papajoe

Papa Joe – Two Ordinary Joes

Posted on October 31, 2018 by admin

Two ordinary joe(s), Chit Gurung and Executive Chef, Raaj Gurung not only play the role of father to their children but also take up the role of “Papa”, meaning father in Spanish, at Papa Joe.

The pair co-founded the Latin American style bar and grill when they realised Kowloon’s busiest district was missing something- a taste of latin American cuisine.

Though they may be just your ordinary dads , Chit shares with us why Papa Joe’s steaks are more than just ordinary and what the pair’s best moment in opening their first restaurant is.

As a chef and restaurateur how do you deal with local challenges when setting up a restaurant?

Hong Kong is an international city and there are a variety of cuisines and lots of competition. Hence, when planning our restaurant, we thought about cuisines that are not too common. We decided to serve Latin American cuisine and Argentinian steaks as they are fairly limited and also exotic. Most steakhouses are also far outside most people’s price range so we offer a more affordable alternative for diners.

How do you cater to local tastes?

Rather than catering to local tastes, Papa Joe brings a taste of Latin America to Hong Kong as well as raising awareness of the cuisines.

Is being a father similar to managing a restaurant / kitchen

It is very similar in the way that as Papas of the restaurant, we need to take care of our staff. Opening a new restaurant is not easy and it can be very chaotic, we had a some untrained staff that needed guidance and as fathers, you need to nurture your children and understand that it takes time to grow into well rounded people and the same applies to training and providing for your staff

Do you cook for your family at home? If so, what is their favourite dish?

Working in the food and beverage industry means that you work long hours and play various roles to get your job done. We start work from 2pm and sometime have to stay as late as 3am so that doesn’t leave much time to cook at home.

What’s special about working at Papa Joe?

Opening a restaurant for the first time is chaotic. There’s not enough staff and sometimes you need to play different roles to get the job done. But more importantly you need patience and a nurturing personality so that the staff enjoy the place they work in. I guess what’s special about working here is that you feel welcome and at home. it’s not just a job, we treat each other like family.

How would you describe the dynamic among the Papa Joe family?

How would you describe the dynamic among the Papa Joe family?

Here we welcome our staffs to be themselves and to voice out their opinions. Whether they disagree or have an idea to make changes in the menu, we’re open to hear them out. We have a fun and open relationship.

Best moment when opening a venue?

As first-time restaurateurs, seeing Papa Joe packed with diners who were enjoying the atmosphere, satisfied with the food and gave compliments to our chef after the dedicated preparation we put in is the best moment.

Most under pressure moment / biggest disaster?

During our grand opening day back in June, our kitchen was understaffed and we had hungry guests and diners – whom we did not want to disappoint – waiting at the restaurant. While under pressure, our chef kept his cool and stayed focused. Despite the slightly longer waiting times, our guests and

diners were nonetheless satisfied with the food they ordered.

What’s next for your restaurant?

We are looking to expand the Brazilian spectrum in our menu and develop more Latin-American-inspired beverages.

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