11 May, 2021

Gastro Inditis

If food be the music of life, eat on. Outlook embarks on an epicurean tour in ten cities.

Gastro Inditis
If the team of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and finance minister P. Chidambaram cannot get our economy to step on the gas, don’t panic. There are clear signs that we may be able to eat, drink—and occasionally smoke, like the young lady with the hookah to the left—our way to accelerating economic growth.

This isn’t a comment made purely in jest. In India’s metros, it often seems like a new place to wine or dine opens every day. The variety, from Arabian to Zanskari, will astonish anyone who might care to think back to the days of dingy bars and a time when eating choices were either stodgy Continental or greasy Punjabi. And anyone who could teach indigent Nepali immigrants of appropriately Oriental appearance how to boil noodles could start a ‘Chinese’ restaurant.

The daunting failure rate in the industry apart (despite the high profit margins, less than one in 10 bars and restaurants is successful, because they aren’t easy to run profitably on a sustained basis), many are doing very well indeed. On most nights you’ll find them packed, earning money...

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