New Delhi, Oct. 22: From nothing Bihari on menu to everything from Bihar on platter, the perception about the food served at the state guesthouse in the national capital is set to change soon.
The resident commissioner’s office is planning to get a mega food court started to give guests a taste of traditional cuisine and delicacies of Bihar. Officials said they were planning to start a food court on the lines of Andhra Bhavan, Banga Bhavan and Kerala Bhavan, which draw huge crowds everyday.
“Food is one of the most significant identities of culture. While some states are represented by their food at their respective guesthouses, the food at Bihar Nivas is neither a talking point nor an attraction. We want to change the scene. Every Bihari living here, or lovers of good food, should see the state guesthouse as a destination for authentic and delicious Bihari dishes. With this aim, we are preparing an expression of interest to invite possible bidders,” said a senior officer.
The upcoming food court would be in addition to the canteen running at Bihar Nivas, where 80-100 people eat everyday. This number surges slightly up when chief minister Nitish Kumar is in the national capital though his food is prepared in a separate kitchen meant for him and the governor.
The canteen, owned by a BJP MLA from Uttarakhand, Surender Singh Jeena, offers only vegetarian and non-vegetarian thalis with slight variations in vegetables priced at Rs 70 and 80, respectively.
“At times, MPs and MLAs ask for vegetables prepared in Bihari style, but we don’t have them. There have been occasions when we have been insisted upon to prepare chokha (mashed potato or brinjal) or Bihari style bhujiya (fries),” admitted a canteen employee.
An officer said the idea was to promote traditional dishes like ghugni, pitha, dhuska, litti, various preparations of saag, chicken and mutton among others at the new food court.
“The number of people eating out at our guesthouse is far less compared to the state guesthouses with popular food courts. Better food will definitely draw more people. At present, many MPs and MLAs even order food from outside despite the canteen providing room services,” the officer said.
Apart from the food court, a separate outlet selling only litti chokha would also be opened on the ground floor of the building.
“Litti chokha is something that has become synonymous with Bihar. There is a huge demand to provide the local snacks to guests and visitors. We are all set to let out some space for one such outlet,” the official added.