Shayan Italia Scams Food Critic for $7.50

This is a verbatim copy paste of an email exchange between the CEO of Biryani 360 and yours truly. It all started with a poor review of Biryani 360, which I had put up on Zomato. While the CEO, Shayan had every right to defend his product, I feel that he overstepped his mandate when he made a slanderous sweeping statement about Indians – the very audience he wants to sell to. Your thoughts?
My review of Biryani360 on Zomato is attached herewith:
Biryani360 Review


For someone who wants to sell to Indians – the statement is slanderous, reeks of generalization and is completely unacceptable.

On Sun, May 24, 2015 at 8:04 PM, Biryani360 <> wrote:

Nitin, contrary to what Indians do here, I NEVER LIE and I meant every word I said – without sarcasm.

You’re constructive criticism has helped me a great deal. And I admire you greatly for it. Let’s not start to presume and assume things which are not right in the face of it as things can be misconstrued. From my side I only have respect of this conversation and I say again for me the 3% is far more important than the 97% that is only telling me everything I already know. IT is from the 3% I learn most.

Best wishes


“If someone tells you something cannot be done; it’s just their way of saying they cannot do it” – Shayan Italia, Founder & CEO

On Sun, May 24, 2015 at 8:01 PM, nitin nair <> wrote:

Thank you for that sarcasm free endorsement. I appreciate it :)
On Sunday, May 24, 2015, Biryani360 <> wrote:

Nitin, Actually the 97% can’t teach me anything. that’s just an endorsement It is the balance 3% that I can only learn from. People like yourself. This is where really the wisdom lies, to learn why it didn’t work and if its an acceptable loss or to further improve to reduce the 3% to lower.

So you’re ACE.



“If someone tells you something cannot be done; it’s just their way of saying they cannot do it” – Shayan Italia, Founder & CEO

On Sun, May 24, 2015 at 1:35 PM, nitin nair <> wrote:

Sure shayan. You have every right to stick by your thought process as well.

All the best in your endeavour. Am sure the 97.61% of your consumer base is good enough to give you repeat business.
Cheers and have a great Sunday :)
On Sunday, May 24, 2015, Biryani360 <> wrote:

Hi Nitin,

Thanks for your reply. You have every right to think what you want and part of that is the fun of starting a business in a market like Bombay/India. Most people think 50% of India pays tax here ha ha! If that were true India would be 2x the size of the US economy!

You don’t need to try us again. Save your money! I can’t inflict perception into someone on the website as you may not like your veggies but someone else does. Also the statement of us being a Veg Biryani with chicken is really not true. The chicken is perfectly blended in with the vegetables and we use PYRAMID technology to cook where each rice grain absorbs the flavouring of the nearby veggies. Hence every bit is flavourful and different and takes you on a journey. It just seemed to me from the review that you don’t like your vegetables ha ha!

I’m a hard core carnivore. I have a 3,500 calorie diet per day. But if you’re not having your veggies you aint losing any fat, or doing your body any favours. Biryani360 aims to change this. In time. Remember I said you were 97 on the list of people who didn’t like it. That’s 97 out of a total of 4043 Biryani360’s sold to date a.k.a. 2.39%. So the presumption of “any true biryani lover would hate this” again is factually false.

This is why I wrote the huffington post article. And further in India its not the 96% who go onto zomato and give it a 5/5. Contrary its 2% or even less of that total. But its 100% of the people who feel betrayed from the experience that go on and rate it badly. Such is the sad reality and thuswise I would never use Zomato as a benchmark for anything. It’s just a fun way for someone to experess their opinion on a platform that is garnering some traction and giving people a voice. And why not. Freedome of speech is great.

Have a lovely Sunday and thanks so much for taking the time out to write so much to me. It means a lot and it means you care. That in itself is worth the customer experience.



“If someone tells you something cannot be done; it’s just their way of saying they cannot do it” – Shayan Italia, Founder & CEO

On Sun, May 24, 2015 at 1:02 PM, nitin nair <> wrote:

Thank you Shayan for caring so much about a review.

