Heard her voice, now taste her food - with Asha's

By Madhusree Chatterjee | IANS India Private Limited

New Delhi, May 11 (IANS) Food is a far cry from playback singing. But Bollywood's girl with the golden voice, Asha Bhosle, who has morphed into an astute hotelier over the years, is ready to bring her award-winning eatery chain Asha's to India from abroad in 2013.

"We have 10 restaurants overseas now - three in the UAE, three in Kuwait, one in Qatar, one in Bahrain, one in Egypt and one in the UK. The first outlet in India will open in the national capital in 2013," Anand Bhosle, Asha Bhosle's son, told IANS.

Land has been identified and investment for the project is well under way.

Asha's, which won the Time Out Dubai 2012 Best Indian Restaurant award, flaunts the music diva's passion for northwest Indian cuisine with specialities like nally gosht, tandoori lobster, chicken jalfrezi and desserts like Asha's platter comprising gajar ka halwa and mango kulfi.
Anand said, "Asha's, as the name of the eatery suggests, has been inspired by the life of the music icon."

"The logo of the chain enhances the concept a step further. The menu is northwestern frontier cuisine and many of the recipes are Asha Bhosle's special which she has invented and worked on for many years in her home in Mumbai.

"The special masala, which is a secret of the restaurant's kitchen, is manufactured by her under strict guidelines - and is used in all the eateries worldwide," said Anand, who manages the chain with his mother.

Asha Bhosle, who takes an active and personal interest in the restaurants by deciding the menu and even choosing the right spices, works "closely with her team of worldwide chefs".

"Northwestern cuisine and Lucknawi or Awadhi cuisine are the hallmarks of Asha's, but the strength also lies in innovative Indian food," Anand told IANS.

Asha Bhosle's personal favourite is a platter of ghar ki daal, plain white rice and Muscat gosht, her son said.

Asha's has also been mentioned in the Michelin restaurant guide for the past four years in Britain, as one of the world's top destinations for quality Indian cuisine outside the Asian subcontinent.

The Time Out Dubai described Asha's as having "elegant, modern decor with warm welcoming hues, efficient and friendly service" and food that "sings", Anand said.

The clientele of Asha's UAE outlets "is 50 percent from the Indian subcontinent, 30 percent Europeans and 20 percent Arabs, which more or less describes the demographic breakdown of the UAE", her son said.

(Madhusree Chatterjee can be contacted at madhu.c@ians.in)