MIRI MARY TELEGRAPH
Chapter one: our journey
"Thank you for visiting my new home in Amsterdam. I hope it gives you a sense of home too. Let me tell you about my tumultuous travel journey that led me here."
Whilst working as a criminal lawyer in New Delhi and being in a long-distance relationship with Anand, Foram found herself one night sitting drunk
on the toilet seat, where she saw a poster which read “Fly away to follow your heart”. People who know Foram can tell you that she is a strong believer of her
instincts. Foram saw this poster as her sign and one month later, she found herself on a plane to Amsterdam.
Anand on the other hand is a guy of numbers who works in a trading firm called “Optiver”. But what is unusual about him is his creative bent of mind. He has played a big role in designing of the aesthetics of Miri Mary and also in choosing of various art pieces that you’ll see at Miri Mary. Anand is a firm believer of “pursuit of excellence”. This trait of Anand can be clearly seen in all the brainstorming discussions that he does with the Team at Miri Mary, he says one thing “we only serve a particular dish or cocktail if it's EPIC”.
"We only serve a particular dish or cocktail if it's EPIC."
But where did the inspiration come to start a restaurant in Amsterdam, focused on Indian food, which they feel is underrepresented globally? They believe India and Indian food is under a strong grasp of “stereotypes” and the vastness of Indian cuisine is typecasted into mere “curries”.
Anand & Foram want to showcase through Miri Mary that India has come a long way beyond the pigeonhole of being a poor country of elephants, lions, and snake charmers. At Miri Mary, you will be surprised to see the artfully chosen handmade furniture pieces being woven together with the warmth of state-of-art food and cocktails. They want to showcase at a global stage “how beautiful, diverse and rich is Indian culture and Indian food.”
Anand & Foram do not believe in doing anything for the sake of doing it. From the aesthetics, to the food, to the cocktails and the whole vibe– everything is being done and chosen with a lot of love and effort. Coming from the field of law and finance, they did not know much about the hospitality industry.
So, they started from the scratch.
Foram took a 2-months food trip in India, where she visited around 120 restaurants across India. From modern fine dinning restaurants at 5-star hotels, to locally renowned restaurants, to roadside eateries, she tried to cover all to understand the local food from different parts of the country. On this trip, she also had another mission - to find chefs from different regions of India who are specialized in different cuisines.
All the chefs at Miri Mary have especially come from India to become a part of the Dream Team. Being new to hospitality industry played in their favour, on the one hand they delved deep into everything which went into the building of Miri Mary, from food, to cocktails, to coffee, to aesthetics and design. Having said that, A & F definitely had a vision on how they want Miri Mary to be and everything that you see, touch, smell, taste and feel at Miri Mary is inspired by this vision – “it should have the heart of Amsterdam and the soul of India”.
"There have been
learnings for sure,
but no regrets, never."
Why start an Indian
restaurant in Amsterdam?
Amsterdam feels like “Home” says Anand & Foram and in their eyes, Amsterdam has the perfect combination of culture and beauty coming together, something they believe Miri Mary to have as well. Also, the thoughtfully chosen location in - De Pijp is a melting pot of people from different parts of the world.
With Miri Mary they hope to show everyone that India is more than just curries, and butter chicken. At Miri Mary, you will find a choicest list of cocktails. These cocktails are inspired from Indian flavours, which many people don’t know to be a thing.
What are their favourite dishes
at Miri Mary?
As a vegetarian, who has never tasted meat in her life, Foram faces moral dilemma in serving dishes with meat. Some of her favourite dishes are Eggplant and Tomato Aranchini – an age-old local dish which you can only find in houses in western India, which our chefs have made it in the form of Italian aranchini. Another one will be the Jackfruit and cheese Empanada – every household in India has their own recipe of this dish, some make it savoury, some sweet. We at Miri Mary took inspiration from this dish called “ghoogra” in Gujarat and made it in the form of an Empanada.
Anand on the other hand loves the prawn canapès – prawns are mostly eaten in coastal regions and they are made very differently in different towns. Our recipe is inspired from the southern coastal city called Mangalore and served in the form of an easy-to-eat canapé. Our sharing plates, which are our signature dishes are all inspired by age-old recipes of moms and grandma’s. These dishes as delicious as they are, are not commercial and thus, cannot be found in restaurants even in India.
What has been the biggest challenge - or maybe even blunder? - so far?
Foram tells us she is not the one to regret anything. “There have been learnings, for sure, but no regrets, never.” Anand & Foram are most proud of the fact that they did it. They changed the course and did what most would be scared of: from changing a successful career and starting something from the scratch.
And, if this was not challenging enough, Anand & Foram found out three months before the opening date that they are pregnant.
2022 has been very challenging, but at the same time supremely rewarding as they gave birth to two children –Miri Mary and recently to a beautiful baby girl – Nyra.