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 Home > City Resources > Food & Dining > Features > Thai me up

Thai me up - with Sunil Shetty! 

Sunil Shetty at his restaurant'Thai Me Up' was more like 'Fill Me Up' on 26 November, when 10 lucky winners and their families were invited to dine with cine star Sunil Shetty at his Thai restaurant. While the Piranhas and other exotic fish looked on, a Thai spread of Red Curry, Flat Noodles, Prawns in Green Gravy, and Spicy Chicken and Vegetables in aromatic gravy was laid out for the guests to gorge on.

Sunil with guests'Thai Me Up' celebrated its first anniversary with a 'Sea Food Festival' from 16-22 October, 2000. Customers got to eat speciality seafood and, more importantly, experience the Thai feeling as an entire floor was converted into a street in Bangkok, exhibiting Thai herbs, pastas, sauces, vegetables, fruits and vegetable carvings, culture and tradition, with 24-carat handcrafted Thai jewellery also on display. Diners were presented with scratch-a-gift cards and were selected on the basis of a lucky draw for a dinner date with Sunil Shetty. The mega bumper prize of a package tour of 3 nights and 4 days to Bangkok for two went to Dr P A Sahiar. The tour includes economy airfare for two, stay at a 4-star hotel and sightseeing, sponsored by Travel Corporation (India) Ltd.

Sunil Shetty, John Abraham, general manager (Leisure Division-TCI) and Meher Bhandara, general manager, Corporate Communications of TCI gave away the bumper prize. "This was first a South Indian restaurant run by my father, called 'Ramanjaneya.' My father began as just a cleaner at the hotel and later acquired it. I started Thai Me Up in 1999, firstly because of my wife Manna's and my passion for Thai food. Secondly, because now speciality food is coming to India in a big way," says Sunil Shetty on his Thai paradise. Located opposite Minerva Theatre on Lamington Road, this three-storyed restaurant is like mini Thailand, with little artefacts of the exotic land lining the walls and adding to the decor. The warm brick coloured walls do not just add effect, but even act as appetisers.

The lucky winners!"I have made many trips to Hong Kong, Bangkok and Thailand. I was fascinated by Thai food and the restaurants there. I remember especially one restaurant where the tables were placed on small islands surrounded by water bodies. You could pick fresh fish from the water for your grub. The waiters served on skates, and there were Thai dancers to entertain you," Shetty talks about his inspiration. 'Thai Me Up' has been rated as a 'Superb Newcomer' by food critic Rashmi Uday Singh and within a month of its opening was among the "50 best restaurants of Mumbai.' This Thai place consists of an exciting cocktail lounge, separate smoking and non-smoking floors, each having their own Thai world charm. You could try out the Tom Yum soup, chicken wrapped in Pandana leaves (Kai Haw Bai Tong), divine Chicken Mousse on sugarcane sticks (Chao Tom), Fish Souffle (Haw Mok Pla) in handmade banana boats, Thai Money Bags, Phad Phak and Phak Samrot. "We are strategically located, and when it comes to our South Mumbai diners, surprisingly, many drive down from the suburbs to experience and feel the taste of Thai food. I work behind the scenes, and avoid being in the spotlight," maintains Mana, Sunil Shetty's wife.

Shetty already has many aces up his sleeve with Thai cuisine, a boutique and entertainment centres and action movies. Soon, he will be a man to reckon with on the cricket field, as he plans to have the biggest indoor cricket academy in Lower Parel, Mumbai. "Cricket is my first love. Unfortunately my father, a very simple man did not know the right strings to pull. Perhaps I would have been an ace cricketer on our Indian cricket team," says Shetty nostalgically. Should we wait for another exciting career move?

Thai Me Up, 203-A,
Next to Apsara Cinema,
Lamington Road, Mumbai - 400 007,
307 7980

By: Anupama Vinayak
Photographs: Vinayak Prabhu

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