Having grown up in France, Naina was nostalgic for the familiar—authentic, French food that looks just as délicieux as it tastes—and a friendly neighbourhood bistro that serves it. So, just like that, after working with GL Events for two years, with no background in hospitality whatsoever, Naina quit her job to give the capital its first authentic French culinary destination, Le Bistro du Parc, in 2013.
She knew what she wanted—bistronomie, a rare breed of gastronomy served in a casual dining environment, focused on fresh, seasonal produce. Given her background (she's half-Indian, half French), Naina understands both her cuisine and her audience well. Today, it's not just discerning diners who are flocking to Le Bistro—a mean feat in a city where Italian is the go-to European cuisine (and French food considered bland). Plus, Le Bistro won the Times Food Award this year, in the Best French, Casual Diner category.
So, what's Naina's success to secret? "Keep working at it! And learn to take failure in your stride. Just the other day, a pipe broke in the restaurant, in the middle of service. I was horrified at first, but I quickly took off my stilettos, and got to damage control. Then, I passed on flutes of champagne to all the customers and made a joke about it," she laughs.