An HR professional and her brother had a harrowing experience last weekend when they chose to have lunch at a popular eatery – Smoke House Deli.
In a report by Mumbai Mirror, Amrita Shivkumar and her brother, Harish were at the popular restaurant in Pali Hill and were served a complimentary bread basket while they were waiting to order. The bread was served in a sac-like container and Amrita’s brother helped himself to a small piece of the bread stick, when they noticed something moving inside the container. In her interview with Mumbai Mirror, Shivkumar said, “My brother had a portion of the bread stick. Suddenly, I noticed that something was moving inside the bag”. When her brother didn’t believe her, Shivkumar poked the bag and they both noticed movement inside.
“I freaked out and called the waiter who came over and took the bag. I told my brother that there was a rat inside it. It couldn’t be anything else that would move inside like that,” said Shivkumar. Concerned about her brother’s auto immune condition, she said, “Since, he had already had a portion of the bread stick, I called up my family doctor. He prescribed some preventive medicines.”
Within a few minutes of this incident occurring, the restaurant manager came up to her and apologized, admitting to the fact that there was, in fact, a rat inside the bag. “Within half an hour of the incident, the city manager called me. He apologised repeatedly. But I made it clear that I would wait for 48 hours to see if my brother was fine, and would then decide on legal recourse.” Shivkumar added.
At around 10pm on Saturday, Amrita spoke to the COO of the Riyaaz Amlani-owned Impresario Entertainment & Hospitality, which runs Smoke House Deli, Jishnu Dutta, Amrita said, “He also apologised and said that he wanted to meet me and clear things out,”.
Subsequently, Amrita also met Dutta on Sunday evening at Smoke House Deli’s Lower Parel branch, where he gave her a tour of the kitchen and assured her that they were extremely cautious about maintaining hygiene in the kitchen. He also mentioned that they get regular pest control done in order to avoid any such incidents.
In an interview with Mumbai Mirror, Dutta said that they were extremely surprised and disturbed by the incident. “We diligently follow best practices and maintain the highest standards of sanitation. Our kitchens and back service areas are open for inspection at any point in time. Amrita and Harish are both regular customers and it was unfortunate what happened — we are genuinely sorry about it. We’re now redoubling our efforts to ensure this is never repeated.”, he added.
Amlani, the CEO and managing director was unavailable for comment.