Moshe Brand To Front Sheks Third Coming
Chef To Go It Alone With Restaurant Chain
Raising a toast to his third opening in under six months, chef-turned restaurateur,
Moshe Shek has left nothing to public imagination as to what hospitality endeavour
he is finally settling down to. Shek recently opened a Cuffe Parade restaurant
and bar simply branded Moshe's. The 1,600 square feet, 44-cover restaurant is
Moshe's third, following Moshe's Oliva in New Delhi and Moshe's at the Pavilion
on Bombay Gymkhana's first storey, both of which reported a good reception.
The cuisine, as with all his restaurants, hovers on Mediterranean fare with
a bent on Turkish, Moroccan, Israeli and Italian paired exclusively with wines.
It also boasts an in-house bakery. Moshe now intends to tie all three restaurant's
to the brand name Moshe's and has set his sight on Bangalore in 2004. The potential
southern foray, including his present operation, Moshe insists, are all his
own without financial prop from any promoter. "All the current restaurants
have been opened and are being operated wholly by me. The properties are on
a long lease but other than that, there are no other investors. That's what
works for me. I worked closely with architect Ajit Shilpi who helped design
Moshe's," he said.
Originally from Mumbai, Moshe moved to Israel where he worked in a restaurant
in Kibbutz and later came back to India to study at Sophia Polytechnic and then
joined the Taj. In the course of his career, he also worked in Langham Hilton
Hotel in London and studied bakery at Richmont, Switzerland. His professional
debut in India was marked by a catering unit, Caterbility in 1992, following
which he went back to Israel.
His second coming
to India in 1999 witnessed him introduce the restobar concept to India in the
shape of Athena, backed up with place and finance by Chateau Indage. "I
introduced the trend of having a restaurant and lounge under the same roof and
a separate members' lounge. Look around you now, they're all over the place,"
The inclination to focus purely on dining led Moshe to team up with restaurateur
Farhan Azmi on Cafe Basilico in 2001. In 2003 however, he decided to go it alone,
without any promoter and associate the food he made with his name that fronted
his restaurants. Now with two restaurants in Mumbai and one in Delhi bearing
his name, Moshe feels India is ready for chef-branded restaurants.
"Having worked with promoters, I know now that henceforth I would rather
not and do my own thing. Moshe's is an up-market dining destination without
being prissy. The tabs are reasonable and the ambience, homely. The high ceiling,
dark wooden flooring, patio and garden seating give that away. I know the back-end
of a restaurant well enough to know it's the core and that's what markets it.
A chef brand can sell food. I am looking at a much larger chain in the future
10 or perhaps 15 restaurants maybe." Moshe also wants to own and
manage his own bed and breakfast up in the mountains in order to offer a complete
hospitality package in the due course of time.