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Why India’s young and bright hoteliers are taking London’s food scene by storm

Maintaining its reputation as the most diverse and exciting foodie capital in the world, London has always admired and cherished a variety of culinary cultures from around the world. Indian cuisine is one of the great success stories of the UK. According to a report by Spice Business Magazine, every week 2.5million customers eat at one of nearly 10,000 restaurants employing 80,000 staff, making the industry worth around £3.6billion.

Britain’s love affair with Indian cuisine dates back more than two centuries, but in recent decades Londoners have undoubtedly admired and cherished culinary specialties from every nook and corner of the underworld. Indian continent.

London’s enchantment with Indian cuisine goes beyond curries and kebabs. A new wave of Indian restaurants, with a different approach and different food offerings, are getting noticed and gaining momentum. Young, bright Indian hoteliers with fresh ideas steeped in India’s rich heritage of art, culture and cuisine are determined to add new charm to London’s eclectic ethnic menu and make Indian hospitality takes center stage on the world stage.

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Londoners and foodies everywhere enjoy a new voyage of Indian flavours, art and architecture as these passionate hoteliers curate exceptionally authentic experiences for the world’s new discerning guests.

In a city like London, elements such as location, food and atmosphere are quite important, but above all, the uniqueness and innovation of concepts and the determination to create the most exceptional and authentic experience for the future generation of foodies, travelers and guests are the real game changer. authentic experiences celebrating the culinary and travel delights of India.

Both traditionally and culturally, hospitality comes naturally to Indians and these Indian hoteliers and restaurateurs are now gearing up to unleash the huge potential of ‘Athithi Devo Bhava’ on the global hospitality landscape.

Some of the best properties owned and managed by hoteliers of Indian descent have found a place among the top rated hotels in the UK. Even international culinary experts are of the opinion that the best Indian cuisine is not found in the food galis of Delhi, Mumbai or Kolkata, but in exclusive places such as Covent Garden, High Holborn, Mayfair, Knightsbridge, Oxford Street and others. . London’s famous food hotspots that are year-round tourist destinations. A new unit in these areas costs a pretty penny – £15-25m each.

In the current scenario, more and more people from the UK are traveling to India and are now highly exposed to the variety of Indian cuisines and their intricacies. From local eateries to new-age dining venues, Indian restaurants are flourishing in London. Busy and bustling with long waiting lists, Indian restaurants offer changing menus that strictly adhere to their cultural norms.

Made up of 1.4 million people, the Indian community is the largest ethnic minority in the United Kingdom. They are the largest sub-group of British Asians and make up one of the largest communities in the global Indian diaspora. The large Indian population is another big factor in the popularity of Indian cuisine and these aficionados are in no mood to compromise on authentic Indian flavors and experiences.

Another interesting part of the huge popularity of Indian restaurants in London is the global exposure of their founders with deep roots in Indian hospitality, culture and rich culinary heritage. While the traditional dining formula remains popular, a new style of Indian dining is rapidly gaining momentum.

Recently, as London’s hospitality sector struggled to recover from the pandemic, a few Indian hoteliers showed courage in setting new milestones of hope and renewed growth for the industry. In a short time, London’s love of Indian cuisine has propelled the opening of some of the most splendid restaurants, such as Colonel Saab located in the former Holborn Town Hall in the heart of central London, Chourangi at Marble Arch, Bibi located north Audley Street in Mayfair, and more.

Amazingly, these restaurants have gained immense popularity in a short time, which is a testament to the flavors and textures of India. For example, Colonel Saab is more than an Indian restaurant for food, art and culture lovers in London. A contemporary view with an ancient soul and a nostalgic palate of memories, aromas and flavors is the new taste of London and even other global visitor centers.

Drawing inspiration from their travels and nostalgic memories in India, some of these influential young hospitality leaders are redefining the London hospitality landscape. They have undertaken the Herculean task of bringing together the heritage and traditions of Indian cuisine to create an authentic menu that fuses a host of culinary treasures perfectly aligned with modern taste buds. Some of them even take pride in presenting the age-old tradition of following the original secret recipe in the same traditional way to recreate the ethnic journey of Indian cuisine for Londoners.

The next generation of Indian restaurants in London aims to provide authentic experiences, share a story with us and take us on a nostalgic journey of Indian art, culture and culinary delights. They are determined to create lasting impressions of travel, exploration, discovery and re-creation of Incredible India, every time you step into these ‘new wave’ Indian restaurants.

— The author, Manbeer Choudhary, is Chairman and Managing Director of Noor and Jewels Group of Hotels, and former Chairman of the Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India. The opinions expressed are personal.

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