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Sanjeev Kapoor launches first Abu Dhabi restaurant


Ask celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor what his latest Abu Dhabi restaurant serves, and his answer is simple: “Joy and happiness.”

Kapoor, who is famous for his signature Indian food around the world as well as his appearances on television cooking shows, launched Signature by Sanjeev Kapoor at the Nation Galleria on the Corniche on Wednesday.

The restaurant is his first in the capital, and the second Signature in the UAE (there is one in Dubai at the Melia Hotel).

“In terms of food, what we do here is we give people a taste of India through my eyes. It is food that I’ve grown up with, and it is skewed more towards the north of India but it is Indian food the way India eats today. The roots are traditional but the interpretation is very relevant to today,” Kapoor told tabloid! at the launch.

Signature, one of many brands by Kapoor, includes all his signature dishes and personal favourites. If you’re visiting for the first time, we highly recommend the lalla mussa dal — a slow-cooked creamy black lentil stew, which is guaranteed to please vegetarians and carnivores alike.

Follow that with some butter chicken, and thank us later, as this is not your everyday butter chicken; it’s not greasy at all, the sauce is not too heavy, and it is perfectly seasoned.

Alternatively, you can take recommendations from Kapoor himself.

“[If someone is visiting for the first time,] I think they should try our prawns cooked in coconut, they should try our lamb chops, and biryanis. Our starters from tandoor are also very good,” the chef said.

But the restaurant is not all about the food. The staff is welcoming and knowledgeable about each dish, and there is outdoor seating where the view of the Corniche is absolutely scenic.

With the launch of his first restaurant in the capital, Kapoor said he was considering bringing some of his other brands to Abu Dhabi.

“Whenever we do one [restaurant], it’s not that we want to stop at one, so we may bring other brands into Abu Dhabi. We have The Yellow Chilli, and we have Khazana, among other brands.

“When we opened our first restaurant in Dubai, that was 18 years ago, and it has taken us this long to reach Abu Dhabi. I don’t think it will take that long for the next brand to come here. I see that in the next couple of years we would definitely have one more brand here easily,” he said.

Kapoor added that he has already signed a master franchise to bring The Yellow Chilli to the UAE.

“The response in the UAE to our food has been fantastic. We started with one, and now we have five restaurants in Dubai, and we’re opening one more in the next two months. We’re also opening 11 [outlets] for The Yellow Chilli, and people always ask us to [open in new locations],” the Masterchef India host said.

So, what’s the secret behind Kapoor’s success? He said it was simply about delivering what he believes in and committing to it.

“I’ve said [before] and I’ll say it again; it’s about joy and happiness. That’s a philosophy and it cannot be described. Why do you go out to eat? To relax. There are so many memories, and so much that you want to treasure, and this is the place where that happens. At the centre is the plate with food, so food has to deliver that,” he said.



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MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.