When You Send a Foodie to Lunch With Ayushmann Khurrana

Ayushmann Khurrana invited us to lunch, and well, we went!

3 min read
Ayushmann Khurrana, a plate of BBQ prawns, and Almas Khateeb from <b>The Quint</b>.

I’ll admit it. I don’t dart across to the cinema hall every time a new film releases. Because most of the time, I’m standing outside interviewing the film goers. So when my editor told me on Monday morning that we’ve been invited to lunch with actor Ayushmann Khurrana, I just stared blankly at him saying, “but I’m carrying lunch”.

Well, too bad. I still had to go, and the prospect of good food enticed me more than anything. I’m a foodie, if you don’t believe me, watch this. In fact, if my aforementioned boss would pay me in food, I would gladly accept. But money is fine too, whatever.

I begrudgingly handed my mother’s excellent Prawns Pulao to my editor, I went, with my cab headed to the appointed restaurant.

Editor’s Note: The Prawns Pulao was, indeed, excellent.


The lunch was to celebrate Ayushmann’s success post Bareilly Ki Barfi and Shubh Mangal Savdhan, and I honestly haven’t watched both these films. Now don’t get me wrong, I actually watched Vicky Donor way back when on a date. And even though my date was boring, the film wasn’t. I thought both Ayushmann and the film were fantastic.

Because we, at The Quint, believe that reaching on time is essential I reached the venue by 12:50, even though the invite said 1pm.

Editor’s Note: Almas, you’re the first one to reach if there’s someone’s birthday cake in the office, of course you’ll reach on time for lunch.

There I sat, sipping my iced-tea, waiting for Ayushmann Khurrana, talking to the PRs and the other reporters. In fact, it felt a bit weird. I was actually having a conversation with the PRs rather than them asking me if I’ll do a story on this event. Most of the time, that is what happens at such things.

Editor’s Note: Are you sure, Almas?

In true Bollywood sense, the star was late. However, since I had already started with my food, I didn’t really mind that.

There was a chaat counter, and the paani-puri was made with a spicy anaar-paani rather than the usual kothmir-pudina paani. Paani de raang se hi pata chal raha tha. I shamelessly had a serving even after I was done with lunch. Oh, also, the first time I tried duck! Very interesting texture, but a bit chewy for my taste. But, then, I spotted squid. There’s a special place in my heart for squid. I was first introduced to the item in Gokarna, on a “college” trip with friends. And then I had the pleasure of having fantastic calamari in Italy, and now, I must always have it if it’s on the menu. Always. So, on a live counter, they put in some Schezwan Sauce, and fried the squid, wok-style. Bliss.

Editor’s Note: Almas, this was supposed to be about Ayushmann Khurrana, please see me first thing tomorrow morning.

And then, in came Ayushmann. I’m going to call him by his first name now, because he’s my buddy now. No airs of arrogance, no diva-attitude, nothing. He came to each table (the entire restaurant was booked for this lunch), shook everyone’s hand. He ensured our plates were full. So apparently, this was Ayushmann’s idea all along. All he wanted to do, was call us over, and feed us good food because he had two successful releases. No talk about any upcoming films. No announcements that he’ll be doing something soon. Nothing. It was mainly him, sipping his iced-tea, and chilling, with us. Of course, like a blithering idiot, I blurted out that I hadn’t watched his recent releases, but hey, he’s so cool, ice cubes are jealous of him.

Editor’s Note: Finally.


Ayushmann, bro, I’m watching both, Bareilly Ki Barfi and Shubh Mangal Savdhan, this weekend. Pinky promise. xoxo

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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