ADVERTISEMENT
Go back to
Home » My Kolkata » Food » Opening soon in Kolkata: Modern Indian restaurant Madam G, and a gourmet ‘mithai’ brand

Kolkata Restaurateurs

Opening soon in Kolkata: Modern Indian restaurant Madam G, and a gourmet ‘mithai’ brand

Drishleen Sethi, the lady behind Ping’s Cafe Orient Kolkata, reveals her F&B plans

Karo Christine Kumar | Published 05.10.23, 04:04 PM
Drishleen Sethi, the name behind Kolkata’s Ping’s Cafe Orient is all geared up for two new F&B ventures, including a modern Indian restaurant named (right) Madam G

Drishleen Sethi, the name behind Kolkata’s Ping’s Cafe Orient is all geared up for two new F&B ventures, including a modern Indian restaurant named (right) Madam G

Starting something of your own is always a challenging decision. Drishleen Sethi, the driving force behind Ping’s Cafe Orient Kolkata, has been building on the experience of her previous ventures, and is all set to bring two new offerings to the F&B space in Kolkata. Both will be her first independent ventures.

“The last few months have been challenging but I’m super excited about my new projects. One is a modern Indian restaurant and the other is a gourmet mithai brand,” reveals Drishleen, who took My Kolkata through her plans.

ADVERTISEMENT

Madam G, a modern Indian restaurant 

Textile research for Madam G’s interiors at one of Kolkata’s oldest screen printing and block printing units and (right) sampling some of the chutneys that will be on the menu

Textile research for Madam G’s interiors at one of Kolkata’s oldest screen printing and block printing units and (right) sampling some of the chutneys that will be on the menu

The first is Madam G, a modern Indian restaurant that will open doors at 2 Lee Road, Altitude Building, right above Kolkata’s premium liquor retail boutique Hedonne.

Drishleen, who studied fashion in Singapore before venturing into F&B, rigorously researched the market during a three-city India tour with head chef Tanmoy Ghosh. She questioned why Kolkata lacks establishments like The Bombay Canteen, Comorin and O Pedro. “People from Kolkata are visiting these restaurants in other cities or have heard of the names, yet something like this does not exist in Kolkata,” says Drishleen.

The 97-cover dining destination will serve dishes like Soft Shell Crab Vada Pao, Kovalam Squid Fry, Edamame Tokri Chaat with Besan Chutney, Appam Benedict with Goan Chorizo, and signature dish – ‘Madam G’s Malai Brioche’.

Head Chef Tanmoy Ghosh

Head Chef Tanmoy Ghosh

“Our menu at Madam G offers a unique experience inspired by the diverse range of regional delicacies from India’s coastal regions. We blend our favourite flavours from different parts of the country to create a contemporary twist on Indian cuisine. Our focus is to offer a fun Indian dining experience through an interactive bar experience and a variety of small plates,” she explains.

The menu is designed for sharing and dishes are meant to be paired with handcrafted cocktails. Expect bold flavours with a creative mix of traditional and innovative dishes. The space is designed to cater to all occasions whether it’s a gathering with friends, a date night or a family outing.

A sneak peek at the customised bar grills for the interiors

A sneak peek at the customised bar grills for the interiors

Being one of the few women in Kolkata’s upmarket F&B space for nearly seven years, Drishleen is passionate about creating opportunities for women. “Kolkata has offered limited roles for women, often confined to hostess or managerial positions, primarily in hotels. Things are slowly changing now, which is promising, but we still rarely see women behind the bar or heading the beverage program in the city. I want to make ‘Madam G’ a brand which changes the norm of the traditionally male-dominated norms of the industry and promotes inclusivity,” she says.

