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Life is shaped by special experiences

Life is shaped by special experiences. On the 18th March 2023, something very special was in the offing. Twelve curry enthusiasts were invited to an OCC first – a full Indian dining experience cooked by one of its own! Attendees flocked in from all over the globe, including the UK and Bangkok (erm, Davao), in frenzied anticipation. The scene was set but was the debutant chef?



Barry “Bazmati” Orr is a man on an Indian cuisine mission. It all started back in 2022 on joining the OCC, with a threat to take on restaurant chutney and sauce offerings. Clearly, none of the chefs took heed of this warning as he has since gone on to mercilessly dish out a Liverpool Man United-style 7-0 drubbing. Next, he forged an unlikely business partnership with Shanghai’s entrepreneurial mastermind Shotmaster Sammy, to make a range of homemade curry sauces. These sold out within hours. However, this next attempt was big, bold, crazy even? For those of you out there versed in OCC scoring, you would know that private dining experience scores are typically high. Had Baz gone too far?

Two months before the event proper, pictures and video clips began circling on social media. Fresh vegetable shopping preparations, kitchen sampling/testing, and even a team building event to Peppa Pig land. Clearly, Bazmati Catering Co. wasn’t messing around.

To say the anticipation was running high would be an understatement. Fast forward to THE night, and things got even better. OCC’s latest member James Prowse, fresh from not collecting his 2022 That’s Shanghai Mixologist award, was on hand to personally greet and meet all guests. Special thanks to him and the Park Tavern for hosting this truly memorable evening.

Let’s get on to the food and meal. Chef Bazmati (notebook out for other restaurants who want to score better in customer care) introduced the starters, which included common Indian street snacks -onion bhajis, tikki balls, and poppadoms which arrived with four, yes four dips, -garlic pickle, mango, fresh coconut, and an old-time OCC favorite, wild berry. The onion bhajis were crisp and packed a little bit more spice than a normal restaurant offering.

The four mains were served up buffet style together with rice and chapatis: butter chicken, Punjabi Paneer, Lamb Rogan Josh, and Bengali Mustard Chicken.

Votes for the favorite dish were equally shared among all four entrants, with butter chicken marginally the winner.

The evening was not short on entertainment. Guests were treated or rather subjected to Kam’s “chutney” (A for effort), a mysterious video from our favorite ex-member, gift giving (not the feedback kind), shots, retirement home stories from a porch, one Indian song on repeat, a “heroic” guest appearance from Mariah Carey, a quiz and a trialist speech. With all that lot, who needs Disney?

With the meet over, attention turned towards scoring. The team-building Peppa Pig trip was definitely needed as in the intervening time; cracks began to surface in the Bazmati Catering Co. empire as Shanghai’s busiest man (an excellent stand-in for the Chairman on the night) took his time double-checking results.

Drum rollllllll… here are the results:

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OCC Core Competencies

#1 

Service

 

#2

Quality

 

#3

Customer Care

 

#4

Atmosphere

 

#5

Value

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