Malgudi Days redux: BIAL to get a new flavour soon

Thursday, 5 December 2013 - 1:54pm IST | Place: Bangalore | Agency: DNA
There will be a 'village' on the airport, as the restaurant is working towards replicating that ambience in its interiors.

When the swank, new terminal of Bengaluru International Airport opens for the public sometime soon, it will cater to rich taste. And the flavour of the new airport will be a brand new brand — the Malgudi Tiffin Centre restaurant.

The ethnic South Indian restaurant in the middle of one of the most modern airports in India has been planned and positioned (both physically and otherwise) as a pleasant surprise to the visitor.
It’s the first thing that meets the eye after one exits the security check enclosure. According to Rene Baumann, vice-president (commercial) of Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL), “Inspired by the powerful, magical portraiture of life as it should be, the enchanting Malgudi Tiffin Centre presents itself like the colourful city, full of life that reveals the essence of India, and its people’s experiences.”

T1, the new terminal at BIA, will be inaugurated by chief minister Siddaramaiah on December 14, but will be fully operational only sometime in January.

Malgudi Tiffin Centre, which will be run by HMSHost, seeks to live up to its name both with its ambience (like inside of the house of a typical South Indian village or cafe, but reinterpreted for BIAL’s setting), as well as the dishes it plans to serve. HMSHost is part of Autogrill SpA, the world’s largest provider of food, beverage and retail services for travelers. It is a recognised industry leader that creates innovative dining locations at airports and on motorways worldwide. At over 100 airports worldwide, HMSHost brings travelers exciting food and beverage experiences “they’ve never had before.”

Pains have been taken to ensure that every bit of the restaurant is traditional, authentic in all aspects. All items on the menu will be cooked in their own distinct spices and styles. It’s meant to be a gastronomical delight, and the taste will linger on, according to Baumann and Murali Murthy G, the executive chef of the restaurant. And the food will be brought to the table in tiffin carriers.

Giving the backdrop, Hari K Marar, president (airport operations) of BIAL, said both Hatti Kaapi and Chai Point emerged as major brands after their outlets alongside the kerb outside the airport became runaway hits with passengers. Hatti Kaapi was created by young Karnataka entrepreneurs in collaboration with BIAL for the inauguration of the “Kaapi Trail” in 2010 and has already opened a number of stores since then. Chai Point, on the other hand, was an existing name before the launch of its BIAL outlet, but the success at the airport spurred it to become a well-known tea chain subsequently.

BIAL would now want to replicate this success, but on a much bigger scale.

Branding the South

South Indian Coffee, Spices & Sweets; 1 in the Domestic area and 1 in the International area
This outlet has been conceptualised to give passengers an experience into the unique offerings of sweets from Karnataka and the rest of South India. The outlet will retail different types of coffee and coffee-related products, spices and sweets from Karnataka and the rest of South India. This initiative is meant to give travellers an opportunity to take back a part of the entire region on their visit to Bangalore (through the various product offerings and experiences). Aroma dispensers have been installed in the enclosure to give customers the smell of freshly brewed coffee. Regular activities, such as coffee-tasting events, will be conducted in these areas with support from the Coffee Board.

South Indian Handicraft & Heritage; 1 in the Domestic area and 1 in the International area
This outlet has been conceptualised not only as a commercially viable retail preposition, but also as a platform for over 500 artisans to showcase and sell their work, and create skilled, craft-based jobs for them. The sourcing of the art and artefacts will be done without the involvement of middlemen, and a major part of earnings will go to artisan families directly. The Lotus House, an expert in souvenirs, will be executing the concept.

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