All for the Lunching Ladies

At the F-Bar and Lounge at the Ashok Hotel,Wednesday and Friday afternoons run to a packed schedule.

Written by Meher Fatma | Published:February 8, 2009 1:50 am

To counter low business,restaurants are wooing women patrons during the day with health talks,fashion shows and cookery sessions thrown in as extras

At the F-Bar and Lounge at the Ashok Hotel,Wednesday and Friday afternoons run to a packed schedule. This week,design store Samsara is hosting a fashion show and beauty expert Blossom Kochhar is giving its lunch crowd,mostly women,tips on skin care. Between sips of bubbly and some air-kissing,there is a lot going on during lunch here. “We are trying to get the women out of their homes with an interesting pairing of health food with beauty talks and fashion shows,” says Ala Madhu of F-Bar and Lounge. Priced at Rs 1,000 onwards per person,advance booking is recommended here and Madhu plans to keep these luncheons going for the next three months.

“Pairing food with a little bit of fun is a hit recipe to impress guests,especially women,” says Kochhar,from her past experience at Side Wok. Rajneesh Malik,who runs the pan-Asian diner at Khan Market and Malcha Marg,teamed up with Kochhar in November last year to roll out a charming offer called Sunday Spa Afternoon. Kochhar brought in her aromatherapy oils and masseurs and the kitchen came up with a steamed-only menu — pak choy dumplings for starters,steamed fish for main course and sweet red bean bao for dessert. In between the courses,guests pampered themselves with chopstick massages on their neck and hands.

While plans are on to resurrect the spa luncheons in August,Malik is planning cooking lessons as well. “April onwards we’ll host classes at Fez and Side Wok at Malcha Marg,” he says. “Till last year,there was so much business that we didn’t have to do much. But now we feel the need to build a loyal client list,” says Malik.

At Ivy at Friends Colony,a Mediterranean food festival is on this week. It comes with a special something; if you enjoy their mezze platters,you can learn making them too. For a ladies’ kitty,which has a minimum of 10 women,the chefs at Ivy will roll out a counter and demonstrate how to make the perfect mezze platter. Priced at Rs 1,500 for two,lunching becomes interactive and you learn a bit about what you eat. “We are bringing in a bit of interactivity to the dining experience,” says Saurabh Khanijo,CEO of Ivy Bar and Lounge. And Khanijo is stirring up interesting offers at his other diners too. “At Sartoria,we are hosting wine-tasting and sangria nights for ladies on Thursdays. It allows them free sangria and comes with a little note on how to make it at home,” he adds.

Smoke House Grill at Greater Kailash II too has attempted some innovations of late,catering specifically to their women clients. They have tied up with Spa Transformations and on Saturdays ladies sipped organic wine and nibbled baked cinnamon yogurt with port-poached apples and vanilla panacotta with kiwis and indulged in foot reflexology and shoulder massages. Meals were priced at Rs 1,200 and massages cost Rs 500-700. “The spa lunches were a success and we even introduced low-cal platters on our menu,” says Harmeet Bajaj of Smoke House Grill,who plans to roll out a revamped ladies’ luncheon soon.

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