Catering Dreams

With 70 years of catering experience under their belt (and cult restaurants like Kampai, famed for its Japanese cuisine), the Capital’s Embassy Catering has not only introduced online delivery of some of its most famous dishes, but also an unique online catering platform for small year-end parties and intimate gatherings. There’s a choice of over 300 dishes from a multitude of cuisines, plus crockery, cutlery, and staff to help with your party needs. We speak to Pranay Bahl, Director, The Embassy Catering Restaurant and Catering about his group’s latest forays.

Lifestyle Insider Crispy Chicken tossed with Garlic and Aniseed

You have this incredible experience as one of the oldest and most renowned caterers in the city – how do you reinvent yourself now, especially given the times we are in?
Established in the year 1948 in India with a vision to be India's first integrated premium catering company, The Embassy Catering has been one of the pioneers in the Indian Food Industry over the years.

We are very proud of our long history of offering great food, first class service and warm inviting surroundings, at an amazing price range. We have constantly strived to provide the highest quality in food services. With a diverse experience of almost seven decades, the initial focus was on food and presentation but now, given the times we are in, the focus has shifted to hygiene, quality and service. We are looking at curating sharper and smarter menus with an emphasis on offering personalized and safer experiences. We are currently not outsourcing anything, everything is centralised owing to the huge investment we have put in into our central commissary. We are leveraging on our existing manpower and infrastructure like getting Indian cuisine from the Embassy, Japanese from Kampai, Flavours of Asia from Mai Bao and likewise.

Lifestyle Insider Pranay Bahl, Director, The Embassy Restaurant and Catering

As the next gen in charge of the business, how do you retain that prestige of such a successful company?
The core strength of the Embassy team lies in our precision planning, logistics capability and infrastructure investment as a company. We ensure in keeping our core values intact. Our dedicated professional staff works hard to ensure that once-in-a-lifetime events are handled with the special attention and care that they expect. Our reputation in delivering quality, hassle-free weddings sets us apart from the rest. From tailoring an exclusive menu to delivering it on your plate, each service staff member is fully trained to provide excellent customer service at all times with an emphasis on being friendly, approachable and humble. And when it comes to establishing connections, Embassy is at the top of its game. Customer loyalty and maintaining relationships are qualities we can boast of. We take pride in saying that we have catered to the same clients for five decades and we recently did a wedding of the third generation of one of our oldest client.

Now that weddings and parties are smaller, what are the offerings you have made for online delivery – and are the items on the menu taken from your regular menu?
Yes large-scale weddings and gatherings are not happening currently, so we are curating intimate dinners and catering to small-scale special occasions. We have also introduced ‘The Embassy Catering Delivery’, which gives access to the brand’s loyal customers to order food home for themselves, and not wait for large occasions where they could employ the brands services, and this is done keeping in mind all the requisite safety and hygiene norms.

We have also launched L:EAT which is a one-stop shop for all your party requirements. L:EAT is a deconstructed online ordering catering platform that allows you to piece together and order only the elements that you require to throw your party. The platform allows you to order food from over 10 cuisines and 300 dishes, choose from a wide array of services such as chefs, bartenders, servers, as well as order equipment such as crockery and glassware to throw your party. L:EAT stands apart from traditional catering models as you only pay for what you require. We have kept all our signature dishes from the regular menu combined with new and trending dishes.

Lifestyle Insider Mutton Chops

Where does one order for the home delivery – are you on Zomato and Swiggy?
You can call us on +91 84484 96874

I’m a vegetarian and the Achari Paneer Tikka and Anjeer kebab were delicious. Where these dishes from and what are went into them – any secret ingredient?
Each dish on our menu is curated with artistic love and culinary passion. These recipes are passed down through generations. Our secret ingredients lie in the inhouse spices and masalas that we manufacture ourselves, along with the passion, innovation, and art of cooking that each generation adds on to the company and brand. We have recently started selling some of our signature spices and masalas.

