If there is one thing the pandemic taught us, it was the importance of comfort food in raising our spirits. Unfortunately, more often than not, comfort food is restricted to unhealthy variations, but that notion is changing with the delightfully delicious yet healthy burgers from Aku’s—The Brrgrr Co. Since its launch a mere three years ago, chef Akriti Malhotra’s brainchild has grown both in popularity and size.
Ankit Malhotra and Akriti Malhotra.
The vision for Aku’s—The Brrgrr Co. was to create a space that is informal and serves food made from responsibly sourced ingredients, at par with the offerings at fine-dining restaurants. Based on the unique concept of ‘Fast Casual’ food, Aku’s—the Brrgrr Co. is one of the first places to have brought New York style dining to the people of Delhi. This enabled it to be labelled the ‘OG’ or ‘original gangster’ of quick service restaurants that serve real and healthy food in a quick span of time. Their popularity is further bolstered by the choice offerings on their limited menu, and their hassle-free food pick-up services.
When asked the reason for the phenomenal success of the brand in such a short span of time, Chef Malhotra explains, “We have always run Aku’s—The Brrgrr Co. as a place with slow-food values and fast-food service, which essentially means serving great quality burgers in a quick service format. When we first opened, Chef Ritu Dalmia shared sage advice with us. She said if our food is good, we will definitely do well in the long run. That is the guiding principle we stick with and I believe that is also the reason that customers enjoy our food.”
Good food is the backbone of any restaurant, but what sets Aku’s—The Brrgrr Co. apart from its competitors, is their ability to adapt to a world increasingly choosing healthier options over unhealthy ones. They are known to serve burgers that are both healthy and tasty with an ideal patty to bun ratio—a policy that has held them in good stead. Though they believe in fulfilling orders quickly, they choose to stay away from cost-cutting methods that go hand-in-hand with fast food. All their patties, sauces and buns are made in-house on a daily basis. They even offer the option of bun-less burgers for people who prefer healthier options, allowing them to enjoy the same burger with less carbohydrates and without the attached guilt.
The pandemic was certainly a challenging period for the brand, as they were all set to open their second outlet at DLF CyberHub when it hit. That operation was stalled immediately and regular business badly affected. The team worried about being able to keep afloat in case revenues would not pick up, yet they were able to overcome their problems and surge ahead.
They were keen to hold on to their entire staff and by staying on the front line as a premium food delivery option, they were able to do that. Ultimately, owing to the popularity of their food, they were shut only for two weeks during the lockdown. Their loyal customers continued to support them during the lockdown and afterwards.
In fact, Chef Malhotra even felt a burnout after a while. Speaking of that difficult period with candour, she says, “There comes a stage where no amount of praise or revenue is enough and one just needs to take a breather and get away from work to be refreshed. A week-long trip with no Internet connectivity worked wonders for me. I believe it is extremely important to keep yourself challenged and stay passionate about what you do, otherwise it is hard to keep going in the long run!”
Three years on, the continued success of Aku’s—The Brrgrr Co. has given the team confidence to expand further and keep growing as a brand. “The fact that customers really trusted us during the pandemic made us realise that we are doing something right. Currently, we have two locations in Delhi-NCR at Defence Colony and DLF Cyber Hub. We are preparing to open more spaces in a similar format serving fast casual and delicious cuisine – taking one city at a time as our target,” says Malhotra, signing off with a smile.
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OSCARS ATTENDEES WILL NOT WEAR FACE MASKS DURING CEREMONY
WASHINGTON : The 2021 Oscars won’t make face masks a requirement during its live ceremony, which is scheduled to take place this Sunday.
As per Variety, the Academy is not asking Oscar attendees to wear face masks while cameras will rolling during the live ceremony. The news was announced on Monday morning during a Zoom meeting with Academy representatives and nominees, and studio and personal publicists. Because the ceremony—being held at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles—is being treated as a TV/film production, masks are not required for people on camera, an Academy staffer explained.
However, when guests are not on camera, they are being asked to wear masks. Oscars co- producer Steven Soderbergh remained mum on face-mask protocol during a press conference with co-producers Jesse Collins and Stacey Sher. He said on Saturday that masks would play “a very important role in the story”. “If that’s cryptic, it’s meant to be,” he added. “That topic is very central to the narrative.”
JESSICA BIEL OPENS UP ABOUT HER FAMILY LIFE WITH TIMBERLAKE
WASHINGTON: Hollywood star Jessica Biel, recently while making an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, opened up about her life at home with her husband Justin Timberlake and their two boys Silas and Phineas. According to E! News, Jessica and Justin are currently sleep training Phineas, which means spending a lot of time listening to a teething, crying baby. The couple had welcomed baby Phineas last summer after a private pregnancy. Jessica explained, “It’s so hard to let them cry for even a few minutes. That’s the sleep training we were doing. Phin did a beautiful job.”
