The Singapore-based NRI billionaire Jagdev Singh Gill’s Gill Capital has roped in Taj's ex-chief chef Hemant Oberoi, who retired from the luxury hotels after more than four decades, to re-launch the fine-dining restaurant Yantra.
Gill Capital owns the franchisee rights of retail brand H&M in Thailand and Indonesia, operates the Candylicious and Hershey's chocolate stores in Singapore and Malaysia, and runs the Brunetti cafe and Soma bar in Singapore.
Hemant has been latched in to turn around the Indian-themed brand, ‘Yantra’, which now has the star chef's name attached to it. Hemant is a well-known name in the culinary circles.
Hemant has served to leaders, businessmen and actors, has been showered with praises and compliments for his modern twist to Indian cuisine. The Former British Prime Minister John Major liked the Dum Ka Zaffrani Ghost (lamb curry) so much that he sent Oberoi a note from the UK. The recipe was sent to the Bombay Brasserie restaurant in London so it could be made and dispatched to No. 10 Downing Street whenever there was a request from the occupant. It used to be called "the John Major Curry".
Major's illustrious predecessor Margaret Thatcher too was a fan, as are the Obamas. "They really take the pain to thank and appreciate, which is touching," Oberoi informs.
Yantra was opened seven years ago in Singapore, but the venture did not go well and was closed. With Oberoi heading the venture now, restaurant has been given a makeover before its opening. "Everything about the restaurant has been changed - from the decor to the menu," said the culinary consultant.
Oberoi has a five-year-deal with Gill Capital for Yantra. Hemant describes this venture as a second innings for him and the culinary world will wait for what the genius chef brings to the table.