There was some discussion about Indian food during one of my meetings last week and it made me crave for the dishes at Om Lifestyle Store and Café.
I found an opportunity to satisfy my hankering last Thursday. Fortunately, Millet (my balikbayan friend from Italy) loves Indian cuisine so she did not argue when I declared (I did not give her much choice) that we were to have dinner at Om.
So we ordered Butter chicken, Mutton Rogan Josh, Chicken Biryani, Naan and two samosas each. Parang bitin pa nga. We skipped the Gulab Jamun because the place closes at 8:00 pm and it was already 8:45 when it crossed my mind to inquire until what time they’re open. Ack, dyahe! I am usually there for lunch, it was my first time to come for dinner so I had no idea. I used to work for restaurants so I know how the staff feels when guests extend their stay.
Om’s Samosa has been my default bitbit to house parties since I discovered it last year. A few days ago, I saw a photo of Kebab patties on their Instagram account. According to the post, it is available in vegetarian and non-vegetarian. Aha, happy to find something new to bring as pasalubong to my vegetarian friend, Judy Lao the next time she invites for dinner.
Behind Om is the mother-daughter tandem of Suman and Anjie Gogna also known as the mother-sister of Boys’ Night Out DJ/host/entrepreneur, Sam YG.
“I began to bring in things from my travels to India in 1999. It started with my friends taking notice of the things I use and the Indian ambience of my house. Pretty soon, it turned into a business of hand-picked Indian products, such as fabrics, clothing, accessories, home décor and much more. Through the years, we have been known as the best source for exclusive Indo-Western finds. My clients have come to trust my taste, that I have become sort of their personal shopper. When I travel and they place orders, what I pick for them is usually liked by them. From there, it organically turned into a business which I operated from our home. It was called Gifts of the Maharani then. We have also joined some bazaars and supplied to specialty stores. I had been wanting to do this concept for some time. And now that my daughter is on board with the business, I thought of expanding it to a lifestyle store and cafe. We wanted to reach a wider audience,” tita Suman related during one of our lunches.
“My friends usually request me to cook them an Indian meal and I love to host at home. So I often have friends over to try my Indian cooking. They love the food I prepare so I thought of integrating the Indian cafe as part of our lifestyle store,” she adds.
“At Om, it’s a complete Indian experience because you are surrounded by Indian decor. You can enjoy reading our coffee table books, and even have a nice conversation with 2 charming Indian ladies at the store (that’s us!). We are very happy when we have guests who leave Om thanking us for ‘taking them to India’. Our cafe is also where we accommodate inquiries on planning tours and trips to India for those who are interested since it’s also our family business in Delhi,” shared Anjie.
For such a tiny space, there’s quite a lot to see. I find so much joy in going through their display. It’s the same giddy feeling I get when I visit Gourdo’s.
Speaking of Gourdo’s, the home specialty store opened another branch recently. Located at the 4th floor of the Megamall’s Mega Fashion Hall, it sports a warmer and more sophisticated look. Big change, actually.
Those who are not into cooking will be happy to discover that aside from kitchen and dining ware, they’ll find shelves devoted to bed and bath, scrapbooking and crafts, and cutie-cutie knick knacks perfect as gifts.
Behind a pair of closed doors is a workshop being constructed. I was told that it will be opened soon for demonstrations and hands-on classes on cake decorating, baking, knife skills, and scrapbooking, among others. I would like to attend their calligraphy class one of the days. Baka sakaling may talent pala ako du’n!
For more details, call the Gourdo’s 24-hour hotline at (02) 8123022. Or log on to www.gourdos.com.
Om Lifestyle and Café is at 2/F Fox Square Building, 53 Connecticut St. Northeast Greenhills. Call 7057072 / 6316983 for more information. Or log on to www.omlifestyleandcafe.com.