From the father and son team at The Regency Club, Rahul has been brought up knowing about the business and the business ethos, which he has learnt from his father, Navin. Today, Rahul, is the General Manager of The Regency Club, he is quite the charmer and he knows what good food is with a keen interest in cooking. Rahul worked his way up in the kitchen from washing the dishes to preparing ingredients before becoming one of the chefs and then moving to the front of house, though occasionally you can see Rahul wearing the chefs’ hat and jacket in the kitchen, rustling away cooking orders from guests that have come to dine at The Regency Club.
Rahul is a person who enjoys food and it helps that he is willing to learn new techniques and is open to innovation, which is a bonus for The Regency Club to introduce different dishes to their specials menu. For Rahul, food isn’t just about the end dish that is served to guests. It is a process that begins from the raw ingredients to tempering the spices, cooking the food and seeing the end result. Cooking whilst away from home at university, Rahul developed his love for cooking and began experimenting with flavours and after completing his degree, Rahul Travelled to the Far East and was inspired by different cooking techniques from braising, steaming, using dry rubs for meat as a marinade and being exposed to different spices and flavours that are unique to each culture.
For the future of The Regency Club, Rahul wants to focus on high quality dishes in line with the market trend. During the FIFA World Cup 2014, homemade gourmet burgers were introduced for a limited time and over the 28 days 680 burgers were served. Being inspired by the popularity of the different dishes cooked, new and innovative dishes can be introduced that meet The Regency Club standards, which are served regularly for a limited time. Guests can find that Rahul has created dishes especially for the specials menu that have become so popular the guests will always ask when is the pulled lamb back. The fact that the special menus is only available for a limited time not only allows new innovation for special dishes but it also allows Rahul to tickle the guests tastebuds with gourmet food that isn't on the main menu. A favourite specials menu for Rahul includes his succulent lamb cutlets and garlic butter chicken.
Going on to the service side of The Regency Club, Rahul wants to ensure that The Regency Club maintains a high standard and deliver an exceptional service to all of the guests that come to the venue. The goals have already moved a step further towards the take away goal, where The Regency Club App has been launched, which is available to download from Google Play and App Store, where fans of The Regency Club can order a take away and make reservations. Before Rahul came to work at The Regency Club there wasn't any form of advertising done to promote The Regency Club. This has allowed Rahul to push social media as the main advertising platform, which has allowed The Regency Club advocates that enjoy the food, drink and atmosphere so much to communicate with the bar and grill to share their experience. Rahul has been able to utilise Facebook to talk about The Regency Club news regarding the food and their own handcrafted beer, Regency Pils, which Rahul had a hand in creating. A refreshing beer that compliments the menu and to have something that is exclusively available at The Regency Club. Initially cocktails were not on the drinks menu, but Rahul was able to bring in a cocktail menu that is suitable for different seasons and the younger market that are more inclined to drink a cocktail that is popular in and around London.
Being at the front of house along with the waiters, Rahul has been able to see guests smile and their faces light up when they have their freshly made orders brought to their table by a friendly waiter. Rahul branded The Regency Club and implemented uniforms for the staff so that guest are able to distinguish the staff hierarchy. The kitchen staff have polo shirts and the front of house have black shirts with a yellow and black tie, which are The Regency Clubs brand colours. Being on the front with the rest of the team Rahul has also been able to interact with guests that have given invaluable feedback, which has enabled him to develop The Regency Club further based on suggested improvements, trends and requests.
Rahul was able to give fans of The Regency Club the opportunity to sign up to a newsletter, which allowed guests to get a loyalty scheme card that allowed them to collect points whenever they spend money at The Regency Club. The newsletter subscription allowed guests to be up to date with the news, receive exclusive offers and the latest specials menu. To date there are a fantastic 2,500 loyalty scheme card holders. The Regency Club was able to raise money for the devastating Nepal Earthquake and held a fundraiser for guests to contribute towards The Regency Club donation. Many guests used their loyalty scheme points to contribute towards the donation, which helped raise a fantastic £3168.00 to the Nepal Earthquake Appeal. The fundraising from The Regency Club doesn't stop there. Rahul has also signed up to support the Curry for Change charity that aims to help the families who are suffering from hunger. The Regency Club will be donating £1 for every dish ordered from the specials menu. There are more innovative ideas from Rahul, you will just have to like their Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TheRegencyClub page to find out.
What do you love about The Regency Club?
There are so many moments that can think of but the most memorable moments are when the waiters give guests their order and the reactions that I see when their faces light up and they leave with a smile. That's when I know that we have served good quality food that we have a passion for.
If you had to pick 1 starter, 1 main and a side, which would you choose?
My choice would have to be Garlic Mogo, Garlic Butter Chicken and Garlic Naan. The Garlic Butter Chicken is one of the dishes that I created and all of our guest do enjoy it. But I do also love the Chicken Biryani as it is my mums recipe and it is one that everyone loves. It is full of flavour and a homely dish.
What drink would you choose to have with your meal?
It has to be Regency Pils. It's a German beer that is light, crisp and hoppy.
What is your most proudest moment at The Regency Club?
It has to be when you overhear people talking and they use The Regency Club as a landmark when they are trying to tell others where Queensbury is. It's great that we are a hub of an area and it is well recognised.
Do you cook in the kitchen?
I do cook in the kitchen, I have twelve signature dishes that I have have added and they are sometimes available in the specials menu. Infact, before managing The Regency Club, I worked in the kitchen, washing dishes, then worked my way up to cooking then to the Front of House. But I still do get in the kitchen to cook.
What do you enjoy most about cooking?
The whole process of cooking, from the raw ingredients, tempuring spices, cooking a dish that tastes amazing, which I learnt whilst travelling. I spent three months travelling the Far East and I picked up innovative cooking methods, which we have used in the kitchen to show guests that real Indian food is cooked in ways that are healthy and you can taste all the flavours in the food.
Are you a keen cook and do you cook at home?
I am a keen cook, but unfortunately I don't really get a chance to cook at home. Given the chance, I wouldn't say no.
What do you have planned in the future for The Regency Club?
What do you have planned in the future for The Regency Club?
For the future, we want to focus on high quality dishes in line with the market trend. During the Fifa World Cup, we introduced burgers for a limited time and over the 28 days we served 680 burgers and I think that we can introduce new and innovative dishes that still meet our standards but are catered towards events such as the World Cup. The service side of The Regency Club, we want to maintain a high standard and deliver exceptional service to all of our guests. We have already moved a step closer to our take away goal, where we have introduced The Regency Club App, where you can order your take away, which is available for collection and we hope to expand this further.
Any tips for people who want to learn how to cook?
For those who want to learn how to cook, learning about the ingredients and the way the ingredients have been cut, depends on the type of dish you want to cook. Chunky vegetables will be fresh and cruncy for stir frys and barbecues and small cut vegetables will be more tender and are ideal for a curry. You don't have to be trained to cook, you just need to see it as a passion and not a chore and you will see that you have already learnt how to cook.