Asha Bhosle is one of the legendary singers of Bollywood, who has sang thousands of songs in her career (she’s the most recorded artist ever according to Guinness Book of World Records). But not many are aware about her passion for cooking as well. She also has a global restaurant chain named ‘Asha’s’ in various countries around the world (UAE – Dubai and Abu Dhabi, UK, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Egypt). Asha Bhosle recently opened a $2m Indian restaurant in Manchester.
Passionate About Cooking
Asha says food has always been a passion after singing. “I’m an artist first, but I’ve always loved cooking. Cooking is a lot like singing, it brings joy and pleasure to my audience; or as I choose to think of them, my special guests.”
“When my children were growing up I didn’t want them to be eating out all the time, so I made sure I made them their favourite dishes. Now when I see them they always say mum’s food is the best.”
Asha, who also makes her own secret spice mix for each of her restaurants, says she loves biryani and can make four different types and they’re all good. She also loves making the Karahi ghost (lamb).
About her restaurant chain, Asha says: “I want to give people a taste of home, a taste of India and of course I want to cater to the diverse community of this city, from Bangladeshi, Pakistani, India to the indigenous community. We will be service authentic food, the kind of dishes that I cook at home and what can be found on the streets of India.”
Asha’s – Global Restaurant Chain
Asha opened her first restaurant in Dubai in 2002. Dubai was ideal location because of it’s cosmopolitan nature. It was the ideal testing ground for future Asha’s internationally. In Dubai, the company operates through a joint venture with the Wafi Group.
The brand has since spread across the Middle East. The Manchester branch is only the second in the UK, after Birmingham.
Asha, who admitted to being a huge United fan, said: “Manchester is well known from all around the world. It’s an international city with an international airport, and you can see all around you how much this city has developed.
“Not only that I’m a fan of Manchester football and I even follow the cricket. The city is on the map and after the success of our Birmingham venue we were keen to take our brand somewhere exciting in the UK.”
Anand, Asha’s son who is managing partner of the ARIL Group, the restaurant’s parent company, added: “We’re very excited about our Manchester venue.
“I remember coming to the city in the 70s and it was nothing like it is now. When we were looking for our next venue I started doing research and the Manchester came up as the fastest growing in the UK.
It’s a very trendy city, the people here are awesome, and we wanted to bring to Manchester a very stylish Indian dining experience.
“A lot of people said go to London, but London has become a bit jaded. There’s already quite a few high profile Indian venues there, but in Manchester we felt there was a niche market to offer a venue such as ours.”
Asha Bhosle: Actively Involved
Asha Bhosle takes a personal and active interest in each restaurant by choosing the spices for the traditional Indian fare on offer.
Asha, who says she keeps young by staying busy, also puts her energy down to staying positive.
“I don’t like to think negative, having a positive mind keeps me feeling young and healthy and most of all motivated.”
“We also have an aggressive expansion plan for the UK and Gulf region,” Bhosle said.
Asha’s to Come to India
After tasting success in international markets like UK and Gulf, fine dine restaurant chain Asha’s (promoted by renowned singer Asha Bhosle) is set to enter the Indian market.
Asha’s Restaurants Pvt Ltd, is in talks with several Indian companies to appoint a master franchisee for the Indian market. The master franchisee will subsequently sub-franchise outlets to other partners.