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Ramon MacCrohon, CEO of The Caviar Kaspia Group, discusses why the UAE was the ideal choice for the brand’s first location after the Paris original.
Why was Dubai the location of choice for Caviar Kaspia’s first location outside Paris?
I don’t believe there are many places in the world right now with as much diversity, entertainment offer and quality of restaurants and service as Dubai. Dubai has been an epicentre of food and entertainment for many years but the pandemic and the way It was handled, has taken Dubai to another level.
Since it was founded, Caviar Kaspia has been synonymous with edible luxury and has created a strong brand that is ready for its international expansion. To be considered an important international brand you need to be present where all the other important restaurant brands are and that is without hesitation, DUBAI.
Caviar Kaspia beautifully merges a history between France and Russia. Can you explain more about how the brand started?
Caviar Kaspia was founded in 1927 by a Russian, named Arcady Fixon, who fled his motherland after the Bolshevik revolution of 1917 to settle in Paris with his family. Kaspia is the story of his journey, when you enter Kaspia in Paris its Tsarist-era Russian luxe and French chic decoration transports you to another time and place and is a big element of the Kaspia experience.
What sets the F&B scene apart in the UAE from the rest of the world?
Dubai is one of the most luxurious cities in the world, as well as one of the most diverse and international and, has become a holiday destination for a very wealthy clientele.
There are many things that set the F&B scene apart from the rest of the world. One is the huge number of successful international concepts and brands that are here all coexisting in the DIFC and hotels where alcohol is allowed. This creates healthy competition where we all do our best to have the most beautiful decoration, the best quality products and the highest level of service in order to enhance the experience and create a loyal client base and succeed.
The brand was founded in 1927 – what would you say is the secret to success when it comes to creating a brand that stands the test of time?
By Looking into the future and adapting to the trends while remaining an institution that stands the test of time. In Kaspia Paris the Maitre D directs his team like a theatre director and every night like actors they play a different part. This creates an experience and emotional bond with our customers who are also involuntarily part of the play. Famous actors, singers, fashion designers, models, local intellectuals, the occasional politician, art gallerists and late-night theatre and opera clients create one of Paris most perpetually interesting mixes, in the first floor, intimate wood-panelled rooms giving the feeling of being in a private club rather than in a restaurant. Even on calm nights, there is a feeling of camaraderie that comes from knowing you are in the right place.
What is the core DNA of Caviar Kaspia and how did you ensure this remained intact when migrating the brand?
Caviar Kaspia has remained through time the prestigious symbol of a certain « art de Vivre » and we have made sure to keep its DNA while adapting it to the local environment. The soul of Kaspia Paris has been transported to Dubai through bringing the Kaspia philosophy to Restauration, the decoration, the menu, the high-end but friendly approach to clients, the eclectic mix of the fashionable Kaspia clients, with local touches so that the experience is similar to the one in Paris but with a local flavour.
How did you approach the interior of the DIFC location and was it a decision to keep the space small and private from the outset?
Kaspia is the story of a journey. When you enter Kaspia in Paris you are transported to another time and place. When Designing the new space in Dubai, we wanted to tell the story of Kaspia’s founder, Arcady Fixon; who fled Russia after the Bolshevic revolution of 1917 and settled in Paris to open Kaspia in 1927 – the Story continues with his international travels around the world opening Kaspia wherever he went, with his Tsarist-era Russian Luxe and French Chic. This year we are also opening London, Sao Paulo and Los Angeles so it was very important to give each place its own unique identity, while at the same time respecting the codes of Kaspia Paris so that no matter to which Kaspia the client went to around the world, he or she would immediately feel at home and experience the Caviar Kaspia Lifestyle.
Another aspect is keeping the place small and cosy with that very exclusive club feeling, but especially, to give the sensation that is very personal, like having dinner in a Pre-Revolution Aristocratique dining room. The goal is to create a space that feels special, but not at all pretentious. We were lucky enough to create Kaspia Dubai from the ground up. There was nothing in the space when we started designing it, and with the help and guidance of our local design team H&H Interior Design, we managed to create a great atmosphere composed of two floors with two separate entrances, one through the Gate Village, that gives access to an elevator that connects both floors, and the other one on the ground floor with its own exclusive valet parking. The Ground floor is the restaurant where all the Kaspia values and codes are in evidence with an outdoor terrace. The top floor is the lounge and bar area with an outdoor terrace where music is playing while clients indulge in their favourite Kaspia cocktails while nibbling on our signature dishes.
Is there anything specific to the Dubai branch that you won’t find anywhere else?
Dubai is unique and so will Kaspia Dubai be – the menu, although carrying all the iconic dishes such as the world most famous baked potato topped with Caviar our Smoked Salmon with house blinis, our King Crab and crayfish salad and smoked fish there will be a selection of raw fish, pastas, risottos, fresh fish and other delicacies. The dessert menu will have some of Paris house classics but our Chef Patissier in Dubai will create many sweet surprises. As in Paris, It will be a luxuriously straightforward menu, high-end gastronomy without being stuffy or stuck-up.
Can you tell us how you approach customer retention and what sets Caviar Kaspia apart from the wealth of other dining locations?
Kaspia is old-world elegance with a contemporary clientele, so the hardest thing is to maintain this equilibrium. To keep up with today’s changing world, new trends, fashions and tastes without losing our values and remaining true to our intemporel spirit and soul. Fashion by definition becomes unfashionable and even though we cater to the fashion crowd we are not and do not want to be a fashionable restaurant and never become unfashionable. The fact that it is a smaller venue with a clubby feeling differentiates from some of the bigger, less personal restaurants. In Kaspia Dubai we want to make customers feel they are at home.
What are the hero dishes on the menu?
There are two many too mentioned but without a doubt, the world-famous baked potato with caviar is definitely the star.
November’s – ‘The Timelessness Issue’ – Download Now
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