Small Plates Week: A new culinary event in Mumbai promises small servings but big flavours

From Restaurant Week and Chef’s Table Week to DineFest and Food with Benefits, Nachiket Shetye (34) and Mangal Dalal (31), the chef-restaurateur-entrepreneur duo behind Cellar Door Hospitality have singlehandedly managed to not only introduce Mumbai to a host of unique culinary concepts but have also ensured to innovate with every single event, time and again.

And, now they are back to introduce Mumbai to yet another culinary concept – the Small Plates Week.

The inaugural edition of Small Plates Week will run for 10 days, from June 17 to June 26 comprising 15 participating restaurants and will let diners sample a variety of dishes at a fraction of cost.

For Rs 1,000 (exclusive of taxes and service charge) per person, diners can choose from a set menu of at least six small plates, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian and follow it up with four desserts, and the good news is that they are free to reorder servings of any small plate they want to.

There’s more. Some of the restaurants also have items on the event menu that are otherwise not available in their menu. For instance, The Fatty Bao’s menu will include a selection of new dishes such as The Fatty and Egg Dessert and The Slow Cooked Apple and Filo Pastry Slice.

When asked about the inspiration behind introducing Small Plates Week, Shetye tells us that it is in essence the reflection of the current scenario; wherein India, and to be specific, Mumbai is witnessing an influx of cafes and bars.

“At a time like this, how does one decide which restaurant is worth checking out and, more importantly how do they know which dishes they should order? This is where we come in. With this event, we aim to help people discover new restaurants in the city,” he adds.

There’s also the fact that people nowadays are eating out in larger groups with their friends or families and as Indians, we love sharing our food. This says Shetye makes the concept of ‘Small Plates’ as a theme for a culinary event a perfect fit.

“The advantage of small plates is that you’re not limited to just two-three dishes and instead can sample a variety of dishes, in the process discovering dishes you might not have ordered otherwise,” he explains.

Shetye also believes that one of the reasons the trend of small plates has caught up this quickly is because as Indians, we are already familiar with the concept. “Our Indian thalis itself consist of small servings of sabzi, farsan, dal, sweet etc, so it’s not like trend is alien to us. We’ve been eating like this for a long way.”

Echoing his thoughts, Ashish Sajnani, Owner, Eat Thai, one of the participating restaurant says, “Though Indians are now experimenting with their food choices, they still remain price conscious. And, this is one of the reasons teh concept of small plates has clicked because it gives the customer the leeway to variety while still being inexpensive.”

To decide on the list of participating restaurants, the team looked extensively at food reviews, talked to food bloggers and restaurants, conducted surveys and also ensured they approach establishments which actually do small plates, Shetye tells us.

To his surprise, all the restaurants they approached in the process of finalising the 15 restaurants for Small Plates Week responded very encouragingly and were of the opinion that it would not only aid in their discovery but would also let them showcase the dishes they do well.

For Chef Prashant of Fatty Bao, the aim of associating with events like Small Plates Week is to offer the joy and experience of a small plate meal to customers and thereby popularize the concept further. “Additionally, this will also help us draw in a new and relevant set of customers as well as showcase the philosophy behind the trendy Asian cuisine available at our restaurant.”

All in all, Shetye hopes that Small Plates Week allows customers to have a good time, discover newer restaurants, try cuisines that are out of their comfort zones and aids in the concept catching on.

Small Plates Week, which took the team almost six months to plan will also spread its wings to Delhi later this year.

The 15 participating restaurants are:

1. 29 - Twenty Nine, Kemps Corner
2. AKA Restaurant, Worli
3. Aqaba, Lower Parel
4. Boveda Bistro, Andheri-Lokhandwala
5. Burma Burma, Fort
6. Café Basilico, Colaba
7. Café Zoe, Lower Parel
8. Chemistry 101 - Gastro Bar, Lower Parel
9. Eat Thai, Bandra West
10. Mamagoto, Bandra West
11. Monkey Bar, Bandra West
12. Mia Cucina, Powai
13. SodaBottleOpenerWala, BKC
14. The Fatty Bao, Bandra West
15. The Trikaya, Andheri West

Bookings for Small Plates Week are open. To book your slot, click here.

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