The Pandemic Pushed D.C.’s King of Energy Eating to Get Into the Quick-Informal Sport

Over the previous 30 years, Ashok Bajaj’s D.C. eating places have been excessive on diners’ lists for celebrating special occasions. Knightsbridge Restaurant Group properties like Rasika and Annabelle cater to D.C. energy gamers with impeccable plating and repair knowledgeable by Bajaj’s encyclopedic information of high-profile regulars. So the latest announcement that his firm is getting into the fast-casual market with an offshoot of Indian road meals model Bindaas says loads concerning the state of the restaurant business after greater than yr of the COVID-19 disaster.

This fall, Knightsbridge will open Bindaas Bowls & Rolls at 415 Seventh Road NW in Penn Quarter. The takeout-focused restaurant builds on two different Bindaas areas. The unique opened in Cleveland Park in 2016 and launched an outpost in Foggy Backside a year later. Buyer favorites like hen kathi rolls, masala popcorn, and gunpowder fries from James Beard award-winning chef Vikram Sunderam shall be on the menu on the informal department. However prospects may also be capable to combine and match and create their very own meals.

“I believe will probably be enjoyable. I’ve by no means performed something like this,” Bajaj says, noting that he’d been toying with the thought of a fast-casual model of Bindaas with extra personalised choices for the previous 4 or 5 years. “When Covid occurred and this location turned out there near Rasika, I stated, you realize, that is the right time to do that.”

Diners will be capable to hop in line and select between set bowls or create their very own by choosing between totally different grain choices, proteins like lamb, fish, hen, shrimp, or veggie choices. Sauces will vary from classics like makhani sauce — the bottom of butter hen — to a brand new spinach-based sauce. Bowls and rolls are priced at $12 to $14, and the menu will change seasonally. “We’re not going to inform you methods to eat. We’re going to offer you traditional bowls however you can even make your personal,” Bajaj says.

chicken makhani with saffron rice from Bindaas

Diners will be capable to make customized bowls with proteins, grains, and sauces like hen makhani with saffron rice
Pleasure Asico / Asico Picture

For a good quicker meal, Bindaas Bowls & Rolls may also provide scorching, ready-made bowls, kathi rolls, sandwiches, and different snacks that diners can seize and pay for by way of an specific checkout line.

Bajaj is bullish on downtown eating, regardless of the drop in foot site visitors through the pandemic. He’s already seen enterprise decide up for lunch and dinner at different downtown eating places like Modena and Bombay Club.

“I believe we’re starting to see increasingly more folks coming again for lunches,” he says. The autumn opening is timed accordingly for workplace employees to presumably return, and it’ll additionally give the corporate sufficient time for design and buying permits. Bajaj says the look of the 25-seat restaurant shall be fashionable and “very sensible,” with design components included from the opposite Bindaas areas.


The person with the mustache will make it into the brand new Bindaas’ design
R. Lopez

In the meantime, the second Bindaas location on the Retailers at 2000 PENN, the Foggy Backside improvement that’s welcoming the Western Market food hall, shall be again in enterprise Friday, April 16, after happening a winter hiatus through the pandemic.

“I wish to maintain loads of workers who’ve been with me for a very long time employed,” Bajaj says concerning the reopening of the restaurant, which was a favourite for workplace employees on the close by World Financial institution and IMF. “I do know getting in it could be not as busy. We used to do 500 or 600 folks a day there any given day.”

Bajaj is so excited concerning the Bindaas Bowls & Rolls that he’s scoping out future areas already.

“It retains life attention-grabbing, proper?” he says of his new foray into fast-casual eating. “Take a look at Annabelle, it’s superior, I adore it once I go there, however having fancy eating places, it’s loads of stress. Then having one thing informal and never so intense shall be enjoyable as effectively, balancing out my life.”

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