Interestingly enough I did visit the menu page (there’s no way one can order, without going through the info).
For clarification :
1) I had read every word about your USP – blue flame tech, fresh cooking etc and I was ready for a non-traditional biryani( read: light, non greasy, non-mutton, non dum basically everything that you’ve mentioned in your Huffington post points 1-5). My grudge was that I was prepared for a diff kinda chicken biryani but NOT a chicken biryani that would seem like one cooked on a veg base. It seemed like a veg biryani base with chicken pieces added almost as an afterthought. I dunno if you are a fellow carnivore, but am sure you’d empathize when I say that’s where the disappointment stemmed from. Prob a line on your page – around ingredients used would help set the right expectations. I must add though that this would have been one of the best veg biryani base that I’ve ever had but yesterday was a chicken biryani craving day.
I hope I’ve been able to articulate the exact problem area. Having said that, I’d probably try your service again. Maybe with the Huffington post article at the back of my mind, it will be different ;)
PS: as someone who’s consumed the

Bohri, Lucknowi, hyderabadi, dindigul, malabari, parsee style of biryani – am equally passionate about exploring and consuming new varieties. So if you still feel the feedback was not apt, happy to have a call.

On Sunday, May 24, 2015, Biryani360 <> wrote:

Dear Nitin,

Thank you so much for trying Biryani360 and I’m sad to read your poor review on Zomato. I guess you didn’t visit the Menu page at all where we clearly say we are NOT like other biryanis and expected a traditional biryani; which is absolutely fine. I’ll rank you now 97 on the list of those that have not liked the biryani. :)

I wrote an article for the Huffington Post recently that has gained some traction and may prove interesting reading:

I’m sure you have your biryani favourites around Mumbai to revert back to with joy.

Thanks for trying us nonetheless and have a great Sunday…

Best wishes,



Posted on February 11, 2016 in Shayan Italia Scams

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About the Author

Shayan Italia is the founder of Biryani360, musician and self-proclaimed millionaire. What he leaves out of the story is that everything is a lie and a great con to leave with your money.

Responses (3)

  1. iBenScammed
    Antara Roy
    February 11, 2016 at 4:48 pm ·

    Wow! Tat was one really eventful-maths filled Sunday! Shayan, not everyone thinks alike and hence are entitled to their views as much as you are entitled to yours. You being this defensive about your product may not leave a good taste on the rest of 45678 customers who would have tried the 360 twist on biryani. Letting go is an art which needs much practice!

  2. iBenScammed
    February 13, 2016 at 11:41 am ·

    I must commend your politeness and generosity evident in ALL your communications. Unfortunately, this can’t be said of Shayan given his replies lack maturity, propriety and skill. Much like “his” food. I mean, what do expect from a failed singer, who took a crash course in gastronomy ? He’s not a trained chef, nor culinary expert, heck his family’s not even in the food business coughIndianCroniescough. Do you know how he arrived at starting Biryani360? By a jingle. I.e NOT food, but a nautanki! I’m sorry Shayan, maybe your nautankis have a place in the West(minster), alas in India we go for the genuine. And as you’ll soon find out when your “experiment” fails, we can be pretty unforgiving to conmen. And the 97% vs 3% bullshit, needs some more facts to back it up darling. Much like your marketing. So I bade you farewell Shayan Italia or would you prefer “godspeed fella”. We are way better of in having nothing to do with your ilk. Hmmm, funny I’ve heard someone else echo this too… A certain Ratan Tata?

  3. iBenScammed
    Shirin Bandrawalla
    February 14, 2016 at 6:57 pm ·

    Hi, my faith in your objectivity and honesty is well intact! Good on you for doing your job and not being a sellout, unlike some reviewers on Zomato! Can you believe that this Shayan guy invites those reviewers on Zomato to tasting sessions, and then when giving interviews for food blogs he does a complete 360 by denouncing their credibility?! And people on Zomato were feeling bad to downgrade the food as they didn’t have the heart to speak ill of him. But if you’re a reviewer, wouldn’t you focus on your review (ie FOOD) than the jingle? I’ve lost all faith in those who sold out on Zomato to this guy’s slick marketing. I think what above comment was alluding to wrt Tata is this

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