INDIAN NEWS & TIMES

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Mexican Quesadilla sliced with vegetables and sauces on the table

Tawaazo’s creation story is inspiring and away from the culinary world as you can imagine, both partners Nilesh Shirishkar working in the Crude Oil Drilling and Ragesh Nair working in the engineering field in UAE, one day discovered that they missed the food from overseas while holidaying back home. This and the urge to make people taste the kind of food that they’ve been served overseas right here in the heart of the city drove to create what Tawaazo is today.

While both lived abroad and worked there for most of their career, it was in 2015 that a friendship blossomed, whenever the two came back to the motherland they often reminisced about the food that they had left behind and while you could find decent Arabian food in the city, you could not find everything that you could ever want in one place

This sparked an idea and in 2020 on February 29, Tawaazo fired up its stove and brought out their culinary arsenal for the first time. Immediately the response was a surprising one, the menu at the beginning consisted only on Indian and Chinese food but then later on, they decided to add Arabic dishes as well. This key decision was one of the reason to boost up sales of the restaurant as there nothing that blended Arabian food with a hint of Indian spices in the city

Like every big business that finds its biggest asset, Nilesh and Ragesh had found theirs, but immediately after a global pandemic would change the world and bring a twist into the lives of our entrepreneurs.

While most entrepreneurs claim to start from zero, Nilesh Shirishkar and Ragesh Nair soon found themselves beyond the point of no return and into negative territory. If you’re an owner of a restaurant, an unknown air-borne contagion that spreads like wildfire is your biggest nightmare, and even before our newest entrepreneurs could count the total number of sales made for the month, they were facing certain annihilation.

But thanks to the Governments deeming restaurants and eateries as essential businesses, Tawaazo got another breath and ramped up their kitchen like never before. With the addition of stricter laws, lack of employees, and in-general total chaos, out rose Nilesh Shirishkar and Ragesh Nair passing their initiation by fire with flying colours.

Maybe the humble size of the restaurant helped them stay in business but if it wouldn’t have been for the grit and passion of both these entrepreneurs, things would’ve been a lot different and bleak. Since then, without missing a single beat Nilesh Shirishkar and Ragesh Nair have been on the forefront of creating and defining their own legacy and staking a claim as one of the best

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Indo Arabian cuisine restaurants anywhere in the city, the secret to this new mad trend that is drawing more numbers every day is pretty simple, at least that’s what the two partners claim to be.

Without giving away too much, they say that they’ve found a way from bring both cultures and taste palettes of the middle east and India in the same menu. For them, the hard work lies in finding which two spices go together and both cuisines feel worlds apart where the Arabian dishes are made with subtle flavours that grace your palette, the Indian flavours are on hand to take on a fantasy ride of flavours and fill your mind with wonder.

Balancing them together was the key and just like in their business, Nilesh Shirishkar and Ragesh Nair successfully managed tobring that to the menu as well. Both owners are like two sides of a coin, incredibly valuable and indispensable for the wealth of wisdom and courage they have but both have distinct features that you can immediately differentiate them with. If one of them seems analytical, the other will charm you off with a smile.

Nilesh Shirishkar and Ragesh Nair both have their own area of expertise, while Nilesh Shirishkar decides what Indian dishes go on the menu, he also has a vast knowledge of Indian foods and what spices compliment each other. Ragesh Nair on the other hand focuses primarily on the Arabian menu, being a foodie that has lived in the UAE for so long he’s well versed with what to bring to the menu and make the best dish available.

If you’re just passing by, you might only see a cloud kitchen with the regular hustle that goes on behind the counter. The banter among the chefs, the rush of getting food to the customers, and so on, but if you just spend a single moment outside, the aromas of every single flavour will invade your soul and compel you to drop everything and take a bite. 

Tawaazo’s owners understand that it is the people that bring prestige and honour to any restaurant and giving back to the community has always been one of the biggest goals that they set out to achieve. While working abroad the concept of zakat and sadaqah left an everlasting impression on the young minds of Nilesh Shirishkar and Ragesh Nair. During the global crisis, both of these men stepped forward and opened their restaurants by providing thousands of meals to

various charities and NGOs across the city to ensure that not even a single person goes hungry. A lot of people run businesses, but to run it with the principals of an institution of hope and love takes more than what business schools like Harvard, Princeton, or any other can offer.

This speaks volumes of their character and while it seems that the worst is behind them and the business has been at its best ever, this is just the beginning of what’s going to be one of the main reasons why Mumbai soon will have an Arabian trend coming to see it. You can almost see it on the horizon, or in this case, smell it as the enchanting and provoking sensuous whiffs will automatically make you float to this particular restaurant.

So no matter if you’re reading this across the Arabian Sea in the middle east or right here in Mumbai city if you’re craving something that marries both worlds together in flavors so mouth-watering and an unending array of dishes to select from, just make sure to just come across Tawaazo as we guarantee even before you see the restaurant, it’s flirtatious aromas and scent will take over your body leaving you helpless unless you take a bite. While this seems like a over achievement in their own right, both the owners are looking towards the horizon and plan on expanding their venture in the near future. So get ready to expect a new variety of items on the menu and probably a few more restaurants closer to your location soon.

Courtesy : In Conversation with Nilesh Shirishkar & Ragesh Nair – Restaurateurs at TAWAAZO, Link Road, Kandivili West