Posted On Friday, June 29, 2012 at 08:32:31 AM
The owner of the cosy Copper Pot, Atul Kapoor or ‘Kapoor uncle’ started off as a caterer for parties. “I realised my passion for food and I decided to start a small place for students away from home, for them to enjoy home-style cooked meals,” says Kapoor.
|Pics: Nikhil Ghorpade
Having run it alone for seven years, he says he does not believe in appointing managers or help. “I once had a terrible experience with a manager who duped me. Fortunately it was at the start of my business, and I started off smoothly again.”
Situated in the lower level of a shopping complex, this small joint is easy to miss. But once you’ve eaten here, it’s unlikely you will forget it. “I have deliberately kept the place small and accessible. It helps me chat with customers, build a rapport and take their suggestions easily,” says Kapoor.
With just four tables, evenings are hectic and it is advisable to reach on time to catch a place. Kapoor laughs, “Yes, it does get a bit crowded in the evenings but it’s still manageable because I share an excellent relationship with all my customers. I just request them to come along a little later or wait for a while.”
The place is opened only between 12.30-3.30 pm (closed on Monday afternoons) and then 7-11 pm. A cane wall separates the dining area and kitchen, while a live tandoor serves hot rotis and parathas as you order.
What to chow
It’s North Indian cuisine all the way here — the Rajma Chawal and Butter Chicken are absolute must-haves. Every recipe is tried and tested by Kapoor and he trains the cooks and helpers. “None of my recipes or the ingredients in any dish have changed since we started.
Taste and quality are two things that bring people in, so I can’t afford to mess with that,” he says. For vegetarians, the Punjabi Kadhi with their Basmati rice is the first pick, perfectly sweet and sour.
There is a separate section for afternoon and evening meals on the menu. Other hits are the Paneer Capsicum Chilli (stir-fried), Veg Thali and Chole Chawal. Non-vegetarians have plentiful options, with Chicken/Mutton Biryani, Chicken Masala, Mutton Chilli and more.
When was the last time you ate to your heart’s content and still shelled out just Rs 250 for a meal for two? Here’s your chance to experience that feeling again! Priced reasonably between Rs 75 and Rs 150, the menu is light on your pocket.
“I did not set high prices as I have to please a section that includes students and working professionals mainly from the middle class. I have not increased rates either.”
Since 2005, Copper Pot has been a a hangout for students and families alike. The food is absolutely fresh on order, except for the biryani which is pre-made, but delicious. The parathas are soft, easy to break and simply melt in the mouth.
The Biryani and Butter Chicken are worth a try. A few more chairs and tables would have made it more convenient thought.