Sauce: No longer a sidekick

Apr 29, 2018, 06:14 IST | Anju Maskeri

A new delivery joint in Bandra hopes to woo you with their mindboggling variety of dips, paired with wontons, momos and popcorn

 With every box, you get two complimentary sauces of your choice
With every box, you get two complimentary sauces of your choice

While living in Toronto a couple of years ago, event manager Kenneth D'souza and his friend Imad Patel, dreamt of opening a fast food joint. "We essentially wanted to have something more than hotdogs," says D'souza, as he recalls how the streets were dotted with carts selling the favourite American food garnished with mustard and mayonnaise.

Cut to present: They are in India. The duo, along with partners Rajat Ryan and Krunal Shah, have launched their first QSR called Pop Won Mo (PWM) that specialises in popcorn, wontons and momos.

Popwon

Except, it is located in quiet corner of Pali Hill, Bandra, and not Canada, as the owners envisioned. "Reality hit us when we moved to Mumbai for work that setting up a food joint in Toronto would be impractical. So we switched things around," says D'souza when we meet him and the team at the no-frills delivery joint, that rubs shoulders with Cuckoo Club. For the owners, the decision to specialise in momos, popcorn and wontons emerged from the need to offer non-messy, quick eats for the busy Mumbaikar. But the question remained: How to do it differently? "That's when the idea of offering it with a wide variety of sauces took shape," says D'souza, who has DJed for various clubs in the city.

A glance at PWM's menu, folded origami style, reveals 18 different varieties of sauces that you can choose from. Priced at Rs 29 for 80 gm, there's Coke BBQ, a concoction of Coke Cola and barbecue sauce, Maggi cream using Maggi Masala (our favourite), and Sweet Soy, a cinnamon-infused, honey and soy sauce. With every box of popcorn, momos or wontons, two sauces are offered complimentary, and the choice is entirely yours.

 (Top to bottom) Rajat Ryan, Imad Patel and Kenneth D'souza
(Top to bottom) Rajat Ryan, Imad Patel and Kenneth D'souza

"Everything in Mumbai comes with the standard schezwan sauce, and we wanted to break the monotony," he says. No wonder then in the last six months the outlet has turned into a sauce-testing lab with in-house chef Vidyun Sahni, who has catered to Bollywood celebrities like the Johars and the Roshans, concocting sauces. Her latest creation is the Old Monk and Coke sauce. "We want to create ridiculously crazy sauces that people haven't heard of. In fact, when we approached food consultants with the idea, Sahni was the only one who did not seem surprised.

The rest were unsure whether it would work," recalls D'souza. They plan to create 30 sauces by the end of next month. The health conscious among us will rejoice at the fact that there's no maida in any of their offerings. Instead, they have the Panko, a Japanese-style breadcrumb which lends it an airy, crunchy and crispy texture. The items are reasonably priced, where a large tub of prawn TNT popcorn (prawn marinated in gunpowder) will cost you Rs 379 and a medium, Rs 299. For the vegetarians, there's a large tub of Bhut Aaya Bhago (bhut jolokia and paneer) for Rs 329 and a medium one for Rs 249. Considering they're catering to the Mumbaikar on the go, the outlet is open till 3 am.

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