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The Empire returns



Chefs at Sola Topee... for a feel of the past.

THE BRITISH rule is long over but you can still enjoy the Raj nostalgia at Sola Topee, a restaurant, inspired by the 1930-40s period. The restaurant opened this past week at the Global Business Park in Gurgaon. The interior of the restaurant is nicely decorated and after sitting on the antique Raj furniture, one feels like sitting in a tent of the British period.

There is a huge collection of antiques like the photographs of the British time, carpets, gramophone, typewriting machine, wall clock, mirror, books, photo frames, lamps, telescope, hats, gins, and wooden wardrobe.

Talking about the design of the restaurant, Arun Khanna, owner, Sola Topee and ARA Hospitality says, "When the idea came to our mind we went to many places collecting the old things. The tent is designed like that of the British Army. They used to put up this type of tent for their senior officials. Our aim is to provide people a feel of the past."

The dress of the staff is also designed like that of British soldiers. The menu is scrapbook-styled replete with the pictures of stamps, old photographs and memorabilia of the colonial era. The menu contains a variety of delicious dishes. In addition to the Indian cuisine, the restaurant offers some Anglo Indian dishes also. The dishes include soups and starters like grandma's chicken soup, company's tomato soup, Lady Curzon's mulligatawny, griddles like Kippling's prawn cutlets, imperial raan kabab, Viceroy's tawa prawn, lamb dak bunglow, Sir Alfred's chicken makhani, desserts like the chocolate cake, truffle pudding, shahi tukra, juices and beverages. Rashmi Khanna, Rohini Kapoor and Sujata Hoon Belwal have designed the restaurant. Says Sujata, "The concept required alot of research . For 10 months we visited many libraries, surfed the net and read many books to understand the British era. The original photographs of British officials were collected from Antiques book dealers of New Delhi. The old-styled furniture has been brought from a Mumbai- based furniture house."

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