SWANKY, SPLENDID, SUMPTOUS ~ SHIRO
Editor in Chief, Christine Philip has a pleasant reconnection with her restaurant of choice Shiro when traveling to India, and also re-connects with the brand head, Dhiren Pawar whom she met 8 years ago at the swanky Bangalore location and found out some exciting news about the Global Brand and sumptuous restaurant:
GG: Dhiren, its been about 8 years since we first met at Shiro Bangalore- time really flies, I always make it a point to come here when visiting India. Its my kind of spot- swanky, delicious, it’s dressed with glamour, and I love the people. Its a pleasure to re-connect with you and happy to find out that you are now the Brand Head of Shiro with about 4 restaurants worldwide. Congrats, How was the journey?
DP: So good to re-connect Christine, 8 years makes me and you sound so old (laughs) thanks for always thinking of us; It’s been an awesome journey. The F&B space is one of the most challenging industries to work in. Working with Shiro though, has been the greatest highlight; I love it. Every day I somehow learn something new and it’s always different than the previous day. I initially worked in pure operations and now have had the ability to move into more exciting spaces like SOPs, profitability, PR and overall strategies for the business. if anyone is looking at Pan-Asian food and cocktails, I want them to think of Shiro as their top choice.
GG: Well it’s definitely my top choice, and I think you have already accomplished this brilliantly, especially with the Bangalore restaurant. What other cities is Shiro in right now? What’s unique about each one?
DP: Shiro currently is in Bombay, Bangalore and soon to be in Lagos, Nigeria by end of this year. We also looking to open a Shiro in Sri Lanka in the coming financial year of 2016-17.
GG: Very nice. I might need to visit all of them to do a taste testing. Do you have a favorite?
DP: As I’ve been brought up in Bangalore and have spent the majority of my time working at this particular outlet, Shiro Bangalore will always be close to my heart. However, Shiro Lagos is shaping up to be extremely exciting and Bombay has a totally different feel so it’s hard to pick a favorite as it’s a personal choice. If you’re ever in Bombay or Lagos, you must let us know, you can experience the difference for yourself.
GG: I definitely will. Do they all have spectacular city views and outdoor terraces like the one Bangalore has?
DP: Well the one in Bombay was our first and initially designed to be a nightclub, so its completely indoor and has a more club vibe, although we are in the midst of revamping and turning it into more of a lounge and an after-work dinner and cocktail space. As for Shiro Bangalore, yes it over looks prime realty of the Bangalore Central Business district. Shiro Lagos that is ocean facing, and it’s stunning as it sounds.
GG: Ok, first stop, Shiro Lagos please. And yes, I love the city views and sitting at the open terrace at the Bangalore location. Tell me about your crazy and super fun party brunches on Sundays – I’m dying to attend one, yet I seem to keep missing out on these. I envy you partying it up when I see the pictures and videos on instagram- looks like Ibiza touched down in Bangalore.
DP: The signature Shiro brunch is one to reckon with, with live stations for sushi, khao suey, grills and dessert topped off with unlimited beverages – you can only imagine the fun! We also offer unlimited table service for mains and appetisers so it’s quite decadent. If you are on a liquid diet then we have Sunday brunch signature cocktails like the Lemon Drop Martini, the Espresso & Cinnamon Martini (or the wake-up call as I nicknamed it!), and classic Bloody Mary with wasabi- perfect to cure any hangover.
GG: Does this happen at every Shiro?
DP: Yes it does. Our brunch is a signature experience that we want all Shiro patrons to experience and enjoy.
GG: Amazing. I see that the menu keeps getting better and better every year, does the menu vary from city to city to encompass local delicacies as well?
DP: The menu stays pretty much similar within all cities , probably a slight change in the service style owing to the nature of the property. We also have been doing alot of celebrity pop festivals in the last year or so with Chef Kiran Jethwa, Vikas Khanna and other celebrity chefs from around the world. This allows us to play around within Asian cuisine with different styles and flavours which ensure our guests don’t have any opportunity to get bored.
DP: Glad I introduced you to it then. But our signature cocktail and best-seller remains the Demerara Fig Mojito which is a classic mojito made with demerara sugar and figs infused with dark rum. Apart from that our champagne cocktails are quite refreshing along with the vast selection of wine and sake.
GG: Yes, this drink is fabulous, and the taste is mouth-watering as the presentation. As you mentioned earlier, a LOT of guys pop the question to their girlfriends here, any wild requests you’ve gotten that you’ve accommodated?
DP: Due to the nature of the venue, Shiro is a great choice for romantic dates, anniversary dinners and YES we’ve had maybe 3-4 proposals happen in the past few months which is always really touching to watch. One New Years Eve a guest proposed to his now wife at the restaurant while singing the song One in A Million by Ne-Yo. I thought it was pretty gutsy of him to do that in front of almost 300 people.
GG: that is quite gutsy.. good for him-and the guests I’m sure. You have an outstanding menu for Vegetarians as well- I find my carnivorous self-loving these veggie options by the way. My friends and I are in love with these cheese rolls that are literally melt in our mouths. If I ever give up meat, I’d probably request to eat here as often as possible.
DP: Yes the cheese rolls is our highest selling dish on the menu and In fact we have an all vegetarian menu at our outlets which helps make it easy on our vegetarian patrons, thus avoiding confusion and also to shuffle through various unnecessary pages.
GG: Any chance you can open a Shiro in New York? I’ll probably end up setting my office in-house. (laughs)
DP: Not as of now, but since we getting into the international market by end of this year with our Shiro Lagos property you never know!
GG: True. Its so great to be talking with you again Dhiren and seeing the growth of Shiro’s success over the years! I hope you’ll be visiting us in New York.