Macau, July 5 (IANS) A large number of tourists have trickled in here either for a vacation or to enjoy the glitz and glamour of ongoing IIFA weekend and are loving the place, but when it comes to food, they prefer 'desi' cuisine over anything else.
The craving for the home food is so great that the tourists do not mind walking the extra mile for their 'daal-roti'.
"We prefer Indian cuisine here because we are not used to anything else. We have developed a taste for our own food," Chitra, who is at the Venetian Macao here with her husband and daughter, told IANS.
The members of the Indian film industry have assembled here to celebrate yet another year of movies and box office success at 14th IIFA (International Indian Film Academy) awards, which started here Thursday.
Some of the big names from Bollywood like Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Abhishek Bachchan, Vidya Balan, Shahid Kapoor and Arjun Kapoor are here for the event.
Meanwhile, quite a few Indian movie aficionados are also here to get up close and personal with their favourite stars. And if they are loyal to desi films, they are equally faithful to their food habits.
"We are here for IIFA and being vegetarians we don't want to try anything else. We prefer not taking risks. After all, nothing is better than our Indian food," said the Marda excited tourist couple.
It's not just the tourists, even celebrities relish Indian food.
Filmmaker Mukesh Bhatt, who has churned out some big blockbusters like "Aashiqui 2", told IANS: "Anywhere I go, I want Indian food. Other cuisines are alright, but one cannot have them daily."
For those who are are staying at the Venetian Macao hotel, The Golden Peacock, the only Indian restaurant is answer to their cravings.
It is jam-packed whenever Indian tourists come here for vacations, informed Vipul Kapoor, senior manager of the reataurant.
"Not just during IIFA, but round the year, especially during Indian holidays our restaurant is full. Almost 76 percent of Indian tourists come here," added Kapoor, who has been working at The Golden Peacock since it opened in February.
Aruna Jha, who has been in Macao for 30 years, runs a chain of Indian restaurants here named Aruna Maharaja Indian Curry, said that sales go up during IIFA . This is the second time that the event has been organised here.
Asked what attracts people to her eating joints, she said: "I try and give them the feeling of home made food, so that they do not miss home. Before IIFA, not many people knew about Macau."
Jha has been awarded the Curry Queen title.
The film industry will participate in Grey Goose IIFA Rocks later Friday, where designer duo Shantanu-Nikhil will pay tribute to 100 years of Indian cinema on the ramp.
Yashika Mathur can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)