There is really nothing like Where Else Café & Bar – the latest addition to Viman Nagar’s burgeoning list of eateries. We caught up with its four young partners – sibling duo Aadesh and Daisy Rustomjee, and best friend duo Amrutha Srikumar and Sweta Jobanputra – to know about their café concept and also to understand how challenging it was to set up shop.
How was Where Else born?
It was born out of our passion for food. We not only love eating, we also love feeding people. Idealistic as it may sound, we’d like to think we’re in the business of making people smile. We’ve been living in Viman Nagar since many years and have been first-hand witnesses to its transition from being quiet and remote to being buzzing and busy. So we know exactly what it lacked in terms of food – good all-day breakfast, wholesome food, pork and bacon dishes – we are now filling the void with our café and offer all this and more at ‘Where Else’.
How would you describe Where Else?
Chilled. Happy. Friendly. Unpretentious.
What is the idea behind the menu?
We serve hearty comfort food. Our menu is more inclined to American and Continental cuisines. There’s lots of bacon and pork! Our prices are quite reasonable given that we are catering to a mix of students and young professionals.
Which are your personal favourites from the menu?
We love the Bacon Mac n Cheese, the Goan Boy – a spicy Goan sausage sandwich, our favourite Parsi dish – Egg Akoori, Bacon-wrapped Chicken with a red wine sauce base and Bourbon-glazed Chicken Wings. We are hardcore non-vegetarians but big fans of our Vegetarian Cajun Steak.
What kind of an ambiance did you want to create?
We designed this place ourselves. The idea is to make people feel comfortable when they step in. With a heavy use of teal and red on the walls and the furniture, and a black and white color tones on the bar, the place is vibrant. You’ll spot few quirks in the interiors. Bed springs are repurposed and used as light bulbs. We used old single malt bottles to create an attractive ceiling-to-floor installation. Aadesh’s lovable pitbull Tyson’s picture is also framed on the wall! On that note, allow us to add – we’re a pet friendly place.
How would you describe your journey from concept to finalization? What was the biggest challenge in setting up your restaurant?
It’s been a roller-coaster ride. We had to get our location right. We spent tiresome months going location scouting and it was most challenging zeroing on one that checked all the boxes. We finally found a space at a very crucial junction in Viman Nagar that gave us all we wanted – an indoor and alfresco section, a big kitchen and where we could serve alcohol and play music.
What’s the best part of owning a restaurant?
We get to eat a lot, meet so many new people and have the liberty to experiment with recipes.
What’s the worst part of running a restaurant?
(Laughs) Paying the rent.
What is it that each of you bring to the table? Are there squabbles?
The four of us work very well as a team. We have healthy debates and respect each other’s difference in opinions.
What is your vision for Where Else?
To be true to its name; to be the friendly neighborhood bar and café.
What’s next for you after Where Else?
Yes. Where Else is just the beginning for us. We’re planning many new concepts in the food business. Let’s just say, you’ll be hearing a lot more from us.
Where do the four of you like to dine in the city?
We’re fans of Tertullia, Flour Works and Dario’s.
What would you say to someone who says ‘Owning a restaurant is so much fun!’ Any advice to people starting a restaurant in the city?
It’s no easy feat opening and running a restaurant, you’ll face your share of challenges. Our advice would be not to follow the bandwagon; dare to do something different!