Pan-Asian with a Japanese twist – this is how the latest entrant to the Indian cloud kitchen world – Sloppy Sticks, describes itself. The first solo entrepreneurial venture by artist and fashion enthusiast Aprajita Gupta (she’s the Co-Founder of Sloppy Sticks along with her husband Ankur Gupta, Founder, 4:Design studio), South Delhi-based Sloppy Sticks picks the most widely eaten foods from Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, China, and Korea, and repurposes them in a fun and tasty way. We speak to her about her concept, which aims to leave you with “a full belly, and a messy, sloppy shirt”!
When did you get the idea to start Sloppy Sticks?
We’ve been planning to set up our own restaurant for the last two years, and have been travelling extensively, trying the unique tastes of popular and widely eaten food. Being a brand consultant for over eight years to the Indian F&B industry – from five-star luxury brands to high street restaurants, lounges and bars – our own brand was always on the cards.
What is are some of your signature dishes at Sloppy Sticks?
Dynamite Sushi, Poke Bowls, Claypot Pepper Rice Bowl, Curried Dimsum, Prawn in XO Sauce, Crab and Kimchi Salad; Pomelo Salad, and Larb Gai.
Are you a huge fan of Pan-Asian – and what are your favourite cuisines within this category?
Yes, we love Japanese and Pan-Asian food! It’s really tough to single out our favourites. But on any given day, a super saucy sloppy sushi and a bowl of udon noodles makes our day!
Were you inspired by your travels to Asian countries, and where did you get the recipes from?
Inspired by the sensational flavours trailing from Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, China and Korea, our menu showcases peculiar Pan-Asian flavours dominating the food trend in the market and a shift in staples for millennials. ‘Sloppy Sticks’ comes from a desire to explore and innovate upon the pop dining culture in the city.
Who are your chefs and how big is your team at the cloud kitchen?
We have a considerable fleet of 10, comprising of carefully screened chefs, from five-star backgrounds. However, we don’t follow any fine-dine approach, as Sloppy Sticks is a fun brand, and this gave the chefs enough room to experiment and their own add twist to the menu.
We loved the sushi rolls – what makes yours so different?
We have done weeks of trials for just the sushi, to master the taste and the dressings so that it can melt in your mouth. Also, our ingredients are freshly acquired every day. The sloppy dressings and fried onion peels is something that only Sloppy Sticks is using. So experimentation to make a more Sloppy version is always on!
And the baos – why are yours different and what goes into them?
For the baos we don’t compromise on quality. From the chicken to the fresh vegetables, everything is freshly prepared; there are no prepped batters in the kitchen – those are my instructions to the chefs. The loaded topping on each bao makes the whole experience, naturally, Sloppy.
You have poke bowls on the menu. What are yours all about?
Poke bowls are a remixed sushi experience, taking all of sushi’s beloved ingredients and throwing them into one delicious bowl. A poke bowl (originally a Hawaiian dish) is made up of a base, typically rice, cubed raw sushi-grade salmon or tuna, and Asian toppings like soy sauce and seaweed. While raw salmon or tuna are the standard proteins, fear not, you can sub in other options like cooked chicken, crab, or tofu, if you’re not feeling the fish or are vegan.
The Pad Thai and Chicken Gyosas was truly delicious – do you believe in classic dishes, or reinventing certain them?
Yes classics will remain classics. We can just add a twist to them, and that’s what we at Sloppy Sticks love – our consumers are hungry for it.
What are some of the flavours one can expect at Sloppy Sticks?
Sweet, tingly, spicy, and umami. Our Japanese menu is a fun twist on the classics and we love experimenting daily.
What are some of your personal favourite dishes from Sloppy Sticks?
Dynamite and Rainbow Sushi, Prawn in XO Sauce, Yellow Curry Dimsums, Tuna Poke Bowl, Thai Basil Spiced Chicken.
Where do you get ingredients like edamame, Asian greens, fish, prawns, and pork?
We procure the finest ingredients, normally used in a five-star hotel or fine-dining restaurant. Our sourcing happens locally from reliable, well recognized, and respected vendors.
How did the name ‘Sloppy’ come about – do you believe one should get one’s clothes and hands dirty while enjoying good food?
There isn’t a more satisfying eat than a messy, sloppy one! Combining the authentic sticks used to devour Pan-Asian cuisine and a true-blue food lover enjoying a meal like nobody’s watching, led to the birth of the brand name ‘Sloppy Sticks’.
Are you planning to open a restaurant post-pandemic? Any new introductions to the menu?
We are planning to expand in the coming six months with new kitchen locations. We are also working on a new brand which shall be out in the next 60 days. Our menu keeps changing, as we keep experimenting in the kitchen. This reflects in our extensive menu as well (the love for food). Expect a sloppy surprise really soon!
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