He is Maharashtrian. She’s Thai. Together, they run one of the most appealing Thai and Japanese restaurants in Mumbai – The Blue. Appealing, not only because the food is delicious and authentic but because it is a labour of love.
Run by Seefah Ketchaiyo and Karan Bane, The Blue is a quaint eatery tucked away in a quiet Khar lane. All of eight tables strong, this place has been attracting lovers of authentic Thai and Japanese food since the last one year. Running it with great passion are these chefs who teamed up to establish The Blue. ‘We worked together at Four Seasons Mumbai in the south Asian speciality restaurant’, shares a reticent Karan. Love obviously brewed there and led this duo to eventually create their own kitchen – The Blue.
The Mixed Curry
It’s not new for people to wow at the Maharastrian-Thai combination that is this warm couple. Karan does confess to some hard work going in to win his family over into agreement. And Seefah does confess to some difficulties in adapting to living in India.
But now, one long Maharashtrian and one traditional Thai wedding later, it’s all good. And it’s all blue!
Seefah loves Mumbai and, for her Thai curries, Mumbai loves her too. The couple shares time living with Karan’s parents’ Tardeo home and a small rented apartment of their own in Khar.
Above all, here’s a story of success stemming from mutual love and support. As they say, strong love is not about gazing into each other’s eyes endlessly but staying besides each other and setting your gaze in the same direction forever.
Playing to their strengths
After many stints at major five-star hotels in Bangkok, Seefah moved to Four Seasons Mumbai purely as a work move. Little did she know the journey would mean meeting her soul mate in Mumbai. With a strong relationship going, when she and Karan planned to start their own restaurant, we wanted to do what we’re both best at. ‘I do good Japanese food and she’s a specialist Thai chef’, Karan says.
Why “The Blue”?
The name came about from Seefah’s name, which means “blue”. ‘Instead of just picking a random or unrelated name, we preferred to pick one directly connected to us’, the couple says. Seefah is the Thai expert, while Karan’s forte is Japanese food.
The Blue goes as a perfect name, for sure. It exudes a sense of calm, of harmony and, of course, of the delectable seafood that’s served here. Walk into The Blue and you feel at home at once. You feel invited and indulged here, with the staff and the chef’s warm hospitality.
Making Love work
Responsibilities are equally distributed when it comes to business. The kitchen is jointly managed by the couple. Other business aspects like space décor, social media, etc., are managed by Seefah. Logistics, local paperwork and more such are managed by Karan.
Working more towards a balance are their personality types. Karan is the quieter, calm one. Seefah is more talkative and “heated up”, according to Karan. There you go – opposites, no matter where or what kind – always attract!
Serving Love at The Blue
The menu at The Blue features what you may have seen on many a Thai or Japanese restaurant in Mumbai. But the food goes well beyond that. It’s at once simple and authentic. The couple doesn’t believe in fusion foods and mixing cuisines. One of the most attractive features is household recipes that Seefah learnt from her chef father and her mother. Think Pad Thai and Thai curries that are doled out in an everyday Thai home.
Karan also highlights the best in quality – of food and ingredients – that go into making the great food at The Blue. ‘Our sushi fish is from Japan, pure jasmine rice from Thailand and Salmon from Norway’, he says.
Love for The Blue
It’s no surprise that The Blue is so popular every day of the week. ‘We are not successful because we have a lot of clients. We are successful because the same clients come back to us, again and again’, this couple shares. That, is essentially, seeing the colour of success.
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