Interview: Restaurateur Debonair - A D Singh of Olive Restaurants

A D Singh, the debonair partner and director is the face of Olive Bar & Kitchen Restaurant. Recently, the face has been seen less in his favourite haunts-page3, since Olive – Delhi has been under seize for some months. That did not faze him and he used the opportunity to diversify and plan further expansion. In an exclusive interview with Subhash Arora, he discusses his vision and plans.

What is the current status of Olive? When do you think it will re-open?
AD: We are very hopeful that the Delhi Olive will open again soon. But several committees are involved in the decision Even though they are generally comfortable with restaurants in the heritage areas, they are taking their time.

Including the ones in Ambavatta?
AD: They have some issues with the malls in that area, I am told.

In the meantime what are your plans?
AD: A month ago we decided not to wait any longer and instead open on a new property in town. We are hopeful to bring out a new product there.

You mean the concept won’t be the same as in the present Olive?
AD: We never wanted Olive to be a restaurant chain. In Mumbai it is a fun product. Delhi has been casual fine dining. Bangalore Beach has been a beach theme- with water, sand, and a beachy feeling; a different colour palette, uniforms etc. We are planning to bring a product similar to the one in Bangalore in this new restaurant.

Where are you opening it?
AD: I’d rather not disclose it at this time.

DelWine had heard that you have already sealed the deal with a multi-storied building owner where you plan to have multi-cuisine restaurants on different floors.
AD: That was a Pan Asian concept, but that was for another place and it did not work with the landlord.

Do you think sealing of Olive helped business in other restaurants?
AD: I suppose so. There were 200 persons coming to Olive every day. They have to find a new place to go to. Restaurants like Smoke House Grill in GK have directly benefited by our absence, I am sure.

When do you plan to open the new restaurant?
AD: Olive Beach should open in Sept.-Oct. Olive Delhi should open before then, of course.

How has your outdoor catering project taken off?
AD: It is doing fine but has not taken off in a big way yet. We are waiting for the new season to begin in September.

Is the management for the new place going to be the same?
AD: Well, it will be a mix; a part will be the old team. Olive Beach, Delhi for instance, will have a new Italian Chef who will cook for us. Saby will continue with the Olive.

But how will an Italian chef manage Mediterranean food?
AD: Good question. Firstly, we shall have other members on the team as well, from Olive. Secondly, as you know most chefs travel around a lot now and are exposed to the Mediterranean cuisine. So I see no problem.


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