She added, “We never really followed through with Silas in a big way with the sleep training. I think it was because he was a first child, we were nervous, we couldn’t bear the thought. Now it’s like, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah, you’re going to be fine. You’re going to make it. You’ll be okay.’” When asked if having two kids is harder than one, Jessica confirmed that it’s definitely not easy. Biel joked, “A very wise friend of mine said, ‘One is a lot. And two is a thousand. That’s exactly the way it feels. You’re like, man-on-man defence, one person’s here, one person is over there. It is a wild, wild ride.”
AJAY DEVGN REVEALS HIS FIRST LOOK FROM DEBUT OTT SERIES
NEW DELHI: Foraying into the digital space, Bollywood actor Ajay Devgn on Tuesday announced his first-ever OTT project with crime-drama series Rudra: The Edge of Darkness set to stream on Disney+ Hotstar.
The show will reportedly be a remake of the Idris Elba-starrer hit British series Luther. Ajay took to his Instagram handle and shared the first look of his debut web series, along with the caption, “Happy to announce the crime thriller of the year Hotstar Specials ‘Rudra – The Edge Of Darkness’. This one’s going to be ‘killer’ @disneyplushotstarvip.”
In the first look of Rudra: The Edge Of Darkness, a silhouette of Ajay can be seen standing in front of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link. The silhouette then turns frame by frame towards the screen, revealing Ajay’s face, as the title of the show appears before the viewers.
PRIYANKA EXPRESSES CONCERN OVER CURRENT COVID SITUATION IN INDIA
MUMBAI: As the number of Covid-19 cases is surging across the nation, actor Priyanka Chopra Jonas on Tuesday expressed concern and urged people to stay at home. She took to Instagram Story and shared a post in which she stated that the ‘Covid-19 situation in India is grave.’
“The Covid 19 situation across India is grave. I’m seeing images and stories coming in from different parts of the country that are so scary… the situation is out of control and our medical fraternity is at a breaking point,” wrote Priyanka.
She added, “Please stay home…I beg you to stay home. Do it for yourself, your family, friends, neighbours, community, and also our frontline workers.”
Priyanka also shared a post lauding the vaccination drive to start the vaccination of people above the age of 18 years in India from 1 May.
AYUSHMANN OPENS UP ABOUT HIS ROLE IN ‘VICKY DONOR’core
NEW DELHI: Celebrating nine years of the hit Bollywood film Vicky Donor, actor Ayushmann Khurrana on Tuesday revealed how he felt about playing an unconventional hero in his debut movie.
Revealing that he was very jittery about the reaction audiences would have towards him as the film’s lead, Ayushmann said, “It’s been 9 years but it definitely seems like it happened yesterday. I can still feel the rush I felt on release day, nine years back. I was confident of the script but very jittery about the response that I would get from audiences as a lead actor.”
The actor then spoke about the support he got from his family and added, “I remember all the phone calls with my family and friends, how they kept telling me that audiences would welcome me because I have put in my best. I was an outsider just starting to write my own destiny and I was thrilled with the prospect of what life had in store for me. I owe so much to Vicky Donor.”
Ayushmann credited his director Shoojit Sircar for the fantastic debut that became a runaway success at the box office and said, “I owe everything to Shoojit Sircar for his vision and trust in me as an actor. I owe it to Ronnie Lahiri and Juhi Chaturvedi. It was a film that was trying to change the language of cinema in India and I’m so proud to have been a part of it.”
He currently has many projects in his kitty including Anek, Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui and Doctor G.
DIESEL SET TO STAR IN MOVIE ADAPTATION OF ‘ROCK ‘EM SOCK ‘EM’ GAME
WASHINGTON: Popular toy company Mattel’s film division recently announced its plans to develop ‘Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em’, the tabletop game featuring battling robots, as a live-action movie featuring Hollywood star Vin Diesel. According to Variety, Diesel, whose production company One Race Films is working on the current project with Universal Pictures, said, “To take the classic Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em game, with Mattel as my partner, and align it with the kind of world-building, the franchise-making success we have had with Universal, is truly exciting.” Ryan Engle, who wrote the movie Rampage starring Dwayne Johnson and also Liam Neeson’s The Commuter, penned the Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em screenplay. The story follows a father (Diesel) and son who form an unlikely bond with an advanced war machine. The role of Diesel’s character’s son has not been cast yet. Robbie Brenner, the executive producer of Mattel Films, said, “We are proud to bring this iconic piece of Mattel IP to life on the big screen with our tremendously talented partners Vin Diesel, One Race Films, and Universal.”
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