There’s a rapidly growing demand for food in Mumbai’s Powai suburb thanks to its residential complexes as well as offices. To cater to this demand, over the past few years, several restaurants and delivery services have been setting up shop and have been welcomed with open arms from Powai’s residents. The newest kid on the block is the soon-to-be-launched, quirkily named Olive Achaar.
Olive Achaar: The Origins
Olive Achaar was born when three hospitality graduates and food enthusiasts; Swapnil Tawde, Saurabh Mane and Biki Gurung came together. Swapnil and Saurabh had been batch mates, while Swapnil and Biki, both chefs, met when working in the USA; Saurabh has worked at Junoon, the fine dining New York restaurant from Chef Vikas Khanna.
“All three of us have been in this industry for a little over five years,” said Saurabh to us in a chat about Olive Achaar. “We figured that there was something we could do in Mumbai; this was the time to take some risks,” he added.
And so, the three of them put their heads together to decide on a unique food venture. “Initially our plan was to set up a food truck. We did a lot of research and we found out there are more cons than pros in the food truck business. The system doesn’t have proper guidelines to open up food trucks in India. We saw a few ventures going down because of monsoons,” said Saurabh.
Instead, the team decided to start a delivery service.
According to Saurabh, Powai seemed like the ideal place for the trio.
“We figured out Powai was a great place to start a delivery kitchen. We researched a little and Powai seemed like a good place; it has IIT and the Hiranandani complex as well as several corporate offices,” Saurabh explained.
More research also helped the group decide what Olive Achaar should be serving. “What we figured out after doing research is that Powai doesn’t have a lot of momos and dim sums. Not many places serve chicken wings…” he revealed.
He added that the group will design its menu around customer demand saying “If people want something, we have to deliver that. As a cook I can think of many things but that doesn’t mean people will like it. I have to go to what people actually want.”
The menu, therefore, reflects a combination of dishes that will appeal to Powai’s demands as well as innovative combinations of flavours and ingredients.
Saurabh elaborated: “We’re doing Darjeeling style momos; we’ll be flavouring hem with herbs and spices. We’re going to do chicken wings; we’ll go with old monk coated chicken wings. We’ll also be doing rainbow buns for our burger and Mongolian style rice. We plan to do a lot of Asian street food. Our menu will keep evolving.”
Are you intrigued? Olive Achaar will be opening its doors by mid-January; keep an eye on their Facebook page for more updates.