NEW DELHI: Call it out landish, Sri Lankan cricketers Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara hope to do in India what Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag could not: win over the taste buds of Indians.
The two Sri Lankan cricketers are toying with the idea of bringing their popular seafood restaurant, Ministry of Crab, to India, Jayawardene has said.
“Kumar (Sangakkara) and I have been looking forward to it and, maybe, we will bring it here one day as opportunities are there,” he told ET over the phone.
Jayawardene is in New Delhi, captaining the city team Delhi Daredevils in the two-month long Indian Premier League.
The cricketers opened Ministry of Crab last year in partnership with renowned Sri Lankan chef Darshan Munidasa who runs a chain of Japanese restaurants, ‘Nihonbashi’, in Colombo.
Jayawardene, however, said Ministry of Crab, which only uses export-grade lagoon crabs and has proved a hit in Colombo, needs to consolidate its operations before foraying into India. If it clicks in India, then the two Sri Lankan cricketers would be outdoing their Indian counterparts Tendulkar and Sehwag who both have seen their culinary venture bomb.
A restaurant chain called Tendulkar’s, co-promoted by India’s greatest cricket icon, has been closed after poor response. “We closed it in 2009 as it wasn’t doing well,” says Ravi Deol, chairman of hospitality fund India Hospitality Corp that acquired Tendulkar’s original partner Mar Hotels and Restaurants.