If you ask a local cab driver about what are the places that a tourist must visit here, he will tell you visit the forts and the temples initially. Following those he would name a restaurant. “That’s the one run by Ravindra Jadeja,” he would say to ensure that you get excited.
But then, he is not to be blamed. For the cricket enthusiasts of the city, ‘Jaddu’s Food Field’, has become one of the popular hangout destinations.
The multi-cuisine restaurant, which was launched on December 12, 2012 to mark the birthday of its owner, has recently undergone a revamp.
“We were not functioning for two months. We again reopened on September 26 with a new look, and our guests have liked the décor,” the India all-rounder’s elder sister, Naina Jadeja, who runs the restaurant tells Sportstar .
As you walk into the restaurant, which is located a bit on the outskirts of the city, the first thing that catches your eye is a wicket and a little piece of astro turf.
On one hand, even as pictures of Jadeja and his team-mates adorn the walls , there are also several memorabilia including his first bat and a few red cherries.
Also, at one end of the restaurant, a Chennai Super Kings jersey hangs, framed. “The idea has always been to give a feel of the cricketing environment. That has been the USP and our guests really enjoy this feel,” Naina says.
With the cricketer busy with his international commitments, Naina has been looking after the business for four years and she plans to extend the brand across the country.
“We want the brand to grow but then we don’t want to rush things. We want to take it slow and ensure that the expansion is smooth,” Naina, who is also a trained paramedic, says.
While the restaurant has developed a steady clientele in Rajkot, regular cricket in the city has also helped spike the popularity of the brand. The restaurant also has a specialty — every time Jadeja achieves success on the field, the guests are served ‘free desserts’.
“We have maintained this tradition till date. Whenever he does well on the field (in international circuit), we offer some special desserts for the guests. Even they enjoy this gesture,” Naina says.
Last year, the restaurant was raided by the Rajkot Municipal Corporation, but Naina makes it clear that the restaurant has always maintained its ‘standard’ really high.
“We don’t serve food if we are not satisfied with it. But then, it is tough running a restaurant business,” she says.
Even though the Indian cricketers were in the city for the first Test, they did not come to the renovated restaurant due to security reasons, but during Ranji Trophy, most of the players make it a point to drop in at the restaurant.
“Once the season begins, many players come here for dinner. They know how the food is and they just love it,” Naina says.
While it is a multi-cuisine restaurant, the price range is pocket-friendly, with cuisines starting from Rs 150. “Our quality is our USP and we have always maintained that,” Naina says.
Though the restaurant has his name, Jadeja doesn’t get time to visit the outlet often. At times, he drops in for a sudden quick visit.
“He knows the restaurant is in safe hands. Let him focus on the game, I will handle this,” the elder sister says, with a smile.
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