Actress Samyukta Singh has been running a successful Japanese-Korean restaurant called Tsubaki (at Worli, Mumbai), and loves it. The actress says that she always wanted to own a restaurant. “I have been thinking about getting into the restaurant line since childhood. I have been very interested in the hospitality industry. I used to always say that one day I want to open my own restaurants. I got into it at that point because I went through my divorce and I was very lost. I didn’t know where to go, what to do because I had already given up my career because of him at one point and acting was the only thing I knew in my life. I didn’t know anything else. I have no complaints because after all it was my choice, my decision and then my divorce finally happened. After that I was lost. I wanted to run away because it was very difficult for me to stay here and face people.
We had been together for 11 years. It was very difficult for me to deal with the fact that I had gone through a divorce. And then God sent this project in my lap. My sister and brother-in-law bought this plot in Goa and because of my niece they could not be there all time and they needed some family person to be there to be the face and the owner. It was a big challenge and it was a big change for me. I packed my bags and left and I learned everything from scratch, from operations to the billing to the purchasing. As a matter of fact, when I was dating my ex-husband, I had actually got catalogues from Switzerland from The Le Cordon Bleu. I wanted to go and enrol myself for the course. So, like I said, even hospitality has always been something that I wanted to do. I love feeding people, I love cooking. So, it was just God sent. I love what I am doing right now,” she says.
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She adds, “Right now, I have this place called Tsubaki, which is a Japanese-Korean restaurant. It’s in Worli. The concept came about because our partners are actually family friends of my mom and dad. Our Japanese partner is actually my uncle and he calls my mother his soul sister and my dad was his very dear friend. So, the concept came because he made DIY sushi one day and my other partner and I thought that we should start a Japanese restaurant and my uncle also wanted to join. So, it was just a spontaneous decision and we worked from there. Now we are five partners who have started Tsubaki and we are hoping that we can open many more branches all over India,” she says.
Talking about the cuisine that it offers, Samyukta says, “I became vegetarian seven and a half years ago. I have eaten non veg all my life before that. I still cook it. I have not been telling everybody to become vegetarian but I gave it up out of choice because I just stopped liking non vegetarian food. So, one of the unique features about Tsubaki is that half of our menu is vegetarian and we also have a Jain menu. I have eaten all over the world in Japanese restaurants and getting good vegetarian choices is not that great. So that is definitely one unique point that Tsubaki has. We are serving a lot of vegetarian food. And also, we have a hydroponic garden where we are growing our own greens. So, all the salads you get in Tsubaki are all freshly plucked from the hydroponic garden. So, it’s absolutely fresh and healthy,” she says.
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Ask her what her bestseller dishes are, and she proudly says, “Everything is popular, to be honest, but our dimsums, Tsubaki special salad is very popular, and the Korean chicken wings are also popular. If you ask me, each dish is unique and each dish is loved by everyone. By the grace of God, everything is appreciated.”
Talking about the clientele, Samyukta says that they have a mix of people from all over Mumbai. “Our target clientele is the people who love good food. Definitely, since we are located in Worli, our maximum clientele would be from Worli, Town side, south Mumbai and Bandra to Juhu also. And sometimes, we are surprised to get guests from Andheri as well because now it is across the sea link. So luckily for us right in the middle. And we want people who come, the guests who come, leave saying the food was great. Another unique point that we do have is that we have a three-floor restaurant. So, open-air sitting will be starting after the monsoons. and then we have the first floor which is fine dining. The second floor is a lounge. So that is going to be opening now in the next one week. So, it’s more like you can eat your food, then you can go up and party and have your drinks. So, it’s a one-stop place. So that is another unique thing about Tsubaki and we are catering to everybody and anybody who loves food,” she says.