MASKAA, Modern mithai

In between “our 62nd tasting somewhere”, the team got caught up in a discussion about how Kolkata is the hub for mithai in India. “Yet there is no mithai brand in Kolkata that focuses on luxury gifting with premium packaging. Moreover, there are no brands focussing on making better-for-you products that target the youth. While progressive Indian sweets brands like Gur Chini and Khoya exist in India, there are few or none available in Kolkata,” shares Drishleen.

Tasting truffles, that will be a part of the menu of Maskaa

Tasting truffles, that will be a part of the menu of Maskaa

Hence, the decision to launch MASKAA, “modern Indian mithai and chocolates brand” with a focus on recent dietary trends and modern flavour combinations. It will target Indian weddings and festive occasions that are big on gifting.

One can expect signatures like Gluten Free Besan Pinni, Aata Biscoff Laddoo, Matcha Mawa Cake, Fig & Peanut Butter Barfi, Salted Caramel Kheer Kadam “and other interesting combinations that marry tradition with cutting-edge cuisine”.

Her journey: Raising the bar with Ping’s and SAZ

Teriyaki Chicken Rice Bowl and the Chocolate Marquise Cake at Ping’s Cafe Orient, which was Drishleen’s first venture in F&B with Passcode Hospitality

Teriyaki Chicken Rice Bowl and the Chocolate Marquise Cake at Ping’s Cafe Orient, which was Drishleen’s first venture in F&B with Passcode Hospitality

Drishleen’s first venture in F&B was Ping’s Cafe Orient, a brand under the umbrella of Rakshay Dhariwal’s Passcode Hospitality. The 56-seater restaurant opened at 2A Middleton Row (next to Loreto College) in 2017 and continues to be a household favourite for Asian street food. Some of the pop picks are the Philly Cream Cheese Dumplings, Edamame Quinoa Salad, Singaporean Laksa, Teriyaki Chicken Rice Bowl and the Chocolate Marquise Cake.

“I was inspired by the speakeasy culture in Singapore and took the leap despite having a good job in the fashion industry,” says the Kolkata girl about her first foray into F&B.

Rakshay, her mentor, played a crucial role in her journey. At the time, he was operating Paparazzi Co and PDA (the chic martini bar, a collab with Ritu Dalmia’s Diva) and she shadowed him for a few months before they shook hands for Ping’s Cafe Orient.

Drishleen with Rakshay Dhariwal

Drishleen with Rakshay Dhariwal

Then in 2019, she brought the American brasserie SAZ, also from Passcode Hospitality to Camac Street’s Fort Knox building. It upped the cocktail culture in the city, hosted some great events and gigs, and set the tone for electro jazz and hip hop music genres. Although the brasserie ceased operations this year due to internal conflict with the Fort Knox management, it didn’t stop Drishleen from making more plans for the city.

We can’t wait to be surprised!

Drishleen’s food favourites

Singapore: Singapore has some excellent places to dine at. The bar culture in Singapore is also thriving! There are plenty of speakeasy options like Jigger & Pony, 28 HongKong Street, Bitters & Love and The Spiffy Dapper which are my top favourites. Atlas Bar is a great place for classic cocktails.

Drishleen at Atlas Bar, Singapore

Drishleen at Atlas Bar, Singapore

Dubai: Places like SLAB, REIF Japanese Kushiyaki and 11 Woodfire, known for their comfort food offerings, are my top picks. Other dining options like Amazonico, Sushi Samba and IL Borro are inspirational as well. Zuma at Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has a great business lunch menu, also a concept I’d like to adapt at Madam G.

The business lunch at Zuma at Dubai International Financial Centre offers two dishes and miso soup, a concept Drishleen would like to bring to Madam G

The business lunch at Zuma at Dubai International Financial Centre offers two dishes and miso soup, a concept Drishleen would like to bring to Madam G

Kolkata: It’s hard to not pick Ping’s (laughs). And Yauatcha at Quest, in my opinion, has some of the best quality dim sums.

Last updated on 05.10.23, 04:05 PM
Share:
ADVERTISEMENT

More from My Kolkata