Mumbai foodies who are looking for new dining experiences have a new avenue to experiment with. Web entrepreneur Kunal Jain has just launched his new venture, GourmetItUp.com, which curates unique dining experiences for people who love food and for those who're willing to experiment.
GourmetItUp is a members-only service that allows those who have signed up access to specially-designed gourmet experiences that fine dining restaurants offer across the city. They've partnered with restaurants like Busaba, Neel, The Table, Vinoteca and The Oberoi and JW Marriott hotels, among others.
Jain, who also has a stake in fashion website Indianhanger.com and launched Recipemobile.com, says the website was born from the frustration experienced from the lack of new and interesting things to do in the city. Jain says, "We were bored of eating at the same restaurants, ordering the same dishes from the same menus and didn't really find value in going out just for something to eat. This feeling was shared by a majority of consumers we surveyed. This made us decide to create a resource that would enable consumers to always have new experiences in the city."
While Mumbai is the first city to experience this service, Delhi, Bangalore and Pune are also on the agenda. "Word of mouth awareness and the thousands of sign ups on our VIP waiting list have given us confidence that we are solving a real problem," he explains.
How It Works
GourmetItUp works with top restaurants to design special experiences that highlight the chef and the menu, says Deepa Jain, the site's experiences curator. Besides creating bespoke menus, the team also plans to work with chefs and mixologists to design masterclasses and mixology sessions. These experiences are only available to the site's VIP members right now.
Jain says most GourmetItUp experiences are designed for small groups of 2-8 people. "This allows [our experiences] to be booked by groups of friends, and are available at short notice at the convenience of our customers," he says.
What to Expect
Talking about their experiences, Deepa says, "We've picked niche restaurants and designed experiences with them, such as set menus. We've created a special Saturday Yum Cha lunch at the Four Season's San Qi. The menu includes soup, unlimited dim sum and desserts. Also, Ian Kittichai at Koh [at the Intercontinental] has created a six-course menu for our members, which reflects his mother's Thai and his father's Chinese roots."
The GourmetItUp Concierge service also helps customers customize certain experiences. "We had a woman call us and ask for an experience at The Table for their ninth anniversary. She wanted us to tweek the menu because they didn't want wines and asked if her husband could get a tour of the kitchen as a surprise. So we included a 10-15 minute kitchen tour in their experience."
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