Today’s interview comes all the way from Mumbai, and is brought to us by Dr Viquar S. Shaikh aka The Hungry Dentist! Dr Viquar is a dentist by profession and a foodie at heart. Before we proceed to his interview, here’s what he has to say to you:
Do what makes you feel good (unless it’s illegal then don’t do it). Start early, don’t wait for too long to do things that you believe in or makes you happy. You might face hurdles initially, but things will work gradually and have patience and be consistent. Also, visit your dentist every six months for routine check-ups. Don’t ignore your oral health; it is responsible for your overall well-being. Do give in to any bad addictions, and brush your teeth regularly and also floss them while you have them.
Let’s get to know the food journey of The Hungry Dentist.
Tell us about yourself.
My name is Dr Viquar S Shaikh. I am based in Mumbai. I am a dental surgeon by profession with MBA in hospital and healthcare management; I am a food lover; I like to read and be updated on technology, movies and fashion trends. To put out in four words I like films, food and fashion and technology.
How did you become passionate about food?
It’s been in the family, and into my genes as everyone in my family is a foodie. They like to cook great and amazing food at home. At the same time, we had this family routine since childhood where my dad used to take us to a restaurant or any food joint every week which was new or if he had heard good things about.
Have you stayed in any other city or country? If yes, how were your food experiences there?
I have stayed in Nasik and Pune for quite a few years, as I’d studied in these two cities. While I was in Nasik, it was in a nascent stage in terms of offering good options to food lovers as very few renowned brands had outlets there. So the options to explore were very few, but misal is something that Nasik is best at the offering. You won’t be disappointed either if it’s ShamSunder ka Misal in Satpyr Midc area or at a joint on Gangapur Road, whose name I forgot.
Now if you see there’s every possible food franchise available in Nasik from Subway to KFC to Barbeque nation.
Talking about Pune, it has been a great experience. We were there when Zaheer Khan opened his new restaurant ZK’s and many more Mughlai restaurants and joints have been in Pune for a long time. It’s almost at the same level as Mumbai. We cherished moments of eating out as being a student. We did not have great tiffin options. So the only respite to satisfy our taste buds was eating out. Be it at FC Road joints like Vaishali or George and the Blue Nile restaurant in camp area or rooftop restaurants on NIBM roads like terrace and fast food outlets like Burger King, hide out or other few places in Salunke Vihar; the options and offerings varied and an amazing experience to remember.
What’s the story behind doing microblogging, on Instagram?
My Instagram handle is: the_hungry_dentist and I have been a foodie for as long as I can remember. I have been clicking pics of food dishes and making small videos since past 4-5 years when Instagram blogger idea was not even born. Also, I had an idea of making YouTube videos of my visit to the restaurants and reviewing them in a video right away and I used to discuss it with my cousin asking him to accompany me.
After a while, I got busy with my practice but then I saw a few YouTubers who were doing other stuff on their channel started doing the same thing I had planned. That’s when I realised that “the best idea kept in mind is useless as compared to an average idea implemented with sincerity and dedication, and also that “Worse decision you can take is not taking a decision at all”. I realised I had been lazy to implement my idea and that’s when I thought of starting from my Instagram handle and in future will definitely be uploading on YouTube if I am able to manage practice and personal life well.
What is your favorite food memory?
Going to ZK’s restaurant in Pune for birthday treats of fellow roommates and batchmates and having butter chicken and tandoori roti with boondi raita. And if you ask about childhood, it has to be the meal my mom would cook every Sunday, I don’t know what but there’s something special about it always; nothing comes close to the taste and vibe, and the tradition still continues. It makes me look forward to the Sundays more excitedly.
How do you get your inspiration?
I observe people a lot. It could be anyone from the top level to bottom, also I communicate a lot with my patients besides asking them about their dental problems and learn about their life experiences and the way to deal with success and failure. I also watch videos on YouTube a lot. So, whatever gives me positive vibes or motivation I try and absorb it and use it to keep myself going.
What has enabled you to find success?
Success is a huge word I have not even achieved its ‘S’. I look at myself as a beginner who is learning and treading his path. Success is a process I feel and not a destination. So you can never say that you are successful in all aspects. At one point of time in life, there’s always something to achieve or accomplish. You are always on the path to achieving it, and that is what keeps you motivated and keeps you going. Once you reach a destination you sit back and relax. I think of success as a journey and I would like to take this journey and believe in the Almighty’s plan to make me successful in all aspects of life and not just work.
Who in the food world do you most admire?
My mom cooks the best food in the world I must say and I admire her a lot; everyone else comes second to me.
What do you find new and exciting about the food industry?
I find it interesting that it’s evolving, learning, updating and expanding in terms of bringing international cuisines and joints to India, and shrinking the distance between food and a foodie. We are getting world-class food in our own country. The fact that there are places available with a variety of food depending on the taste, needs budget and choices of a person is very good to see. I wish the food industry a very good luck in the future and want to be an important part of it.
The Biggest Challenges you faced while putting up your microblog?
As of now I just write reviews on Zomato and I’ll be soon putting up my blog. It’s been delayed as I am a bit lazy, sometimes a procrastinator. While setting up my Instagram page I have been lucky enough to get full support from each of my family members (some even help me click when I’m outside, eating with them) no hurdles as such.
What keeps you going?
The thought that today will be better than yesterday and bring in the new set of opportunities to be grabbed, experiences to be taken and goals to be accomplished. And that every single day every small step that you take will In sha Allah lead you a step closer to fulfilling your dreams.
What is your day like?
My day starts early morning when I get up for prayer. After that, I go for a short walk occasionally. The rest of the day is divided between my clinic, family and hospital. At night, after dinner, I try and make some time for night walk/television whichever I have the mood for.
Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten?
Personally, I would like to be a better person than I am today and, professionally, I want to be a renowned face, brand or person and a go-to-guy in whatever I do, be it my practice, food blogging or being an influencer on social media. I would love to help and be a source of good things treatment, good food or products or technology or fashion to reach everyone.
What do you most love about your job/work?
The ability to heal people’s pain and being skilled by Allah’s grace to fix there smiles and teeth – I am a dentist – which in some way makes them happy and confident in their life.
A recipe that you would want the entire world to know.
Mutton gravy that my mom makes if she is ok with sharing it.
Favorite foods to cook with?
What do you do for fun?
Watch movies and go out to eat.
If you had just one wish, what would it be?
I would wish that no person is hungry, no people are homeless, youths get proper employment, no one has to leave their country or home due to territorial or supremacy inflicted war, and that everyone lives in peace and harmony and respect their differences and still leave as one big family.
Best piece of advice you would give a food enthusiast?
Eat healthily, eat what suits your body, don’t just eat things because others are eating or it looks good on social media.
Sharing some of the food pics from the Dr. Viquar’s The Hungry Dentist’ Instagram…
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