Chatorey Lounge N’ Restaurant
A real authentic Indian place in the hearth of Europe
Admin | Comune di Milano
Can you please tell us something about yourself?
We both (Kshitiz and Ayushi) come from India and studied here in Hungary. Ayushi made her master’s degree in international business, and I worked as a chef in 6 different Indian restaurants in Budapest. We got engaged on the way and finally decided to start a business together. I knew how to lead a kitchen and she knew how to run a business, so we could set everything up in just 15 days.
Can you please tell us how you had the idea to start your business?
I worked here in Budapest in 6 different restaurants as a chef and I think it’s each chef’s dream to run an own restaurant. I was already working 16 hours a day, so why not to do it for ourselves?
So, we decided together to go for it and founded together Chatorey Lounge N’ Restaurant as a family business. We also thought that Budapest was a perfect place for our business as we had already lived and studies here for years. Also, the tourism was growing and especially tourists from India needed a real authentic Indian place. And we were able to provide this.
Can you please tell us about the main obstacles you have encountered and how you managed to overcome them?
Well, first the language: the Hungarian language is really difficult to study and speak, but we do our best to learn it. Then of course the COVID, which came just few days after our grand opening. But we managed to solve that period too. Another challenge in opening an authentic Indian restaurant in Central Europe is to keep the traditional flavours but make it consumable for the locals too.
We really do not want to make “European Indian” food; we make “Indian Indian” type of food. Of course, we can keep the food a little less spicy, but the recipes are the same and I have to tell you, it works! However, really high percentage of our guests have Indian origin, but the number of Hungarians in our restaurant is growing day by day – and they leave really satisfied.
Has the recent pandemic affected your business and how did you overcome the challenges?
As I mentioned just some days after we opened the restaurant the COVID pandemic hit in. The hardest part was that we could not predict how long it would have last – weeks or months.
So, we decided to go with the flow, and we set up really fast our delivery system: we picked up orders and delivered, and it worked quite well. Even now a huge part of our orders come for delivery, so we have a great experience in this as well.
How do you see the future of your company?
First of all, we would like to maintain good reviews on Facebook and Tripadvisor; then later on we would like to increase our business. Now we have a quite small place, we can serve food for 30 people in the restaurant.
In the future, we will need to find a bigger place. Also, in the long run I think each chef dreams to get a Michelin star. I do so, and we will go for it when we will feel ready for it.
Is there anything you would like to tell to your fellow entrepreneurs? #somethinginspirational
Come and visit us in Budapest! You will find no colouring, no artificial flavours, just fresh, authentic Indian food!