February 23, 2009 3:32:56 am
Tulips of bubbly reds and whites are now a common sight at Sunday brunch dos organised at almost every restaurant in town. At other days of the week,too,liquor has become more affordable as restaurateurs roll out fancy offers with wines to woo their customers.
The Yum Yum Tree,the oriental specialty diner in New Friends Colony,devoted Thursday evening to France. Tables were laden with six varieties of French wines smartly paired with steamed dim sums and Asian grills. Every two weeks,we host a wine dinner. The idea is to appreciate and learn more about wines and we serve them with a four course meal, says owner Varun Tuli. Priced at Rs 1,800 (plus tax),you get a detailed map of the region and each tulip is paired with some nibbles. On March 12,Tuli will host Little Bundles of Joy,devoted to grapes and their history. Promotions like these help customers chalk out their dining budget. It is also important to bring people out of their homes in times like these when everyone is trimming budgets, he says.
At IndoChine in Lado Sarai,Sunday night got a groovy spin as a liquor brand roped in DJ Jayant and Siren to rev up the mood. The idea was to extend Saturday night party to Sunday evening with free flowing pitchers of Tiger beer, says an official. These promotions attract all sections since the rates range from medium to high. By clubbing a variety of social events around the liquor,it is easy to bring back customers to the restaurant, adds Tuli.
Though locals customers,restaurateurs insist,are not alarmed by the R word,the picture is far from cheerful. Ritu Dalmia of Diva says,Sales of imported wines have dipped at restaurants and innovative packages are important to pull back customers. Aman Dhall,executive director of Brindco Ltd,that imports branded spirits,adds that restaurateurs and retailers are looking out for deals and discounts. We are offering several interesting discounts to retailers,but we cannot do much with expensive wines since the taxes are too high, says Dhall.
Food consultant Marut Sikka says,A lot of diners are offering interesting cocktails with Indian liquor. It helps in bringing down the cost and the trend of selling wine by glass is picking up quickly even at standalone diners. One of the restaurants which has introduced wine by glass is Amigo at GK II.
For preserving opened wine bottles,Brindco is importing Enomatics,a machine which helps preserve an open wine bottle for about three weeks. This helps wine lovers enjoy a wine without the pressure of gulping down the whole bottle and they pay by the glass for it. Most five star hotels have this machine and even standalones are showing a keen interest in it, says Dhall. He adds,A lot of entreé level wines are also being introduced. We are promoting Grover Vineyards as well,which is best in the domestic segment and quite affordable.
At Orange Hara,a chain of Indian specialty restaurants,
a two-hour Bar Buffet is on cards at its outlets in Rajouri Garden,Saket and Gurgaon. The buffet will be on at all times,all seven days. Unlimited drinks and cocktails will be served for two hours,from the time your first drink is served, says Vinayak Shourie,director-marketing,Great Indian Restaurant Company. At a time when we are all limiting our spending,
it is important to roll out such offers to keep the client base intact, he adds. The Bar Buffet here comes at three packages that are priced at Rs 695,Rs 995 and Rs 1,495 per person.
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