23 February 2009

indian going on japanese

since tariq has been complaining that we don't write enough, here is an impromptu post in small case (mooli's way of writing emails and sometimes posts).

today at a lunch meeting with Aamir (founder and CEO of Dwell), we were talking about what kind of person mooli's would be and mathew came up with the line 'indian going on japanese' - it made both aamir and me crack up.

later in the evening, i stopped for a cream puff at Beard Papa's on oxford street - very very nice puffs - crisp on the outside with fresh custard inserted just before being served. that's pretty much what they serve though they have a few variations on the standard puff, tiramisu and some hot drinks. beard papa's still amazes me - they are a Japanese company started in Osaka in 1999 and now have over 300 stores around the world. and they sell cream puffs.

which brings me to the point of this post. focus. when i was in japan last year, i was amazed that a LOT of restaurants would only serve one thing (for example, katsu or ramen). if you want sushi, you go to a sushi restaurant. i loved this juice bar which served only 5 types of juice (so that they didn't have to wash the electric mixies, just like our mosambi juice wallahs in india)

all the fast food joints i love/respect in the world are all about focus. that's what makes them taste so good. take IN-N-OUT BURGER, all they do is a burger, a cheese burger and a double cheese burger (and fries). that's it. all with the same meat. and they are MILES better than McDonalds (and some of you will know i like a Big MAC). their line is Quality you can taste - boring but true.

next up is Maoz. they look awful, almost like a kebab shop and they ONLY serve falafel pita and salad (and fries). But Maoz is a hugely successful company and it is solely because their falafel pita and salad is amazingly good and fresh. (mathew and i are going there tomorrow after our meeting with Jonny, Chief Executive of dimt)

of course, lets not forget our delhi special - khan chachas. just 4 rolls, thanks.

tunde's kebab is another one in lucknow. one kebab. that's it. lol.

even Chipotle, the hugely successful mexican chain in the US keeps it pretty simple.

people have told us that our menu is too small but we're convinced its not. if anything we could even cut it down. which reminds me, we've decided our 5 wraps, more or less. i'm going to let mathew write about them - last night when i read his descriptions i wanted to eat them so much, i almost couldn't work. its tempting to add more options but we will keep it simple - only 5 at any give time. if you want to introduce a new one, then an old one must give way. thats the way it works. if we ever have 6, complain and you'll get 100 moolis free.

in the spirit of this free flowing email, here are some completely random pictures of japan i took last april/may.


Gautam said...

But will you have a secret menu like In & Out does?

I'm reminded of Imperial in Bangalore - no regular would be caught dead asking for the menu. And heaven's forbid you should actually order something outside the ordinary....

tbaloch said...

wonderful post and I hope you do keep it simple

mathew said...

indian going on japanese - what a dream. simple menus and also we could really learn from their optimal use of space to maximise seating/standing room.

one day sam told me that we should think about opening store 19 in tokyo. such an inspiring idea

Sam I am having the same problem. i read the menu in the business plan and couldnt resist making our prawn mooli. mustard sauce, a dash of cocout (the coconut we have to be careful with) prawns, crab meat and blanched methi leaves. divine combination. took all of 18 minutes ! still too wet for a mooli, but that can be fixed easily.

Vivek said...

Can we quickly have some real warm yum moolies please? ...no more dreamy talk of how many flavors of moolies, when we are dying to get our hands on any one!!

please keep the posts flowing ...it reassures the followers that the promised land is not too far now!

tbaloch said...

Mathew, what a wodnerful insight into the world of the Mooli men-it could almost be a film, "Diaries of a Mooli fanatic". But seriously, the combination of methi with fish is so wonderful, that I think it must be brought to the attention of consumers. What is methi in english though?

PS I def think, as I have said to Sam beofr,e that there should be youtube videos by you trying out these recipes.

mathew said...