-kokapet-hyderabad-89740