Chef Harpal Singh Sokhi Shares Details On His New Restaurant, Karigari

Chef Harpal Singh Sokhi has opened his ninth restaurant in Delhi, called Karigari. He was very particular about each and every minute detail of the restaurant and wanted people to build a relationship not just with the food but also the ambience. He said, “For the interiors of Kaarigiri, I was very clear with my interior designer that everything should have a wow factor and be timeless.”

“The design needed a distinctive color scheme so that people could recognize Kaarigiri from a distance. From the façade to every detail inside—the tiles, the fabric of the chairs, the color scheme, the bar, and the selfie point—we ensured each element stood out,” he added. 

Being a chef-driven restaurant, Chef Harpal paid attention to curated sets, like the chutney pots with a map of Punjab and the hand grinder (hawam dasta) containing salt from his mother’s kitchen. They even use the special chaat masala that his mom makes at home. On the table, they offer papaya relish, homemade green chutney, and a sweet chutney blend from his Turban Tadka kitchen. 

“Every aspect of the restaurant is thoughtfully crafted, including the plate designs, which reflect my mother’s journey from Rawalpindi (where she was born) to West Bengal, and my culinary training in Hyderabad, Delhi, and Lucknow. The plates feature a map of our journeys, making them very emotional for us,” he said.

“The chandeliers are made from spoons, incorporating the food and beverage theme even in the lighting. This attention to detail creates a unique experience. When guests come in, they read the menu, see the plates, hear the stories behind each dish, notice the chutney sets with the map of Punjab, and admire the spoon chandeliers. All these elements together create a beautiful and unique atmosphere. This distinctive design was made possible by a team of like-minded people who understood the need to create something unique to stand out in the business,” he added. 

The journey of Kaarigiri, began during COVID when people thought the hospitality industry was doomed. Along with two great, young partners, Yogesh Sharma and Manish Sharma, he built a landmark restaurant chain that has been successful from day one.

“Our first restaurant opened in Noida, Sector 51. After a few successful months, we considered expanding immediately, but I knew from experience that we couldn’t rush it. I adhered to a clear management principle: scale gradually. From 0 to 1, then to 10, and so on. Each new restaurant should be within a manageable distance from the previous one to ensure smooth operations. We opened about 6–7 restaurants in Delhi. When we expanded outside Delhi, our first location was Dehradun, close enough to manage within a day’s travel. Our next location was in Bangalore’s Mall of Asia, a bit farther but a landmark location. Now, we’re opening our ninth restaurant in East Delhi, Karkardooma, and expect to reach double digits next month with our tenth restaurant in Indore. It’s been a great journey, filled with hard work,” he said.

“We know that to succeed, we must be involved every day, from morning till night. We focus on food quality, training and retraining staff, and staying deeply engaged with the restaurant’s pulse. Last year, we devoted 100% of our time to Kaarigiri and that’s why we’ve seen such positive results. We will continue building great “Kaarigiri” restaurants and honoring craftsmen across the country," he added.

But how do you strike a balance between all? “Yes, I wear many hats. I manage my digital network, endorse products, create products for FMCG companies, and have my own appliances. I stay busy with many projects and continuously read and learn about the businesses I’m involved in. However, right now, my focus is 100% on Kaarigiri to make it a great brand. Our goal in the next 3–4 years is to build a restaurant chain with about 50–60 locations and create a value of around Rs 1000 crore. That’s our aim. As things progress, we will hire people who can manage these businesses better than I can, and they will be the ones to drive those ventures forward.”

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