Lifestyle Insider Bulgogi Chicken

Where are your chefs from – are they trained especially in Northwest frontier cuisine?
Having an extensive master menu that caters to many tastes, we have chefs from different parts of the country and beyond, and menus are tailored to cater to a variety of guests for each occasion. With an instinctive panache honed from decades of experience, Embassy steers their clients into choosing the perfect menu for their event. Ingredients are sourced after thorough research to create flavourful dishes and offer a variety of cuisines from all regions of India and the globe like Coastal-Indian, Rajasthani, Mughlai, Pan- Asian, Japanese, French, European, Italian and so on.

The mutton seekh was especially tender I was told – is that also a part of your regular catering menu?
The Embassy is well renowned for its barbecue - tikkas and kebabs. Mutton Seekh is one of our specialties from the regular menu and is one of the favourites amongst all our clients.

When you have such a catalogue of recipes to work with, as you do, how do you reinvent yourselves to keep up with customers’ changing tastes?
We have an in-house R&D kitchen at our central commissary where we constantly innovate, keeping an eye on new dishes and new cuisines. We thrive to innovate and curate new dishes and cuisines owing to popular consumer demand. Our chefs are skilled and knowledgeable, and we spend a lot of time and resources to increase their culinary depth.

Do you also work with continental dishes – and what are some of your most popular dishes?
We do have a lot of Continental dishes in our menu. The most popular amongst our Continental menu is a section of Live European grills which is loved by many as well as classic continental dishes such as roast leg of lamb, shepherd’s pie, vegetable stroganoff, and so on. We have also curated a special Dutch menu for the PM of Netherlands on his visit to India last year.

Lifestyle Insider Pan Fried Fish, Fried Rice, Karate Chilli Chicken, and Hakka Noodles

Any other cuisines such as Chinese or Lebanese that you would be introducing to the online offering?
We will be introducing some of our signature Oriental and European dishes in our online menu as part of special occasions. We will also look at adding some popular world cuisines.

North Indian food is your forte – but you have innovated, like adding cheese to the marination – what are some of the other innovations that you have done?
We have curated a lot of unique modern Indian concepts. Some of the examples are Chicken Haleem on Desi Ghee Brioche, Duck Kurchan in Masala Amarnath Beets, Twice baked paneer soufflé, Andhra style Garden Fresh Jackfruit, and many more.

What is the future of this online model – for you is it something you intend to continue – will you expand to other cities and have more items on the menu?
We strongly believe that this online model of home delivery is here to stay. Keeping in consideration the current scenario where the government has imposed a lot of restrictions on holding mass gatherings as well as the fear that is imprinted in clients’ minds, home delivery and concepts like L:EAT will work crazily for small-scale gatherings and intimate affairs. And having said that, we aim to make L:EAT a recognized household brand in this vast, unorganized, small scale catering space.


Priya Kumari Rana

Lifestyle Insider is a kind of junction point, connecting people with diverse interests that touch on the more luxurious aspects of lifestyle – fashion, design, travel, food and spirits, art, watches and jewellery, cars, yachts, and aviation, and technology. People today don’t fit into boxes and categories. In our individual ways, we are interested in diverse themes, products, and the challenges that face our world today. You will judge how well this effort of mine caters to your passions and proclivities.

Lifestyle Insider is a showcase of all that is beautiful and luxe. Behind every creation, is a designer, chef, entrepreneur, or a design maison. I have delved into my own appreciation for objetsde luxe that I have admired over the years – be it a love of fashion from the world’s top Parisian and Italian fashion maisons and their ’90s muses, or the care that goes into sari and Indian textile collections in my own family. Growing up on four continents, as the daughter of a former Indian Ambassador, I’ve seen a remarkable array of historic places and met a myriad people. My aim is to bring my world view into this website, a curation of what I find particularly stunning, unique, and newsworthy.

It’s an exciting time for brands all over the world. With change comes opportunity. With the global ‘reset’ and uncertainty on many fronts, there is a chance to write a new script. Let’s be those pioneers.

A bit about me:
A luxury and fashion journalist with 25 years of experience in publishing and magazine journalism, I have edited some of India’s top fashion and luxury magazines. I got my BA in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley, and went on to receive my Master’s in English and French from the University of Strasbourg, France. I have also studied German and Film. I live in Gurugram, India, and look forward to once again exploring our world with a new-found freedom.

Priya Kumari Rana

Founder and Editor

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