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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014

Back to the summer of ’99

Serena Menon, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, April 17, 2013
First Published: 12:43 IST(17/4/2013) | Last Updated: 17:50 IST(17/4/2013)

Roughly 14 years ago, Chef Rahul Akerkar was driven by the urge to give to Mumbai the experience of a “food-focused, hospitality-centric restaurant”. Careful to not settle for anything less than what he thought was ideal, he found the perfect spot in Colaba in 1999.

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On April 26, this year, Indigo will have satiated appetites for 14 years — not an occasion many restaurants in the competitive market of Mumbai can boast of celebrating.

To mark the anniversary, Akerkar has brought to life the menu that Indigo first launched with in 1999. On April 26 and 27, for lunch and dinner, patrons will be able to order dishes from the 14-year-old menu at the old prices. “The Lobster Bisque is one dish we still serve. It’s just changed a little in the presentation style,” says Akerkar.

Chef Rahul Akerkar

The Lobster Bisque (with crisp Okra) in 1999 used to cost Rs. 150. In the current menu, it costs Rs. 515. “We used to sell our quail dish for Rs. 145 back then, and today I buy quail for Rs. 144 from the market,” says the chef, with a smile.

The cheapest item on the 1999 menu is the Cold Carrot and Orange Soup at Rs. 80, while the most indulgent dish is the Grilled Tiger Prawns for Rs. 525. The prices and the menu might have changed a lot over the last 14 years, but the promise of good food remains.

“We have stayed true to our style of cooking, and we’ve evolved within that framework, but it’s been a natural growth,” he says. And slowly and steadily, they have expanded. Indigo Delis have mushroomed around the city, with the latest one in R-City Mall, Ghatkopar. But the one question that still stays on most foodies’ minds — why not another Indigo?

“Maybe one more in another city, but not in Mumbai. We’re certainly looking at other Delis, but not another Indigo. It’s a chef-driven kitchen and a food-focussed operation. It’s the expression of a chef; that’s difficult to duplicate,” explains Akerkar.

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