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Verve Trendsetters
December 15, 2014

Kitchen Heroes

Text by Wyanet Vaz

If people who love to eat are the best people, then the people behind the food are even better. Founders of Funky Kitchen, Yohaan and Kunali Dattoobhai are out to “put as many smiles on as many faces as humanly possible”

  • Yohaan Dattoobhai
    Yohaan Dattoobhai
  • Kaboom
  • Kaboom2
  • Kaboom3
  • kaboom4

Kaboom! which has replaced Café Model at Ballard Estate is the brainchild of Funky Kitchen’s Kunali and Yohaan Dattoobhai. Forming a sort of dream team, Yohaan is a former advertising professional and Kunali is a chef who has trained at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. After the success story of their first venture Sucres Des Terres — homegrown gourmet ice creams sold in mason jars with ribbons and tags, the restaurateur couple has recently opened their self-service lunch café.

Touted to resemble the American-styled food trucks, Kaboom! is a quirky space designed with food-themed pop art, a blackboard for a menu, and slogans like ‘Think Different, Be Different, Eat Awesome!’ Their rotating menus every weekday (they are not open for service on the weekend) cover SE Asian, ‘soup-and-cheese-toast’, Italian, Mediterranean and American cuisines. An easy lunch-in-a-bowl concept, the idea is to provide a quick, healthy and tasty meal with fresh, gourmet ingredients.

Just today, they have also added a breakfast (8:30 am onwards) and high tea (3:30 pm onwards) service with some promising items on the menu like Kaboom! special anda paav (a Mexican recipe of tomatoes, onions and jalapeños), Nutella toasties, tea cakes and a granola-fruit bowl.

Verve catches up with the dynamic duo:

What’s in the name?
Yohaan: When we began experimenting with food projects, we didn’t have a central kitchen. It was just the chef, a couple of hungry guys and a really funky kitchen…that’s why the name.

Inspiration behind Sucres Des Terres:
Kunali: Sucres Des Terres means ‘sugars of the earth’, which is appropriate because we believe in using the finest quality, natural ingredients in our ice creams. Sucres Des Terres actually began when we had created a ginger biscuit and Thai basil ice cream sandwich for a secret supper, which got a lot of attention. One thing led to another, and here we are.

Your favourite flavour at Sucres Des Terres?
Yohaan: I love coffee so the Espresso Croquant is a winner for me.
Kunali: I love them all so it really depends on my mood!

What motivated you to start Kaboom!
Yohaan: Kaboom! was initially conceptualised as a food truck – an impossible feat given the strict licensing policy in Mumbai. We were therefore tasked with tweaking the concept to retain the characteristics of the food truck in a stationary location. As a result, Kaboom! is a fun, funky space put together with the vision of something that moves or changes (in the form of a rotating menu) but is dependable and available every day of the week.

A start-up is…
Yohaan: Exciting. Exhilarating. Exhausting.

The big idea:
Yohaan: I think it’s really important for your work to also be your pleasure. It’s great to pursue a job that we really believe in and are passionate about.

The best part about being an entrepreneur is…
Yohaan: To have complete creative control over a project. In India, we are otherwise bound by the restrictions of corporate culture. In the entrepreneurial space, I have the ability to design, mould and change this culture for myself and my team, which is really a fun thing!

Your dream for Funky Kitchen:
Yohaan: Put as many smiles on as many faces as humanly possible.

A change post Funky Kitchen:
Yohaan: Four inches on my waist.

Looking forward to in 2015:
Yohaan: Building on the really strong foundation that we had created in 2014.

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