top of page
  • Writer's pictureChiranjeev Brahma

Tapori, A New Culinary Landmark Opens in Bangkok




Bangkok, April 11, 2024 / TRAVELINDEX / From Mumbai’s streets to the Himalayas, Tapori on Sukhumvit 47 offers a menu that goes beyond clichéd Indian cuisine, showcasing the rich tapestry of the country’s gastronomic heritage. Tapori promises to take diners on an exciting roller coaster ride around India with a menu that showcases flavours from across its length and breadth.

Tapori, Hindi slang for ‘wanderer’ or loveable, street-smart rascal, reflects the journeys of the chef patron, who compiles authentic dishes from across India that are largely undiscovered by Indian and global palates.

India’s vast landscape is matched only by its incredible diversity; 28 states and eight union territories, each region with its own unique culture, language and culinary traditions. Food in India is incredibly diverse and regionally specific and is shaped by a history of invasions, trade connections, and the varied religious and cultural practices of its inhabitants. For far too long, Indian restaurants globally have relied heavily on the Mughal-Punjabi-Frontier recipe book, resulting in a clichéd representation of the multi-hued gastronomic heritage of the country. Tapori plans to change that. So expect the unexpected.

THE FOODTapori’s menu, a mosaic of India’s diverse culinary landscape, is the culmination of extensive travels and research inviting diners to explore the lesser-known treasures of India. Handpicked from every region or community, these traditional recipes tell a story on your plate, each a vibrant expression of the country’s complex flavours and spices. The menu, thoughtfully divided into small and large plates, is designed for communal eating. Diners can order in any combination, creating their own unique experience, much like a family dinner table. There’s no room for typical fare like dal makhani, butter chicken or idli-sambar here; Tapori is designed for adventurers looking to discover an unseen India.

The small plates offer dishes such as Kala Chana Ghugni or flattened rice and black chickpeas from Bihar, Siddu (stuffed dumplings) from Himachal Pradesh, Andhra-style squid, scallop ceviche from Goa, Tabak Maas (lamb chops) from Kashmir, Kheema Ghotala (ground beef in spices) from Mumbai, and Tripura’s pork salad – Wahan Mosdeng. For the larger plates, the menu presents a taste of regional favourites like Natukozhi Pulusu, a rustic chicken dish from Telangana, the tangy Masur Tenga (fish curry) of Assam, the famous Kerala Beef Chilli Fry, Lobster Assad from Pondicherry and Jadoh, a pork-rice dish that’s breakfast to the Khasi tribe in country’s Northeast.

Tapori doesn’t do ‘lazy’ vegetarian either, with protein swapped out for vegetarian alternatives. Instead, it features traditional vegetarian dishes like the Gujarati mixed root vegetable dish, Undhiyu served with fenugreek and millet flatbread, potato and banana blossom Mochar Chop from West Bengal, Gobhi Musallam (grilled cauliflower) from Uttar Pradesh, and the hearty Rajasthani lentil and millet porridge, Bajra Khichda. And this is just the beginning of the food coma tours diners can design for themselves.

Desserts become an alchemist’s playground for Tapori’s pastry chef, such as the Bun-Maska ice cream, a homage to Mumbai’s Irani cafes. These cafes are known for their simple yet iconic bun maska, a buttered bun enjoyed with tea. This ice cream reimagines that experience, offering a delightful mix of creamy sweetness and buttery richness in every bite.

Yet another example is Lonavala Chocolate Fudge, a trip down memory lane to the hill station of Lonavala, famous for its chikki (peanut brittle) and chocolate fudge. At Tapori, it takes the shape of a delightful tart filled with old-fashioned chocolate almond fudge and a side of house-made vanilla ice cream.

THE TEAMHeading this intriguing narrative is culinary storyteller and chef-owner Rohit Sharma. With a background in hospitality, he has set up over 100 food and beverage projects through his consultancy R4 Hospitality. These include the popular Maroon Room and Freemasons Brew Works in Guwahati (Assam), and his own Joint Café in Gurgaon (Delhi NCR). Rohit conceptualises restaurants end-to-end, overseeing not just the initial concept but also the design and curation of the decor, and of course, the creation of the menus. His projects reflect the vast diversity of Indian cultures and cuisines.

His latest restaurant project, Tapori, is his food dream come to life, a meticulously crafted concept reflecting his deep passion and knowledge of Indian cuisine, embodying a love for tradition and innovation. To develop this concept, research involved traversing India for traditional recipes to create a menu that captures the travels of ‘tapori’ across the country. This fact-finding mission led to a rich database of 300 dishes, with 29 making it to the first iteration of the menu.

“Culinary art is not just about cooking; it’s about telling a story that resonates with the soul,” says Sharma. “At Tapori, we journey across India, reaching out to grandmothers and mothers, the guardians of our kitchen traditions. We explore the tapestry of flavours that define our heritage for a menu that is a tribute to the authentic recipes passed down through generations. Each dish represents one of India’s states or communities and is a chapter in the story of the food culture of India. With every bite, we invite you to discover an India that’s unseen, unexplored, and unforgettable.”

Helping Rohit finalise his dream is Chef Anirban Chowdhury, his Delhi-based R&D chef from R4 Hospitality, as well as pastry chef Swati Harsha, who created the desserts for the menu.

THE DESIGNThe restaurant’s commitment to showcasing India’s diversity and vibrancy extends beyond its food and into its space. The interiors reflect the owner’s vision, seamlessly blending modern elements with traditional Indian accents for an elegant and warm ambiance that feels both intimate and sophisticated.

The interiors, envisioned by the owner, blend modern elements with traditional Indian accents, for an elegant and warm setting that is both intimate and sophisticated. Past the 200-year-old wooden door brought in from Rajasthan that leads to the sprawling bungalow, the decor pays homage to India’s rich artistic heritage, featuring a collection of artwork that draws from the country’s vast cultural traditions. The bold, black and white floor sets a striking foundation, harmonising with the warm tones of woven leather chairs and marble-esque tables that glow invitingly from within. Standing tall are cinnabar columns evoking Indian spices, while a parade of colourful Indian elephants punctuates the aesthetic.

From the geometric patterns of Warli art and the tribal motifs of Bastar to the detailed narratives of Madhubani and the vibrancy of Pichwai art, each storied art form celebrates India’s unique visual language. A towering hand-cut mirror mosaic of a preening peacock and a 32-foot long oil on canvas of the backwaters of Kerala animate the space, bridging the gap between contemporary design and traditional artistry.

Outside, the terrace offers a tranquil dining escape, seamlessly integrating with nature to the backdrop of murals that capture the essence of Indian storytelling through vibrant colours and patterns.

Tapori is more than just a dining destination; it is a journey across India, offering an experiential plunge into the richness of Indian culture and heritage through its flavours and designs.


1 view0 comments

Comments


bottom of page