He is the toast of the urban culinary circuit on home turf. Winter is here and Manu Chandra has begun serving up extra warmth in a bowl for the soul through the One Bowl Winter meals at Monkey Bar across Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and Kolkata. The hot pan-Indian menu has 12 soul-warming comfort food recipes, ranging from sesame teriyake chicken bowl to prawn pad Thai noodles and seafood linguinesee, for you to relish when the chill fills the air

On a rapid, pan-India eatery expansion spree, the creative heart behind the trio of superb restaurants—The Fatty Bao, Toast & Tonic and Monkey Bar—Chef Chandra means serious business as he spins out winsome specials from this kitchen in his signature, mince-no-words style.

So with three bustling chains of smashing restobars, is Chandra cracking it cool? “Well, we are making money. But honestly, I do not think I have nailed it per se. In my mind, I have tried to offer the best cuisine at the best price. As chef partner at these restaurants, it is viable for me to serve up great food at nominal prices, without pricing myself out of the market,” he says.

Fair enough, but the triad seems to have got the dynamics right: from the edgy decor to noveau small plates to sassed-up, boozy cocktails. Monkey Bar hits bull’s-eye with the spender shell-out of `700-900 per person, Toast & Tonic with `1,500 per person, with Fatty at around `800 per person. “I always feel price is an instrument of economy. It is tough to run a restaurant without a sizeable quantum flowing in. Everything needs to be taken into account, including the rent and salaries. The plan is to achieve high revenue during the first year, then break even.”

Shilpi Madan for New Indian Express

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