This year promises to be a year of excess, with new stores, hotels, restaurants, wheels and a busy art calendar, there is nothing boring about the year ahead to splurge and indulge in. The restaurants in the city are sprucing up their menus and new theme restaurants are going to be the mainstay for the year ahead. “We are going to see an interesting trend in eating out this year, with all day dining concepts turning into a pub by evening. We already have Hinglish — the Colonial Café that does this, there will be more. Stand-alone pubs will focus on a more loyal clientele, so pubs with a rock music theme such as Morrison and Turquoise Cottage give way to many more different varied theme pubs like an R&B pub or even a writer’s café (for media folk) like those in the UK,” says Manu Mohindra, a chef and hospitality expert. “Small places that will cater to the middle class who doesn’t want to spend a lot but needs a classy joint to spend their evenings or weekends in, is new. Rang De Basanti Dhaba, opening soon will serve authentic dhaba food in a good location for less than say the upmarket places, there will be more restaurants like this,” adds Mohindra.
Bakeries and boulangeries will also be big this year, say experts. Wine bars and niche regional cuisine restaurants will be the new haunts. The cuisine map is also set for a change, where Chinese food that now breaks down to Sichuan cuisine and the likes will get more specific. “Niche segments of Vietnamese, Lebanese and even restaurants focusing only on a single dish like say fish n’ chips,” says Mohindra who insists that smoothie places (like Booster juice) are going to flourish. The luxury hotel business will see one of the world’s noted luxury hotel, The Lebua, open in Dwarka by April 2012. It will house world class F&B destinations such as Sirocco II, Breeze II and an Indian restaurant (touted as the most expensive Indian restaurant in the world costing $400 per head). While Lebua is set against the up market Leela and the Oberoi, Delhi will see a lot of hotels on the motel format too, an upcoming project will be seen near Uppal’s Orchid close to the international airport. Luxury brands too are lining up for the city, brands which previously only focussed on accessories, are now coming in with high street, luxury and premium goods. Giving the already present Louis Vuitton, Dior, Burberry and Todds competition are new brands like Vertu, Christian Louboutin, Armani Junior, Roberto Cavalli will find themselves in Delhi early in 2012.
The car and bike showrooms will also be lit up with shiny new brands like the iconic century old British motorcycle maker, Triumph Motorcycles, which will sell bikes from a 675cc Super Sport bike, the Daytona 675 to a 2300cc Rocket III in India. The famous Mini Cooper and Korean brand Ssangyong will also be seen on desi roads.
The art scene is also packed following the success of the multiple-centre French and Spanish country cultural festivals in 2011. Iranian artists will make their India debut with Dubai-based art gallery, Gallery 1 x 1 at the India Art fair, the Indo-Japanese cultural festival ‘Passage to the Next Generation’ from January to March, 2012 will see Yoko Ono's ‘Our Beautiful Daughters’ — Public Project, a Kizuna (anime) Festival and much more. Pooja Sood, director of Khoj International Artists says, “We are going to see international curators come to India this year such as RoseLee Goldberg, who runs Performer (a live performance festival in New York).”