EDISON, NJ ... August 12, 2013
... In recognition of 30 years of innovation and service, the New Jersey Restaurant Association has named Sneh Mehtani "Restaurateur of the Year," its highest distinction. She is the first Asian to receive the award.
Mrs. Mehtani will be honored for her success at the NJRA gala on Monday, December 2nd at Mayfair Farms in West Orange.
"When my mother opened the original Moghul restaurant in NYC, she was a trailblazer," says son Shaun, who's been working alongside her since he was six. "There were few--if any--Indian women running restaurants and this cuisine was nowhere
|Sneh and Shaun Mehtani|
near as popular as it is today. Since this is our 30th year in
business and my mom is retiring, the NJRA recognition is sort of a lifetime achievement award!"
The Mehtani Restaurant Group has grown to one of the Northeast's largest family-owned South Asian restaurant groups. Current holdings include three exciting venues located within The Hyatt Morristown: Mehndi (authentic Punjabi & Mughalai fare); SM23 Bar & Lounge (hip cocktail culture vibe) and Ming II (reinvented pan-Asian).
Edison properties include Moghul
(Northern Indian cuisine) and Ming
(Far Eastern/Asian Fusion), both located at Oak Tree Center. The family's popular catering space, Mirage Banquet Hall
, is an in-demand site for social celebrations and corporate functions.
|Mehndi Executive Chef Uttam Singh Rawat|
See Mehtani Restaurant Group Menus Here
Sneh and her husband Satish have turned over long-term visionary thinking for the company--along with day-to-day operations--to their son, Shaun, who at the age of 29 has assumed the title of Managing Director. Part of this process has been a refresh of menus, decor, staffing and back-of-house elements.
For example, the flagship Moghul Restaurant underwent a $750,000 facelift to bring ambiance more in line with cuisine. That includes the creation of bi-level dining spaces with jewel-blue walls adorned with paintings and hand-embroidered art pieces from the original NYC Moghul. Next door, Ming features new china, new carpeting and extensive kitchen upgrades.
Shaun also directs MRG's culinary team, spearheading a company-wide effort to incorporate healthier fare onto the menu. "Less fried, less batter in our traditional cooking; that's the mantra these days," he notes. New menu items reflective of the trend include baked (not fried!) Paneer ke Sholay (homemade Indian cottage cheese, celery, carrot, cabbage stuffing) at Mehndi. This fall, SM23 will also serve a broader array of comfort/bar fare: think Shammi Kabab and Kimchi Sliders -- and more.
"My family's business started a few months before I was born; this year, both it and I will turn 30. I've grown up in this business--waiting tables, tending bar, catering large Indian weddings--but I've never been in charge,"
observed Shaun. "My only hope is that I can build on the strong reputation and loyal following my parents fostered while moving the company forward, both in terms of the creativity of our concepts and eventual expansion plans."
For details on all properties, see MRG Fact Sheet HERE