Restaurateur Aashita Relan Marwah talks to G20 about ten years of Royal China, her determination to make sure people eat ‘real’ Cantonese food and marriage.

Q. How have these ten years been like?
A. We complete 10 years in July and it has been one of the most exhilarating journeys ever. There were a lot of ups and downs but I can surely say I have learnt a lot in this decade.
For instance, in the beginning  I would panic, if we ran out of an ingredient. I would not be so confident then, as I am now. Today I am confident of finding alternative solutions, which come about because of experience. Back then, we started with a standardised Royal  China menus. Over the years we have learnt to understand & adapt to the Indian taste buds and palette.
We have also educated & introduced, successfully to the  Indian consumer, about  authentic Chinese cuisine. For example, we were one of the first to introduce Dim Sims. At that time point, everyone served a non authentic version (momos). Another example is crispy sea weed, which we serve. Indian palette was only used to crispy spinach. Another challenge was that Indians were used Indianised Chinese which had a lot of gravy. We worked to getting Indian consumers, hooked onto, Royal China authentic Cantonese cuisine.
Q: What is your advice for someone wishing to make a career in the fine dining arena?
A. This is not the time to even remotely think of starting your own restaurant, or this sector given Covid-19 but under any other circumstances, one must have a true passion for food, as this sector is less profitable than it seems to be. Also, one must hire a professional team and know how to delegate tasks based on their strengths. One must always be very flexible and aware of food trends that keep emerging. Be very prepared for critique.