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Rocking rolls



Kaati rolls come in a wide variety, even low-calorie ones for weight watchers. — Photo: K. Gopinathan

IN THE realm of Indian fast food, new entrant Kaati Zone claims to be the only restaurant in the country that exclusively sells kaati rolls. With an American retro ambience, a limited menu, and super-quick service, this joint on Church Street, floated by the East West Ethnic Foods Pvt. Ltd, targets young, on-the-move customers in the 18 to 35-year bracket.

Feedback

Executive Chef Virendra Yadav explains that 10 months of research went into their products before the September launch. Combinations of atta, maida, besan, maize, ragi and powdered channa were tried out and tested on the IT-software-college crowd which gave its feedback. The research seems to have paid off. Instead of putting 20 items on the menu and hoping that at least four might prove popular, Kaati Zone has carefully chosen eight basic fillings that are unique. The four veg fillings are aloo palak, mixed veg, egg and cheese and methi paneer tikka, while the four non-veg are chicken tikka, chicken kalmi, mutton seekh and fish masala.

Many restaurants that sell rolls use rumali roti as the base, but not here. The kaati original is the traditional paratha containing "pure, light ghee", while weight-watchers can choose from kaati lite, a low-fat atta-roti wrap, and kaati diet, which is whole-wheat roti with egg-white.

The five cooks employed here turn out 200 rolls a day. You can watch your kaati being prepared in front of your eyes. It's yours in less than 10 minutes, in a convenient sachet (instead of the usual butter paper envelope), with your choice of spicy or non-spicy dressing, and tomato sauce and mint chutney on the side. The rolls, which weigh 225 gm. each and are quite filling, are moderately priced. The mixed veg kaati, which contains carrot, baby corn, green peas and cauliflower, is the cheapest at Rs. 25. The chicken kalmi, deep marinated in the tandoor and enhanced with a creamy cheese-cashew paste, spiced with ginger, kasturi methi and garam masala, is Rs. 49. At Rs. 54, the fish masala kaati is the most expensive.

If you're really ravenous, you can go for the full house combo which has a spicy aloo-channa chaat and soft drink thrown in. The veg combo (Rs. 59) has methi paneer tikka kaati and the non-veg (Rs. 65) has chicken tikka kaati, along with the chaat and coke.

On the cards

The 42-seater restaurant is self-service, but the staff are around to help. There is more research going on in the fillings department, and prawns, yam, and brinjal are some of the items being considered. A ragi kaati is also on the cards, and there could be home delivery soon.

Yadav, whose long innings in the hotel industry includes eight years at Hotel Grand Ashok, used to look after the hotel's inflight catering at the HAL airport, and has supervised catering for functions in honour of many a VVIP, including governors and prime ministers. He says they plan to start a Kaati Zone chain in India and then take it to the U.S.A. Four or five outlets are slated to open in Koramangala, Indiranagar and other places in the city.

Kaati Zone is open from 12.30 p.m. to 2.30 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9.30 p.m. Phone: 51122100.

M.V. CHANDRASHEKAR

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