Exclusive Interview of Hospibuz with PriyadarshiniDey.
Priyadarshini Dey is the founder of Rajbari Rasoi, a fine dining restaurant in India which serves authentic Bengali cuisine among other meals. She got inspired by her cravings for her home food. She is from south Kolkata and knows very well the secrets and delicacies of authentic Bengali food. She realized that Bengali Cuisine is less explored in Food Industry and so she decided to open this restaurant. Miss. Dey has completed her education of Hospitality from Kaplan University in Singapore. She believes in the mantra of working hard and dreaming high. In her exclusive interview with Hospibuz, she said that it was difficult for her to achieve her dream in Mumbai but this mantra helped her a lot. She clearly says that Rajbari Rasoi gives you the experience of Traditional Golden Kolkata. Bengali Cuisine is definitely at its best in this restaurant.
Hospibuz: What motivated you to start a Bengali – based restaurant? How do you make sure that customers come back to your restaurant?
Priyadarshini Dey: Whenever I visit other parts of India, I feel a lack of authentic Bengali themed restaurant. A restaurant which will give a feel of true Bengali heritage and culture along with its vast history of food. So I thought of opening a heritage Bengali themed restaurant. Food taste, quality of authenticity, heritage zamindari themed Bengali ambience transforming you to an old era and royal service will make sure that you surely come back here again.
Hospibuz: ‘Fish’ is something that every Bengali cuisine lover wants to have. How many types of Fish dishes are being served in your restaurant? Please tell us the dishes made of fish served only in your restaurant?
Priyadarshini Dey: The Fish that are served at our restaurant are: Hilsa, Rohu, Bhetki, Koi, Chitol, Papda and Parshey. There are lots of varieties but a few signature Fish dishes are Pomfret bori begun diye jhol, Parshey Jhal, Chitol maacher muitha, Tel Koi, Bhetki Paturi, Gondhoraj Doi Bhetki, Rohu Fish Kalia, Bhapa Hilsa, Hilsa Tel Jhal, Golda Chingri Malai curry, Daab Chingri.
Hospibuz: Please tell us how do you attract people to dine in your restaurant who have never tried Bengali food?
Priyadarshini Dey: When a person checks our restaurant, the ambience and feel of the place will transform you into an old Kolkata Bengali era. This makes everyone interested in the Bengali culture and they thus wish to try our cuisine.
Hospibuz: It is believed that taste and flavour is an essential element in running any restaurant; please tell us how important in the ambience along with the taste of the food? In addition, what is the uniqueness in the ambience of the Rajbari Rasoi?
Priyadarshini Dey: The ambience of any place is very important in shaping up a restaurant. It’s about the look and feel of the place that attracts a guest first. Our ambience is created in a way that it replicates a Bengali Zamindari Haveli. The ambience transfers everyone to the golden Bengali era of culture, literature, music and grand food with serving crockeries of Kansa utensils, the whole ambience makes you feel like you are re-entering a Bengali king’s house.
Hospibuz: In present time dinners love to have something new and trends changes every second? Please tell us how do you keep your menu unique and updated?
Priyadarshini Dey: We try to introduce new dishes every 2 months. We recently introduced 6 types of grand Bengali Thalis which people love.
Hospibuz: How you retain the traditional essence of cuisines in new dishes?
Priyadarshini Dey: Every dish prepared here is traditional. If we introduce any new dish it’s an age-old grandmother’s recipe which we are introducing in our kitchen now. So all dishes are researched and Bengali flavours kept intact.
Hospibuz: Congratulations on the success of Rajbari Rasoi, please tell us the expansion plan of Rajbari Rasoi? Is Rajbari Rasoi open for giving franchise?
Priyadarshini Dey: We do have plans to expand to Bandra and Pune next. But we don’t want to give Franchise as we want to personally take care of every outlet we open.
Hospibuz: You completed your Hospitality Course from Kaplan University in Singapore and started your venture in your own country? Please tell us what challenges you faced while conceptualizing and starting Rajbari Rasoi?
Priyadarshini Dey: Mumbai was a new city for me. So obviously it was challenging for me to select in a suitable place, then the licenses, designing and conceptualizing of Rajbari Rasoi, the menu, searching for right kind of Chef. These things were no doubt a struggle initially but it paid off highly considering that the net result is loved by all people.
Hospibuz: How do you make sure that each customer dining at Rajbari Rasoi gets a feeling of dining in Bengal?
Priyadarshini Dey: The entire feel of Rajbari Rasoi transfers you back to traditional heritage golden Kolkata. The way it is designed starting from the walls, to the books, to Bengali art forms brought down from Kolkata, to the royal chairs, famous Bengali paintings, Kansa utensil crockeries to waiters dressed in traditional outfits. Everything of Rajbari gives you a royal Bengali Haveli Dining experience
Hospibuz: What are the factors which are obstructing the exploration of Bengali cuisine on a world map?
Priyadarshini Dey: Bengali cuisine is a yet unexplored vast grand cuisine culture of India which should hold a place in the world map. The lack of a number of great Bengali chefs, lack in Bengali culture awareness, lack in Bengali food awareness to the mass audience of India, the restaurateurs feel that a fine dine Bengali restaurant will be a risk which they wouldn’t want to take.
Thank you so much for your prestigious time!!
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