La Porte Des Indes restaurant opens

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La Porte Des Indes restaurant opens

Dubai fanfare for new restaurant.

By (David Light)

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Published: Mon 20 Jan 2014, 11:57 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 6:11 PM

ONLY IN THIS city could the gala opening of an eatery be transformed into, not only a fashion show and club night, but also a mainstream celebrity grazing pen. The next big thing in Indian cuisine, La Porte Des Indes at The Address Dubai Mall, let its first patrons over the threshold on Saturday night, among them Bollywood actors Arjun Kapoor and Neha Sharma, along with famed Asian designer Neeta Lulla who provided the sartorial presentation.

Aiming to make a splash in the cuisine’s already oversubscribed market, La Porte Des Indes is the emirate’s first Gallic-inspired culinary concept, its dishes hailing from the former French Indian colony of Pondicherry. The weekend’s event looked to trumpet the restaurant’s heritage and distinction by deviating from the tried and tested method of merely putting on a bit of a bash for local dignitaries and media.

The centre of the moodily lit dining room was transformed into a catwalk, down which models strut to the beat of 1930s ragtime, wearing Indo-European frocks.

“My collection reflects exactly the restaurant’s philosophy,” clothes maker Lulla said. “It’s a mix of cultures and the creations are vintage-chic.”

Asked whether there were any obvious crossover points regarding food and fashion (assumed unlikely given the waif-like forms wearing the outfits), Lulla replied, “I think creativity in any form has a connect.

“Both areas of creativity create a lifestyle that is aspirational.”

It was not until late on that the Hindi film star contingent made their way to proceedings. Posing for pictures and fulfilling their dedicated time with the sponsors, Neha Sharma looked the part, while Arjun Kapoor espoused his love of food to collected journalists. Given the widely reported amount of weight he felt he had to lose before entering the movie business with Ishaqzaade, though, perhaps this relationship is not as strong as it used to be.

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