In an interview with Restaurant India, Jaspal Singh Bindra and Divya Saluja Bindra, Proprietor at Punjabi Kadhai share their passion about food and more.
Food has always been my passion; I love to romance with food. I wanted to take my passion to the next level when I came back. It is primarily something which we feel for; we see that Indian culture is dying day by day. We actually feel a void in our culture which we want to fill by experimenting with roots. We have pubs, global cuisines and everything best. We are attracted towards them because we found them cool. But where our culture now, the food is lost and the taste has changed. I remember someone came to our country and tasted Indian food, he said that it tastes better in my country. They taste better because they make it right from scratch and this is where we are missing. So I started with my restaurant with making things from scratch instead of using any kind of artificial products. The whole idea was started to serve people authentic food which do not harm their body.
Uniqueness of your Product
When we see smile at people’s face and when we are called to serve the President of India that is where our ecstasy is. The feeling of serving authenticity is beyond the world. Apart from turmeric and red chilli powder, everything is made in our kitchen. We make sure to keep that natural taste in the food so it could depict our culture. There is always a continuous innovation in our menu to kill monotony but we make sure that whatever we make should be culturally rooted.
We are a 120 seater restaurant at Siliguri which celebrates authentic food. A place where people don’t have big pockets but it’s quite an achievement that we are preferred choice even in that particular situation. We are mentioned somewhere. And it’s only because of our passion to serve authentic Indian cuisine, or passion to serve them according to their palates. We believe in under promising and over delivering.
Barricades in Starting Up
We are still facing the problems. Not only the 31 licences which you need to start up a restaurant but every month there would be someone at your door knocking you and asking, ‘Do you have this to run a restaurant?’ So there is no website which informs people what to do to start up a restaurant. Operating cost is also high which put the energy down sometimes.
Creativity Wins Over Competition
We don’t see competition at all because we do something which is for our happiness. It’s about someone coming to our place, try the food and say, “Hey, it’s something different.” We have never had something like this before. The way we feel for food is really different then how would be there any competition? And if you talk about competitors, their thinking is to a certain level related to the market but we constantly brainstorm that the creativity should not leave.
Yes, we are planning to expand. We have already expanded in a vertical of catering. At the moment, we are getting softwares and systems all at place. We are looking for leaderships who can share the same passion we have. Once we got those leaderships, we’ll definitely expand to the cities like Sikkim. We keep getting the investors but sometimes the process and procedures are not right and replicating those becomes a hassle. Punjabi Kadhai is our baby and now the time has come to leave the hands of baby so that he can grow. I also got one offer from Russia as there are not many Indian restaurants over there and I’m considering about that if things are feasible there.