Alia Bhatt at the launch of Avik Chatterjee’s latest entrant POH
Mumbai, June 30, 2017: With a vision of showcasing the ubiquitous flavors prevalent across the Asian continent through its diverse culinary legacy, Speciality Restaurants Ltd. announced the launch of the flagship of its premium fine-dine Progressive | Oriental | House – POH situated at Kamala Mills, the business & entertainment district of Mumbai.
Vision of Avik Chatterjee, the dynamic young scion of Speciality Restaurants Ltd. and the Head of innovations & new concepts, POH was the outcome of over a year of extensive research on flavors from the diverse cuisines of South-East Asia – that ranged from its streets to the temples and palaces. The result was a confluence of tastes and textures that reflect the versatility of the produce and its dining cultures, meticulously blended with modern cooking techniques, which enhanced the core flavors and provided new ways to treasure them.
Speaking on the occasion, Avik Chatterjee, Head – Innovations & New Formats, Speciality Restaurants Ltd. said, “Dining trends are changing at a much faster pace today, than what it was five years back and for you to be relevant, innovation is the key along with a focus on staying true to the concept. Having travelled extensively across Asia in the past couple of years, I was exposed to the relatively lesser-known side of cuisines from various Asian countries, the flavors and vigor, which haven’t been experienced in India till now. Asian food, aside from Indian I feel, possibly has the oldest culinary legacy and a global audience owing to its variations and robustness. It is with the aim of showcasing this culture and cater to the growing demand, we decided on bringing forth a contemporary, fine-dine Asian restaurant where flavor is the focus and everything has been designed around it.”
In order to have a holistic experience at the POH, the diners were encouraged to enjoy The POH Experience which encompassed a combination of the Yàodiàn Bar, the Sushi Bar Omakase & Degustation Dining.
The Yàodiàn Bar translated to and propagated the vintage herb pharmacy tradition of China, whose offering was unlike any witnessed globally, through POHs signature cocktails which incorporated various Asian herbs and spices during the preparation stage. The mechanical bar was the perfect instance showcasing the impeccable unification of modern with traditional wherein automated drawers are used to create drinks using timeless and traditional herbs and other ingredients.
Forming another culinary pillar of POH was the Sushi Bar Omakase – お任せ, the idea behind which is that of a ‘purist’, where the tradition of having Sushi in an Izakaya is recreated. This was the opportunity to personally interact with the Itamae (Sushi Chef) to curate a meal based on your palate and preferences. The Itamae curated a seamlessly designed course, ranging from subtle to more profound flavours of the dishes, allowing one to enjoy the Sushi Bar Omakase, an inimitable attribute of POH and the first of its kind in India.
The final and most essential component of The POH Experience was the Degustation Dining, which comprises of three elements, namely – the A la carte dining, the Chef’s Tasting experience and the Chef’s Table, possibly a first for a standalone in India. The Degustation Dining has been carefully crafted to bring in a sense of familiarity and surprise whilst lending fun and uniqueness in each mouthful. Extensive focus is given to handpicking seasonal selection of indigenous ingredients, coupled with a strong supply chain to ensure consistency in flavours, handcrafted by the culinary artisans of POH. While the A la carte and Chef’s Tasting experiences don’t require prior intimation, the Chef’s Table is purely on prior reservations and available only to guests dining in the restaurant’s Private Dining Room (PDR). The Chef’s Table encompasses the Chef having a detailed conversation with the guest on her / his, and the guests joining, dining preferences immediately after the reservation confirmation. Based on the inputs provided, the Chef prepares a curated menu for the dining which remains a surprise for the guests till they sit down to dine, post which they are presented the menu and the service commences. The Chef’s Table at the Private Dining Room serves a minimum of 6 guests and a maximum of 8.