This past weekend, I got to visit the quaint little offices of VKL Group in Mumbai and experience Food Service India’s hospitality.
Food Service India (FSI) is India’s largest F&B solutions provider. They work exclusively with hotels, restaurants and caterers (HORECA). They provide the widest range of products to restaurants covering soups, appetizers, main course and desserts across cuisines such as Indian, Oriental/Eastern, Continental/Western and Fast food.
You can imagine my surprise when I was invited to be part of a celebration of food, drink and conversation – especially since I’m none of the 3 segments they cater to! But in their own words – “you are our end consumer and we wanted to connect with you to get your experience“. And I knew it was going to be a fun afternoon!
As I walked into the studio, I was greeted with a lovely setup – a shelf filled with over 50 flavors of Marim Bula syrups! An array of these fruity syrups made for a picture perfect setup. I hadn’t heard of Marim Bula before and I was pleasantly surprised to find out that most of the bars & restarats use these concentrated syrups to make your favorite cocktails and mocktails. The next time you walk into Socials and order a Sangria, you know where they get their flavors from! These syrups are carefully mixed to perfection; and with a 30% fruit concentrate, they are more intense than any other syrups you find in the market today.
Featured: Mixologist Sachin whipping up a variety of drinks using the Marim Bula syrups
I got to taste around 6 kinds of drinks (fruit based and milk based) and 3 more fun desi-inspired shots. I loved the White Wine Sangria (non-alcoholic) – with its sweet and sour flavors and green apple chunks that made for an interesting texture. The coconut fudge syrup was used to make a luscious Pina Colada that I still think about!
The fruit syrups aren’t the only offerings by FSI. They also offer a wide range of innovative spices, dips and ready-to-cook products that make you wonder “how do they come up with this idea?”! Their Mango-Jalapeno dip is hands down the best one I’ve ever had. If it were available for sale, I would have lapped it up in 3 seconds! Often, you’re left with achaar or ketchup to serve as condiment with any appetizers or snacks you serve. Having some of these dips handy can add infinitely more flavor and character to the food you serve. And the best part about the spices and the dips they serve is that it feels homemade. They don’t feel like factory-made, mass-produced products lacking flavors.
While the chef whipped up some delicious fries spiced with their very own spices, Kathi rolls, Makhani risotto, Mushroom soups (and for the non-vegetarians – some kickass sea bass), we took to learning about their products. Their gravy-bases come in innovative packaging that lets the food stay fresh for a year without adding any preservatives. Their premium aromatic mix adds the perfect zing to the food (and it comes MSG-free too!)
Sachin also whipped up some fun shots using the Marim Bula syrups. Watermelon & Ginger, Cumin with Chaat and Tamarind with Orange. I personally loved the tamarind and orange shot! Stuffed as we were, we still looked forward to the dessert that the chef made with the Damour ready-to-bake mix. The mix comes in 2 flavors – Red Velvet Lava and Payasam Lava Cake.
I LOVED the red velvet lava cake. And as someone who is constantly trying to make traditional recipes eggless, I was delighted to find out that all it takes to make these lava cakes are water and vegetable oil! Bake for 10 minutes and voila! Fresh lava cake in less than 30 minutes!
I wasn’t so psyched about the payasam lava cake, but then again, I don’t like jaggery-based payasams. But I was mighty impressed with the innovative flavors that FSI dares to bring into the market. They’re constantly innovating and introducing new products in the market every month. And as a conscious decision they’ve decided to cater to the HORECA segment (hopefully – for now!). With their focus on these segments, they’re able to offer best quality products customized to suit the needs of the business.
Thank you, FSI for pampering us with so much food, drinks and love! We were stuffed – in a good way. And I’m sure we will be talking about the flavors (because we can’t lick our fingers any longer) for days!
And the next time you rave about the seasonings at Dominors, Socials, Hoppipola or any of the 6500+ restaurants across India, know that FSI had a huge hand to deliver the flavor to you!
Huge shout out to my fellow bloggers – ThatGoanGirl, SiddharthAndShruti, EverythingOnAPlate and SugarSpiceNice! It felt great to NOT be the only one shoving a camera at the food and beverages in all different angles! 😀