Johnny Depp racked up a bill of around £50,000 on a blowout meal at luxury Indian restaurant Varasani in Birmingham on Sunday 5 June, while on tour in the UK with English guitarist and friend Jeff Beck.
Depp apparently hired out the entire 350-cover venue for around £20,000, despite only dining with just over 20 members of his tour crew, in order to avoid being inundated with fans. Ahead of a concert at Symphony Hall in Birmingham on Monday night, Depp’s security team called to look around the restaurant on Sunday before booking it that evening. For context, the restaurant comprises three cocktail bars and six private dining spaces across the 20,000 square foot space.
Along with venue hire, Depp reportedly treated his guests to the entire menu at the upmarket Indian restaurant, including Champagne, wine and cocktails, before leaving a generous tip. Starters on the menu include homemade chicken samosas, tandoori lamb chops and a sizzling sharing seafood platter. Mains, meanwhile, range from prawn bhuna through to spiced smoky duck.
Operations director Mohammed Hussain commented: "They spent a lot of money, it's a big venue to hire out, but they never even looked at the bill. He gave a large tip." Although Depp didn't appear to be celebrating, Hussain said the reason for his visit was just ''a little treat to get away from everything that's been happening''.
He then went on to add: "We had to promise that we would not reveal the final bill but let’s just put it this way; money was no issue, and it was easily in five figures. We made more money from Depp’s visit than we did from our busiest night of the week, which is a Saturday when we have around 400 diners."
Although members of staff were told not to reveal how much the dishes cost (prices are not available on the restaurant's website either), according to Tripadvisor dishes range between £12 and £40 each. Cocktails average around £11 each, while the most expensive bottle of Champagne on the drinks list fetches £590.
Ever since word got out of Depp dining at Varasani, the phone has been ringing off the hook. According to Hussain: “Our Instagram has gone mental. We’ve never seen so much activity on there. I’ve had phone calls from America, from India, from Spain, Germany, China, and I just literally haven’t had the time to even sit down. It has been manic.” Well, it's certainly one way to get business.
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