Jasmine Khan, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
Bang Tan Shefs Cafe-Restaurant is a pretty well-known name for hanging out and enjoying Korean delicacies among BTS’ Indian ARMY and K-Pop and K-culture fans since quite some time. Located in Mumbai, India; this BTS-themed Korean and Multi-cuisine Restaurant is one of its kind; that offers their visitors unique experiences to indulge in which is not restricted to just food and drinks. In the past, this restaurant has organised a number of BTS-themed birthday events and anniversaries, K-Pop themed parties, Korean Affair and much more. With lots of buzz around, Bang Tan Shefs recently organised India’s first K-Pop Club Night at Amethhyyst Club; and was a huge success among the Hallyu loving fans. On behalf of Hallyuism, here’s an excerpt from the interview with the owner and founder of Bang Tan Shefs Restaurant, Ms. Riya Goon. Take a look to know more!
Please give us a brief introduction about you and your team 🙂
My name is Riya Goon. I am 28 years old and founded “BANG TAN SHEF’S CAFE-RESTAURANT” in 2020. We are based in Mira Road, Mumbai. We just celebrated our 2-year anniversary in March and we are so grateful to everyone who has supported us so far. Our team currently is very small but efficient. With ARMYs all around, we have a lot of fun while working!!
Please share a brief about how Bang Tan Shefs Restaurant came into existence? As from the name, it is quite clear that BTS do play an inspiring role behind the same, we would like to know about this story from you?
I’ve always aspired to cater for people and help any human in need since my college days. I have been looking for inspirations that drive me toward my career path. Surprisingly, it was my teenage sister who became my sole inspiration. She showed me from the very beginning the meaning and love behind the boys in BTS and the valuable lesson of loving yourself first that they reflect in everything that they do. I could not fathom the response we received from this small community; they needed a safe space and I wanted to provide them with that and we are striving to become a second family for ARMYs around the country.
Bang Tan Shefs Restaurant is India’s first BTS themed Korean and multi-cuisine restaurant. How would you describe the overall experience as an entrepreneur to take this initiative? Starting out, were there any challenges related to opening this cafe? How did you manage?
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” We took that single step 2 years ago and look where we are now. It has been a rollercoaster journey with a lot of ups and downs. We’ve battled haters, vandalism and general opposition toward supporting BTS. I guess “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” and we have become stronger. We have had a very strong support system of ARMYs with us and I hope to continue this bond in the future.
Over the past year, you have organised several BTS/ARMY and K-Pop themed events in this restaurant such as K-Pop Karaoke Party, Korean Affair, Fun with Flea, Wooga Squad Tattoo Marathon, BTS members’ Birthday and K-Pop groups anniversary events (Red Velvet, Twice, Ateez and more). Which event or moment has been the most memorable for you while hosting or organising them?
Every moment was memorable, to be honest. We wish to promote love for all K-Pop groups and Korean culture in general. So it is very wholesome seeing all the fans so happy to spend their valuable time with us, bonding over things we enjoy. The Korean Affair, held on BTS’ 9th anniversary on 13th June, was probably the most hectic, at the same time rewarding moment. The months of planning and the days leading up to it were stressful. But we were all happy with the response from ARMY and hope to do it again.
Quite recently, you have organised and hosted India’s first K-Pop themed Club Night, “K-Pop Blowout Party” at Amethhyst in Mumbai. How was your overall experience with this event? How would you describe the vibe of this party? Please share with us how fun and happening this event was and what all preparations went behind the same!
We had always wanted to cater to the older demographic of our customers. The hard-working people who deserve to let their hair down once in a while and what better than K-Pop music in a club! Amethhyyst was supportive of our decision and we are very grateful to them for letting us organise the event. The response to the announcement itself was crazy! Our Instagram DMs were filled with messages wanting to know more about the event! We are so glad we were able to cater to our ARMYs’ needs and we hope to party again with them!
What were some of your favourite tracks from this party night you absolutely loved?
Ooooh! That’s difficult to choose. Euphoria is a personal favourite. Daechwita was the best head boppin’ song ever and it is always fun seeing the crowd vibe to the song. Mic Drop too was a great hit among the crowd. Dynamite was mind-blowing as well if you get what I mean. Well, I could keep talking about songs all day!
As the popularity of BTS, K-Pop, and Hallyu in general is ever-growing and expanding in India. Do you have any plans to branch out and expand the chain of your restaurants in other cities as well in near future?
We get a lot of DMs asking us to open branches in other cities. Who knows what the future holds?
Apart from the food and the theme of the cafe, what do you think makes Bang Tan Shefs Restaurant unique and special in your own words?
Bang Tan Shef’s strives to be more than just a restaurant. It is a safe haven for people of all ages and communities to come together and bond over their mutual love for K-Pop, K-Culture and Korean food. We aim to help people discover themselves and learn to love themselves, in the process grow as a family. We just want to spread the message of loving yourself, as BTS has done to the world.
What kind of events and happenings can we expect in the future? Are there any exciting events in planning already?
We do have a few events up our proverbial sleeve! We hope to surprise you with more events for sure!
Lastly, please do share some words of encouragement for our young readers and Hallyu supporters, who wish to pursue their dream just like how you have pursued and achieved yours in a way through Bang Tan Shefs Restaurant. This could motivate someone to take their first step today!
Never underestimate yourself. Just be yourself and love yourself. There will be people who will try to bring you down, but if you believe in yourself, nothing can stop you from achieving your dream.
Just like in Mikrokosmos by BTS,
“Shine, dream, smile
Oh, let us light up the night
We shine just the way we are Tonight”
Lastly, the entire team of Hallyuism is thankful to Ms. Riya, for taking out her valuable time for this interview. We wish the very best to Bang Tan Shefs in all their future endeavours and lots of love and success!