The owners may be professional restaurateurs or diehard Bollywood fans, but they've chosen their unique ways to showcase their love for popular Hindi cinema through their joints
Imagine gorging on 'Anda Apna Apna' or 'Chicken Tussi Great Ho" at a restaurant with walls splashed with Bollywood posters, dialogues and film memorabilia. Special-themed eateries across India are cashing in on the craze for everything Bollywood - films, songs and stars.
The owners may be professional restaurateurs or diehard Bollywood fans, but they've chosen their unique ways to showcase their love for popular Hindi cinema through their joints.
Bollywood-inspired cafés are definitely in vogue, says Delhi's leading restaurateur Priyank Sukhija, who will soon open the doors of his pet project, Lights Camera Action, in the capital's trendy Hauz Khas Village. He stresses on the universal love for Bollywood music in the country, proven by the success of special Sufi nights and Bollywood karaoke bars.
"We all are Hindustani, and love the flavours of our movies. Lights Camera Action will be a fun place. With Bollywood themed interiors, the place has funky artwork and displays with popular dialogues like 'Mere paas maa hai'," Sukhija told IANS, pointing out at how his eatery will have room for all age-groups.
"It has displays from old classics to all-time favourites and more," he added.
In the capital's suburb Gurgaon, live entertainment destination Kingdom of Dream's restaurant IIFA Buzz Cafe has been planned as a complete Bollywood experience with thematic décor, props, music, special effects and larger-than-life moments of reel life in the form of posters, records, props and star memorabilia.
There's also one in Jharkhand, a chaat shop pioneered by Pappu Singh, an ardent fan of Bollywood's dancing queen Madhuri Dixit. Jamshedpur-based Pappu Singh, who has been in the business since 1995, celebrates Madhuri's birthday every year on May 15.
Pappu Singh met Madhuri once and she tied to him a rakhi!
"As a fan of Madhuri Dixit, I started celebrating her birthday in 1996. Every year a number of people are invited and her birthday is celebrated with fanfare," Pappu Singh told IANS as he served up a yummy dahi bhalla followed by a kulfi faluda.
And in keeping with his intent, every inch of the walls and roof is papered over with posters of Madhuri from a range of films.
"My chaat shop is the best way to pay tribute to a Bollywood legend," Pappu Singh said, handing out a jal jeera-filled gol gappa to another customer.
In Mumbai, another such fan with a creative mind showcased his love for the 'Bhai' of Bollywood, Salman Khan, by opening a restaurant named Bhaijaanz.
"Being Bandra-ites and Samlan-iacs, since our childhood we wanted to do something dedicated to him, with the right essence of his taste (the fun he offers). We have dedicated a culinary tribute to our idol," Bhaijaanz owner Rahul Narain Kanal told IANS.
Bhaijaanz has a very quirky menu with dishes like "Anda Apna Apna", "Chicken Tussi Great Ho" and "Machli No.1" -- all after Salman's films -- and all at affordable rates.
South India, too, is not behind in the trend.
In Hyderabad, multi-cuisine restaurant 70mm has Bollywood as the theme and was started six years ago. 70mm has a red carpet, film posters and mannequins of Helen, Amitabh Bachchan and Rajkumar.
The restaurant also has different sections -- action and romantic -- and also a live chaat counter. This apart, they also entertain their patrons with live Bollywood music every evening.
Amar Ohri, the executive director of 70 mm, said the idea germinated "as a celebration of the big screen".
"We have merchandise, lots of posters and even mannequins depicting various iconic scenes of popular movies. And as we say in the restaurant, the real superstar is the food," Ohri told IANS.
Not a bad idea to get a taste of Bollywood away from cinema halls, and in a restaurant!