Basking in the winter sun, on a cosy rug with a basket full of yummy delights — sounds like a perfect winter outing, right? In quest for survival and wooing customers, home chefs and restaurants are getting innovative, with pre-packed and customisable picnic baskets being the latest trend catching up the fancy of Delhiites.
“People are still hesitant to visit restaurants and sit indoors, so we thought of introducing picnic boxes. The idea sprung from lockdown days as we were doing kits of non-alcoholic drinks and nibblers for virtual parties, but wanted to make an elaborate picnic one,” says Saloni Uppal from Hauz Khas-based Saloni’s Kitchen, who has been curating 30-50 baskets for ₹1,300 each for Sunday delivery.
Giving an Indian twist to the conventional picnic box, Civil Lines-based Yashita Dalmia, has added dishes such as winter special kaanji and other desi treats such as individual portions of kalmi vada, kachori aloo, etc. She says, “I wanted to go beyond the usual cheese and crackers. I have portioned the items per individual to minimise human touch. With the picnic trend picking up, one can not only carry these to Sundar Nursery or Lodhi Gardens but even recreate a picnic setup at home terrace with friends and family.” Her customisable picnic baskets start from ₹1,000.
Food aficionados are also willing to experiment with different cuisines in a basket. Dhruv Kalra, co-owner, Vietnam-ease Càphê in Gurugram says, “Now that going out has become a sacred thing like month mein ek baar, people are up for trying something new so the response has been good.” Kalra, with his team, has curated eco-friendly and tailor-made Vietnamese picnic boxes that include dishes such as Vietnamese bahn mi, noodle bowls and rice paper summer rolls, priced at ₹1,200-1,500 per person.
Top quality food is not the only guarantee with these boxes; they also come packed with some entertainment. Bani Nanda from South Delhi-based Miam Patisserie has also prepared a picnic playlist along with baskets. “There is a QR code to scan and check out the music choices for a little fun element,” she says, adding that there’s high demand over the weekends for Miam’s Picnic Pack (for four persons), priced between ₹3,600-3,800.
Nanda came up with the idea of picnic baskets from constant declines to invites from friends. She says, “People have been calling us to restaurants and parties. I thought if anyone calls for a picnic, I might go because I can maintain social distance and it’s outdoors plus winter afternoons in Delhi are a great excuse.”
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