Goila Butter Chicken set to open in Bengaluru on December 17

Goila Butter Chicken set to open in Bengaluru on December 17

Apart from Saransh Goila’s signature creation, patrons will also be able to dig into best-selling dishes such as Goila butter paneer and naan bombs

Saransh Goila has been busy. The 33-year-old chef and cookbook author, whose name is inextricably linked to butter chicken, is all set to bring his signature dish to Bengaluru with the launch of the first Goila Butter Chicken (GBC) in South India.

Come December 17 and Bengalureans will be able to dig into dishes (initially, the menu will have only the best-selling items) like the Goila butter paneer, paneer tikka, Sindhi style mutton, naan bombs and, of course, the star attraction — the Goila butter chicken — from a cloud kitchen on Brigade Road.

Talking about the decision to focus on cloud kitchens, Saransh, who was in Bengaluru prior to the launch, says, “We have always been a quick service restaurant (QSR) where we were doing takeaways and deliveries. Vivek (Sahani, co-founder of GBC) and I thought that QSRs are the future with the way things were heading (back) in 2016. We also realised that to grow restaurants across the country or the world is definitely a tougher ask. Our story is very clear: we have a great recipe and we want everyone to eat it. If we open a large restaurant, we may not be able to cater to everyone; it might become more premium.

While there are five GBC branches in Mumbai, a London branch also opened this November. There are plans to expand to cities such as Chennai, Kolkata and Delhi from June next year.

Acknowledging that the pandemic’s impact on the hospitality industry has been high, Saransh says: “It led many restaurants to either shut or consolidate what they are doing. We thought that it served as an opportunity to collaborate with other restaurateurs and people in the industry to take GBC to different cities. Typically, our business requires us to pay heavy rentals and have brick-and-mortar structures. So, we are partnering with people who have the space and resources but might not have as much business now. It is a value proposition without spending too much money on infrastructure; we are investing in a partnership.”

In Bengaluru, the partnership is with A2Z Hospitality on a franchisee basis. “Traditionally, you sign a contract and take a franchise. We decided to be more involved in the product, including in kitchen design and planning. One of our in-house trained chefs is stationed in Bengaluru.”

Saransh, who has an old connection with the city, having worked at The Leela Palace, says: “While the city loves North Indian food, I saw, being from Delhi, that there was a market gap in terms of the kind of North Indian food I believe should be there. Generally, it is customised for the palette here. We do not customise our recipes for any market, whether it is London or Bengaluru. And Bengaluru loves MasterChef Australia. The kind of love we have seen post the show exposure in 2018 (contestants had to cook the butter chicken as part of a pressure test); I can’t even recall how many times people have asked us to come here.”

All this, brings us to the million-dollar question? What should one expect before taking a bite of the Goila butter chicken?

“We have a consistent smoky flavor in the chicken and the gravy. Of course, there is butter but it is not too heavy; you can enjoy it guilt-free. We don’t add sugar and colour and we use premium ingredients.”

As for the best type of Indian bread to soak up the butter chicken, Saransh has this to say. “I get a lot of flak for this but I don’t think that only naan works with butter chicken. At GBC, we believe in serving good rumali rotis with it. But, I would say a good Malabar parotta goes exceptionally well with butter chicken. I don’t see a bread not working well with this recipe. The only thing I won’t do is put idlis with it!”

Preorder available on December 16.

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