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Signature tables

The special seats where celebrities park themselves in restaurants become hotspots in themselves.

india Updated: Jan 16, 2006 04:34 IST
Soumik Sen
Soumik Sen

Glamour and food have a long-standing association and the gentry from filmdom have time and again ventured into the restaurant business. And despite the plethora of places that have sprung up, most celebrities have their own preferred hunting grounds when it comes to their favourite food. Sure, age old favourites like Swati snacks, where the Ambani brothers used to order from and Suresh’s famous Chinese thela on Bandstand have their eternal charm, but there are some spots in the city that celebrities keep coming back to, and restaurants pride themselves at their luminous presence, that brings back the ordinary diners.

Daler Mehndi’s Chak de phatte motto has the waiters order everything from murgh angaar and bestseller biryanis at his table at the ITC’s Kebab Corner. That apart, there has been a high profile socialite, who ordered cartons of the dal bukhara from the restaurant for her son, for his inaugural year at an Ivy League college. N Krishnan, the food and beverages manager tells us that the regulars who visit Kebabs and Curries are not entirely fussy about seat location. “The likes of Sachin and Boman Irani have their trademark orders of dal and kebabs and stick to the repertoire of the eatery, while other foodies do like to experiment with newer varieties,” he says.

Jackie Shroff is well known for his post-party midnight buffet binges at the Marine Plaza, where while enjoying the midnight view on Marine Drive, he has his regular corner table at the 24-hour coffee shop.

And if celeb spotting is your motto, you may do well to check out another Marine Drive destination — the Kebab Corner at the Inter-Continental Grand, where apart from regulars Deepak Parekh from HDFC Bank and Anil and Tina Ambani (who order the baingan ka bharta, even though it’s not on the menu), Aftab Shivdasani has played the role of ambassador when he introduced Nagesh Kukunoor to the raan (his pet order) here.

The same can be said of Asha Bhonsle who is a big fan of Chef Ananda Solomon at Trattoria. Kumaramangalam Birla is another regular here who makes it a point to order the vegetarian pizza.

Television stars flock to Brasserie’s midnight buffet Near the airport, it is very popular with the TV folk. After long hours at the sets at K factory, the 400 buck midnight dinner is the perfect value place for stars like Sangeeta Ghosh and Rakhi Tandon who are big time regulars here.

At the legendary Sun n Sand hotel, quite a filmi favourite, Ajay Devgun and Kajol are regulars with family, as they dig into the lamb chops and fish and tartar sauce. However, experience has taught Kunal Krori, assistant manager, food and beverages at the hotel that privacy is paramount for the celebrities. “There is always an attendant at these tables, who is stationed to ensure that autograph hunters don’t bother the stars in their private moments.” Jeetendra, Rakesh Roshan and Prem Chopra are old time regulars who continue to be loyal to the hotel.
Taj Lands End’s Ming Yang, the restaurant with a seaview, is also a favourite among stars and while Sachin Tendulkar and Salman Khan both make a beeline for table 11, they specially order the dumplings and fried duck pancakes.

Sanjay Dutt’s special table at the same restaurant is table 31, a round table at the end of the restaurant and his staple order is the sea fried duck with pancakes and chilli oil.

However, it’s clear that newer restaurants are doing their bit to attract brand loyalists with their signatures and style. But as Kebabs and Curries has proved with the heritage of their dal Bukhara as arsenal, that when it comes to drawing crowds, exceptional food is the last word to ensure repeat celebrity presence at the restaurants.

First Published: Jan 16, 2006 04:34 IST