The New York Diet

Hotelier Vikram Chatwal Discovers He Likes It Raw

“[Sikhs] try to restrict meats but not that much. I still love eating meat.”haha Photo: Melissa Hom

Earlier this week hotelier and reformed party/playboy Vikram Chatwal spilled the beans on his partnership with Geoffrey Zakarian. His affinity for fine dining developed relatively late in life — “I used to only eat Indian food when I was young,” says the meat-loving Sikh, who still dines at his mother’s restaurant, Bombay Palace, two or three times a week when in from London. However, at some point Japanese food turned him on to the cuisine of other cultures. “Half the time during the week I go Asian — whether it’s Thai, Japanese, or Chinese.” We met him for some mini-burger fondue and champagne at Nightlife, the lounge in his own Night Hotel, to find out what he eats the rest of the time.

Tuesday, June 12
I had granola and mixed cereals together.

I’m going to the Waverly Inn for a friend’s birthday. When I’m looking forward to a big dinner, I have breakfast, but I don’t really have lunch.

Monday, June 11
I was out in Long Island. Old Brookville has good restaurants — a lot of Asian restaurants. It’s a bit more casual. Now that I have a daughter, I spend half the week there and half the week in the city. I travel more to London now and to India. London has become a lot more of a fine-dining experience — a lot of the big restaurants are a lot more elaborate. The fusion wave that hit here a while ago is hitting there now.

For lunch I had a hot dog.

I went to see a film, and after that I just grabbed some sushi.

Sunday, June 10
I ate at home in Long Island; my housekeeper made Pad Thai — noodles with vegetables and chicken.

That night the basketball game was on, so I ordered from a Chinese restaurant. I had Peking duck with the pancakes.

Saturday, June 9
For lunch I ordered a bagel with salmon and cream cheese from room service.

I went to Tomoe Sushi. The way they prepare their sushi is different. The taste is more intense — it’s not your typical Japanese. I think it’s a bit fresher. I had a spicy-tuna hand roll and some eel and some toro. One thing I’ve been trying to do recently is trying to eat healthy but still trying to eat. With the sushi you get to eat quite a bit and enjoy your food, but it’s still healthy.

Friday, June 8
For lunch I had a split-pea soup from Au Bon Pain, which was delicious.

I went to Pure Food and Wine; that was my first raw-food experience. I thought it would be horrible, but it was pretty good. I had lasagne, and I had a biryani. The most surprising part was how I felt afterward — I didn’t feel like I had eaten. I felt quite light — no real food hangover. Also I had a couple of martinis made out of sake. You usually feel an intoxication, but this was very different. I look forward to going back there.

Related: Vikram’s Big Fat Sikh Wedding

Hotelier Vikram Chatwal Discovers He Likes It Raw