Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Spirit is passion in motion

Ever wondered if a budget pocket can buy you food as delicious as worth a million bucks ? My quest for the perfect office party lunch buffet in Andheri East, Saki Naka stopped at Spirit Kitchen and Bar. What works perfect is that is sits right below an English pub The 7PM Itch and Spirit Food Express – by the same Restaurateur.

 I entered the place a little bit before lunch hour and was happy to reserve my spot. The restaurant itself screams young and fresh. The walls have massive graphics .. Spirit is passion in motion – it is a lot like the restaurateur himself, Yatin Hegde who has recently won the prestigious FMB Award, recognizing him as a young and upcoming entrepreneur.

The place fast filled up with people pouring in from various offices nearby. It’s fast service ensured that nobody had to wait for the scrumptious Cheese Chaska.. which is its signature appetizer. I was quick enough to understand this as every table in the restaurant seemed to be enjoying it.
The main course has both Chinese & North Indian fare served up to the mark & offers value for money. Of course my favourite was the Yellow Daal – which by far it the best yellow daal with double tadka that I had tried in this area. Cooked to precision and very strong in flavours – just the way I love it.

If the food wasn’t what will pull me again to the restaurant it’s the attitude of this young man Yatin Hegde. He greets all his customers, politely asks them about the food, takes feedback and his reason for doing this is Value Creation ! It was almost refreshing to hear such an ambitious response from someone his age.  I had the chance to speak to this vibrant achiever… here are some experts.

Me : How did you get into this business ?
YH : What you are seeing today if what was started 50 years ago by my Dad and Uncle. They are from the prosperous ‘Bunt’ community who came to Bombay, understood the food habits of the people of Bombay and devised a plan to suit the ever changing needs and wants of its people. It is now on the second generation to take-off from this platform and transform these into “BRAND”. Spirit Kitchen and Bar and The 7PM Itch is one step towards changing a restaurant into a Brand

Me : So you are saying Business is in your blood ?
YH : Of course ! It starts when you are very young. What started as a compulsion from my father ended up becoming my passion. When I went to different restaurants and the only though that came to my mind was how can I use this in my restaurant or how can this work well for me.. is when I realised this business is all I can think about. This business is my passion.

Me : All work and no play makes jack a dull boy ?
YH : (laughs) I am by far the naughtiest kid in the neighbourhood, you should ask around !  I am a different person when I am around friends and different when I am at work. Work will always remain my priority… I don’t forget it when I am with friends. When I am with friends nobody can tell I run a business. I would not want them to change this perception.

Me : Your Parents must be proud of your award ?
YH : Of course ! Like every other parent, mine were elated when my name was announced as the winner. Being the youngest of my family – a boy after 2 elder sisters – everyone thought I’d be pampered. I would be enjoying the good life and making merry. But I was only in Std 8th when my father made it clear to me. I will have to sweat and toil and earn the respect for myself. When others played in the sun during holidays – I was dragged to the restaurant. But I don’t regret it. There are something’s I learnt very early on. They have come in very handy while running this business successfully.

Me : What’s next for Spirit Kitchen and Bar and The 7 PM Itch ?
YH : Well, when you see the plaque of my brands in every neighbourhood, you know my plan is in action. I want my speed and quality of work to speak for itself.  

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