The Inspiration of Bell Bottom
Our Founder, Pankaj Rawat, has been working in the Indian food industry here in Edinburgh since 2015. In his experience, he always felt that due to mass demand for Indian food in the city, the quality of food was missed and here, he saw a gap in the market.
In the UK, Indian food has had more of an influence from India’s neighbouring countries of Pakistan and Bangladesh. These countries are more heavy eaters of meat and fish, which use a lot of oil and grease to make the meat soft and tender.
Pankaj had the vision to make Indian food healthy and more colourful, the way authentic Indian food should be. He cooks his curries in an authentic method using much less oil and instead more water to absorb spices. He created the Bell Bottom menu to show the Capital City that we can enjoy the authentic food and flavours of India without adding any harmful colouring agents or additives.
Pankaj was always very passionate about Indian food. As a child, he used to help out his mother a lot in the kitchen. This built in his mind that cooking was an easy and enjoyable task, so after finishing high school he went on to study hospitality management and aimed to pursue his dream to be a chef.
When he moved to Scotland in 2009, he found eating Indian food at restaurants was not as good and tasty as it was in India. He was always raving to his Scottish friends about how great Indian food can be and how healthy and cheap it is to cook at home. Whilst working at Tesco Bank, his team manger once said his lunch box always looked that good that he should start bringing some extra food for them once a week! After a year of working there, they motivated him to open his own restaurant. This gave Pankaj that much needed push to get himself into the professional hospitality trade in 2015. He quit his banking career and started working in a small Indian takeaway/restaurant called Daba Dinner on West Nicholson Street. This is where he started to realise the problem with food delivery times and cold food complaints due to the shortage of experienced staff.
Pankaj went on to work in a number of Indian restaurants and takeaways across the city to learn more about the problems in the industry and how he could learn to solve them, making life easier for kitchen teams and also for the delivery drivers. Finally, after working a solid 5 years in these establishments, he was ready to make the leap to open his very own Indian restaurant and takeaway, Bell Bottom.
“I am still working very hard every day to overcome problems and implement solutions to ensure the efficiency of my business. I am very certain one day Bell Bottom will be named a Michelin star Indian takeaway in Edinburgh and which is my ultimate dream.” – Pankaj Rawat, October 2021.