In an interview to Restaurant India, Sagar Sharma and Chef Izzat Hussain talks about creating a luxury dining experience.
What’s the whole idea coming up with Spell Bound?
Sagar: SPELLBOUND is an experiential dinning model. We found there is dearth of places when we need to go out for standalone luxury dinning with authentic food and entertainment. Be it with family, colleagues or friends there have to be something for everyone.
How is the response as we hardly see a fine dine setup in mall?
Sagar: Response is outstanding. Malls have changed the way city market was. We believe that if the brand has some value proposition and offerings to attract customers, location becomes just an address. We get feedback from our diners that they don't feel that they are in a mall setup when inside.
Chef Izzat: It’s been an overwhelming response to us. People were familiar with my identity in Delhi-NCR which helped me in getting people at this restaurant. After knowing that I had opened a venture of my own, their presence can be witness here and it’s still going on. Spellbound is a food oriented business centre where quality food is served to the customers.
What made you enter into the food business leaving your medical profession behind?
Chef Izzat: Food was in my heredity as I belonged to a royal family from Lucknow. I persuaded my medical education becoming a Unani doctor by profession. After some years of my practice, I joined the research team for the trials of various spices like ginger, garlic etc. It eventually made my knowledge about foods and spices grew a lot. My hobby and this experience got amalgamated which gave my passion for food a new way. After that I started my television show on TravelerXp which was known as Quest. I focused on five things while serving people with food- good look, good flavor, good for your nose, good for your taste bud and it should be hygienic. The food served here are prepared without the use of water followed by no usage of yogurt in the food while cooking with no artificial use of colors.
What’s the average footfall?
Sagar: Average footfall is approx 3500 a month which is increasing rapidly.
How is the menu and everything designed?
Chef Izzat: It’s not entirely an independent work. Many other people were involved while designing the menu and other stuffs of the restaurant. I have invented many new dishes here like alapasi chicken, paneer malai tikka etc which are only served over here.
How do you bring the healthiness in your food?
Chef Izzat: I am trying to use the food products which are nutritious in nature. For example if I am preparing biryani here, then it’s made from basmati rice, fresh mutton, desi ghee and saffron followed by spices which brings taste along with hygiene in our diet.
From where do you get the ingredients?
Chef Izzat: I get the ingredients locally. The only thing that we are concerned about is that the quality of the food should be maintained as we can’t compromise with that.
Who is the target audience?
Sagar: SPELLBOUND has semi private, private, fine dining, lounge area on single floor and terrace with private deck on the another which makes it a perfect outing place from 8 year old to 80 year old. With combination of Indian and continental cuisine the place is appropriate for corporate dinners and parties, family outings and special celebrations and also for young and old couples to have quality time.
How much have you invested in the brand?
Sagar: The project cost is approx Rs 6 crores
How about designing the place?
Sagar: Place has been designed to give it a contemporary royal feel. We we're very clear on what we exactly need out of the place. We made sure that we cater large audience and for many reasons. Every area has been designed with lot of detailing for eg: we have put volume controllers in our private dining area for diners to adjust it as per their mood. So not only the creative side but also making the place operationally viable was our objective.
What is the expansion plan?
Sagar: We plan to expand to other metro cities, Mumbai being our favorite. Saying that we are taking one step at a time. We want to create a quality name from our first venture and then move ahead.