From GIS to Gourmet – GIS Alumnus Nalin Mittal’s Muska Takes Center Stage!

Embarking on a delectable journey, Garden International School celebrates the culinary prowess of Nalin Mittal, an esteemed alumnus hailing from the distinguished Class of 2008. Nalin’s foray into the food industry has led to the inception of Muska, an exquisite restaurant nestled within the trendy VERVE Suites Mont’Kiara. Having honed his skills and passion over the years, Nalin’s venture into the culinary realm represents the diverse and ambitious pursuits undertaken by GIS alumni beyond the school gates.

Muska, Nalin’s gastronomic haven, promises a symphony of flavors meticulously curated to tantalise the taste buds. The restaurant’s ambiance reflects not just an exquisite dining experience but also a culmination of Nalin’s artistic expression and dedication. As we extend our heartfelt congratulations to Nalin on this exciting venture, we invite the GIS community and food enthusiasts alike to explore the culinary wonders of Muska. For a glimpse into the enticing offerings and to plan your visit, navigate through the restaurant’s official website: Muska Official Website.

Muska stands not only as a testament to Nalin’s entrepreneurial spirit but also as a living embodiment of the innovative and diverse paths GIS alumni tread upon. It’s a testament to the rich legacy of GIS that continues to unfold in unexpected and delightful ways, leaving an indelible mark on the culinary landscape.

What inspired you to pursue a career in the culinary world, and how did your time at GIS influence this choice?

Like many people, food and beverage has long been a passion of mine. I love the fact that there is no boundary to the experience that can be had at a restaurant. Whether it is the selection of ingredients, the ambience of your surroundings or the showmanship of modern food presentation – the package, if put together well, has the potential to leave a lasting impression.

One memory from GIS that I vividly recall is of the Food Technology classes we used to have where we were tasked with learning to cook a dish. I remember we baked cookies on one occasion and cooked pasta another time. I remember enjoying it as we didn’t have to sit in one place and there was constant hustle and bustle around the room. Everyone had a sense of curiosity to try the final product that their peers had produced and compare it with your own.

Muska has a unique charm. How did you come up with the concept, and what sets it apart from other dining experiences?

Having lived in Mont Kiara for so many years, I felt there was a gap in the market for a cafe that resonated with my tastes and dining experience. Although there are several cafes that I have been going to over the years, I got tired of having similar kinds of sandwiches and egg dishes. There seemed to be some need for change. To bring something different to Mont Kiara – a locality that appreciates F&B.

Food has such a vast presence. For example South Asian food is so flavourful and diverse, there is such a limited representation of it in KL. I wanted to take my roots and experience of the cuisine and give it a twist for the local market. While inspired by the cuisine, our menu is new and refreshing to complement the local Cafe culture.


As a GIS alumnus, do you feel there are specific values or skills instilled during your time at GIS that have contributed to your success in the restaurant business?

I would say that one key consideration for this business is understanding the needs and wants of people who come from different backgrounds and experiences. There’s no doubt that multicultural exposure at GIS helped to build a foundation in the development of this skill.


How do you incorporate elements of your cultural background into the menu at Muska?

Our menu is inspired by the flavours and techniques that Indian food is famous for around the world. While several dishes are versions of their original counterparts, others have been specially developed for Muska. The idea being to bring new flavours and dishes to the city unlike anything else that is available. It would be safe to say that 80% of the dishes on our menu cannot be found anywhere else.


Opening a restaurant involves a blend of creativity and business acumen. How do you balance these aspects in running Muska?

I am trained as a business person. After gaining exposure and suitable training in becoming an accountant, there was a certain level of business acumen that I developed. This provided me with a reasonable platform to start a business.

Creativity is something that I feel comes a little more naturally to me. 

What advice do you have for current GIS students who may be aspiring entrepreneurs or interested in pursuing a career in the culinary arts?

Like in any other industry, entrepreneurship in this industry involves stress. Anyone looking to get into entrepreneurship should be aware that it requires multiple sleepless nights, answering all sorts of questions to the various stakeholders – Employees, Suppliers and Investors, and an open mind to allow continuous learning. The art is in learning how to handle these stakeholders while trying to create and sustain a business by fulfilling a brand promise.

How has the GIS community supported you in your entrepreneurial journey, and do you have any plans for collaborations or involvement with GIS in the future?

I am always looking out for interesting opportunities to collaborate. Whether with other businesses or customers who have special requirements or requests. So definitely I am keen to explore any opportunities that come our way! Let’s have a chat!


Thank you, Nalin, for generously sharing your journey and insights with us.

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