26 December 2008

bangalore kaati zone bombay hanglas wraps&rolls frankie barbecue nation delhi khan chachas aap ki khatir

A long overdue post on my India trip. I fell sick as soon as I landed in Delhi. Wheezing, sinus, the works. But after some anti-biotics, rest and mooli parathas, I was on the plane to Bangalore. Kartik and I checked out Kaati Zone. Looks like they are doing pretty well in Bangalore with about 7 branches. Everything is cooked in the central kitchen and then heated in ovens in store. There are 3 varieties of parathas- original, lite and diet. The rolls were pretty average. Not that fresh and not that tasty. Too much masala I thought. The packaging was great though. Really easy to tear cardboard. Some pictures from Kaati Zone: Kartik looks pretty happy with that diet roll!

From Bangalore I took the flight to Bombay. Spent many fun hours with Arati and Neilesh checking out roll places and talking about Mooli's. It boils down to process. And some more process. I am hoping we can do a 2 week test kitchen in Bombay or Delhi soon. I dragged Vivek to many places and he was only too happy to check out the veg rolls for me. On my last night in Bombay, we ended up having coffee at 12.30am in Bandra with Sevantika and Ashish. After coffee, we walked along the sea talking about chicken, rotis, phones, life, and future tasting sessions. I took an auto home at 2.30am and was amazed that the auto driver didn't haggle. I can stil hear the auto driver in Bangalore say 'double meter'. This is Bombay for you.

Tried to make it to Lucknow on the way to Delhi but there wasn't enough time. Jimmy uncle (one of the Nawabs of Lucknow) said I can learn his family's Kakori kebab recipe so I'm looking forward to making a trip in the new year to do that.

One last day in Delhi, one last mooli paratha and I was on flight VS3001 back to London.

27 November 2008

What's The Frequency, Kenneth?

27 November, Thursday, 12-2pm, Liverpool Street.

I was at Wrap It Up! which does world wraps and Veronica, who helped out today was counting at Tiffin Bites.

The process at Wrap It Up! was fantastic - they had 7 people working in the shop at lunch and they managed to keep the queue moving really quickly. Interestingly, the customer mix was about 80% male! Maybe because their wraps are messy?

Let's keep that queue moving:

I had company in the form of Andrew and Mathew, and bets were placed for the final count at Wrap It Up! Not surprisingly, star UBS trader Andrew Kim cleans up by buying at 345. Final count is a massive 388. There is some demand for hot wraps eh? Tiffin Bites finished at 144 but with a much higher average ticket (tiffin boxes going for 9 quid!). Thanks to Veronica who counted and had to put up with really bad customer service (some things never change).

Andrew and Mathew, happy to be out of the office:

Andrew likes it:

26 November 2008

The Times They Are A-Changin'

Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'.

I got to the Souk (Arabian wraps on-the-go) off The Strand at 12.15 and a homeless person (the founder?) was sitting outside a shut shop. So this is what can happen. :o

But I really believe that this is strangely a very good time to be starting. Rents are falling, landlords will get desperate and if you're under 5 quid, you're ok.

So I went to Embankment instead and ate at ... wait for it ... Subway. Ouch. As Kartik says, a mooli's gotta do what a mooli's gotta do. Process wise, they are closer to us than say Wasabi (each sub is made right then) and I wanted to observe them at lunch. It was good to see that they could serve a lot of customers quickly with just 4 people in the shop. The manager, a nice guy, said they do about 200-220 subs in 2 hours. Which seemed right in the 30 min I was there. Wasabi on Oxford Street managed to do a whopping 379 between 12-2pm and Maoz on Old Compton Street did only 58 in the same time on a cold, cold Monday afternoon.

A well deserved coffee at Cafe Vergano.

Tomorrow, I'll be at Wrap It Up! Liverpool Street and at Tortilla Angel on Friday. Lunch anyone?

25 November 2008

Down On The Corner, out in the street

25 november tuesday 11.55am

some live blogging for you. i am sitting outside on oxford st. at the pret (like on the street, not inside) with my laptop next to the wasabi so i can count customers and also observe who/how people buy food. it is fucking cold so please pardon the small caps and any spelling errors. very very cold, hard to type. seriously guys. two more. tick tick. the counter moves. lots of women buying food at wasabi, the hot food is doing well (especially their ramen), lots of deciding/looking taking place. one more. i will put up a picture of my counter from rymans tonight.

as you can gather, this is counting week which means:

a) you get bombarded with blog entries.
b) i freeze my butt off.

yesterday i was at maoz at soho which was very intresting. they are a lean operation. average ticket is higher than i thought. about £5.5/6.0.

lots of counting this week: mexican places (tortilla/mucho mas - was with chandy at tortilla last night - they are sort of similar to us), tiffin bites, wrap it up, souk.

ok it really is too cold to type. will post this now and write later.

ps: my trusted counter

01 November 2008

Orange or Pink?

I hear you loud and clear.

Orange it is.

26 September 2008

Which Mooli's do you like?

Thanks to Phil, we have a lot of new ones (click on the picture to make it bigger)! You can pick one out by referring to it by row number and column number. For example, main sheet R3, C4.

Or you could just choose one from our short list (which includes the original). Again short list, R1, C2.

Or you could say something like, I like short list R2, C3 but with the M of short list R1, C2.

Or maybe you just like R2D2.

24 September 2008


We have a company.


21 September 2008

Swedish Mooli?

It's about 7 in the evening. I've spent the last six hours walking around Stockholm with David. It's a beautiful city with all the water and the sunshine. We started the day with some strong espresso and then walked to Djurgarden, a beautiful park/forest. Autumn is here. The leaves are changing and the air has a nice edge to it. Before you know it, winter will arrive. And then in 2009, Mooli's.

We went into many interior design shops and cafes. There is a lovely simplicity to the design here. Everything seems to fit. They really get their lighting right too. Back to the walk. We're walking and then out of the blue we see:

There were some cool interior design shops. Saw some different coloured chairs around a table which looked quite nice, something we've talked about as a possibility for Mooli's.

More pictures from the design shops.

David needed that coffee - 'Shouldn't have had the last jagermeister!' Starbucks didn't make it in Sweden. They like it real.

Max, Sweden's answer to McDonalds. I'm loving it.

Ah, the sunshine.

10 September 2008

grill baby grill

Pictures from our tastings. No republicans showed up but the chicken tikka was to die for. Thanks to Raju.

Here's to Mooli's. And our juice of the day - Watermelon!

That's the way to do it.

Oh yes!

Tariq likes it.



Discussing the food?