Niyati Rao, a fine dining chef who interned at Copenhagen’s famous restaurant Noma, had to return to Mumbai due to the pandemic in 2020. During the lockdown, Rao had an idea to launch a concept restaurant that focuses on ingredients, and she reconnected with her old colleague, Sagar Neve, 29, to discuss the idea.
Rao went down memory lane and thought about her experience at Nova – here, she used aromatic Indian spices that were so aromatic that their smell would reach people sitting in the dining hall.
They established Ekaa, a restaurant that builds dishes using ingredients and techniques as complex and diverse as India. The restaurant opened in December 2021 and is located in the same building as KMC, which Rao and Neve launched six months ago.
KMC is an inclusive community space that can be used to converse or hold exhibitions while enjoying creative comfort food.
The experience helped vastly
Niyati Rao’s experience and realization at Noma led her to create Ekaa, a restaurant that focuses on ingredients to create unique, complex, and diverse flavours. Her success has been attributed to her being a visionary who is meticulous, passionate, good with numbers, and a good listener.
What makes Ekaa different
At Ekaa, customers can expect a unique culinary experience with dishes interpreted and inspired by people, cultures and ingredients as complex and diverse as India. Rao’s idea behind Ekaa is to create unique, complex, and diverse flavours by focusing on ingredients and sharpening their combinations and techniques.
The restaurant has a menu that changes every six to eight weeks, showcasing the diversity and complexity of India’s cuisine. Ekaa’s culinary offerings have been hailed as a celebration of India’s culture and heritage.
Ekaa’s menu features dishes such as fish curry with tamarind and kokum, beef short rib with achari cream, and butter chicken stuffed naan. The restaurant also offers a tasting menu with dishes like mushroom pickle, lamb korma, and beetroot halwa.
The food at Ekaa is cooked using traditional Indian cooking techniques like tandoor, sigri, and dum pukht, which give the dishes their unique and authentic flavour.
Ekaa’s success can also be attributed to its inclusive community space, KMC, which allows customers to have conversations or hold exhibitions while enjoying creative comfort food. The space is decorated with unique and eclectic artwork, creating an immersive experience for visitors. The community space and restaurant have attracted food enthusiasts, influencers, and celebrities alike. Ekaa has been featured in various publications, and the restaurant has received rave reviews for its food, service, and atmosphere.
According to Forbes India, Ekaa was founded with an initial investment of Rupees 2.8 crores and today records an annual profit of Rupees 49 lakh.
In conclusion, Niyati Rao’s vision and passion for culinary excellence have led to the creation of Ekaa, a restaurant that celebrates India’s diverse and complex cuisine. Rao’s experience at Noma and her passion for ingredients and techniques have been instrumental in Ekaa’s success.
The restaurant’s menu showcases the diversity and complexity of India’s cuisine, and its inclusive community space, KMC, has created a unique and immersive experience for visitors. Ekaa is a must-visit destination for food enthusiasts, influencers, and anyone looking for a culinary adventure.