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IMPRESSIONS

Total Impressions : 7581142

Asha Ji's - 70th Birthday Celebrations - KC Pingle dines at Asha's Restaurant in Dubai

Here comes my detailed experience!!

Friday - 7th March, 2003 - ASHA's

I phoned the ASHA'S in the shopping centre (Wafi Mall) on Thursday to book my table for Friday's dinner...I told them that I wanted the table at 10 pm...I got a reply that the restaurant is FULL...I was worried....I asked them if there was any way to accommodate us, as my friend was travelling back to India on Monday… the lady then told me that if I book the table AND arrive at 8:15 pm sharp I could have dinner on Friday...I agreed immediately with a big OK!!!!!!!!!!!!

Next day was a very very exciting one...while I was showing my friend around Dubai all the malls, gold centres, hotels etc, the I chatted with him about how the evening would be!!! The special Evening arrived and I was on time at the restaurant (for the first time in my life especially for a personal outing).

I cursed myself all along that I had not visited this place when the restaurant had opened sometime in end of December 2002 and when Ashaji herself was here to inaugurate it. Despite that I was so excited that I literally started running from the parking building to the food-court....my wife (with our small kid in her hands ) and my friend were trying to catch up with me....they perfectly knew my excitement...

This new section of the Wafi Mall is called the Pyramids...it is a huge display of the Egyptian modern architecture and is really beautiful...there are shops all over and you can lose your way easily...I asked at least 4 guards in the building, the way to the Asha's...and we finally arrived right from the back door of the Asha’s!! Phew!!

There was an "outdoor" dining place right in front of us....around 15 meters x 25 meters...dim light poles all around, lovely wooden chair-tables, small plants and flower pots, people having candle-lit dinner that turned the atmosphere spellbounding...Then came the restaurant manager with a very friendly smile and led the way into the interiors of the restaurant....as we were going in I found Ashaji's photos in the reception area...there were around 6 to 10 lovely photos on the wall...all black & white....postcard size in a wooden + glass frame..the first one being a lovely one of loRD & Asha... I was not any paying heed to the manager and I started staring at that exquisite lovely Asha-Pancham, Asha-Mangeshkars etc...Photo frames...my wife and friend were already at table...after seeing those 10 photos I moved my head and on the right hand side I saw one more lot of photos!!!! again another 5 minutes passed.....finally my wife was relieved when I arrived at our table quite in an absolutely different mood....As soon as I sat there.....on the front wall ( exactly tangent to my wife's head :) ) I could see some more frames on the wall....I started staring at them ( my wife thought that I am looking at her and gave me a smile or two :)) ) then the waitress arrived again with a very courteous manner and handed over the menu card... I stood up abruptly and told my wife & friend to order drinks (soft) and starters and I slipped away towards the wall side...there were lovely photographs of Ashaji's childhood....I realized that there would be snaps all over the restaurant...so I moved next to the central part of the restaurant and lo what I see!... there were at least 50 to 60 photos all over the place....I was consuming them all with my eyes like one greedy person...some of them were hung 8 ft above from the ground level so I picked a small stool from the kitchen and stood on it and had a proper look at all of the lovely b/w snaps of Ashaji...saw one photograph of Asha & Kishore with some tall European/American guy...

I decided to study the layout of the restaurant ....it was divided into three parts...one big round place with tables for around 50 people capacity...in front there was a bar with a large variety of liquor...high stools placed for people to help themselves to the drinks....on the either side of this big round place there was one more dining place with capacity of around 30 people each....all over the place there were ALSO beautiful paintings on the walls...then there were small cabinets sort of tables for people to have some kind of private place to dine....the whole restaurant had an excellent look and I was very much impressed....I am in Dubai for the past 6 years and I thought the best Indian dining restaurant (my previous favourite) was Sanjeev Kapoor's Khazana Restaurant.

Then my nazar fell upon the Menu card and I again spent around 15 minutes just looking at the various photos of Asha, her albums/discs, concerts etc...read about her favourite dishes...most notably Chingli Chaap Prawns ( Rahul Dev Burman Style ).....

The vegetarian food which we ordered was JUST perfect....great Maharashtrian flavour...the non-vegetarian menu - names of dishes were exotic.

The desert was also great; I had Ashaji's special Agra Ka Shahi Tukda.....

It was a perfect place, a perfect evening.....I enjoyed very much (don't ask about how my wife & friend enjoyed the place!)

The only thing I did not like was the dress of the waitresses it was the most unattractive outfit!....a sleeveless kind of a blouse worn with trousers and some kind of Pallu on the shoulder all shining grey color...trying to bring about a Western-Indian fusion....

It indeed was a great experience, and I look forward to visit that place soon (with my customers/principals)!

K.C. Pingle


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