Last year, Chet Sharma had a tough break.
Despite being in otherwise good health, without any apparent cause or warning, he found himself in A&E with a condition called Ramsay Hunt Syndrome. The long and short of it was the chef – whose incredible career saw him give up a physics PhD at Oxford to cook alongside Brett Graham at The Ledbury, then go onto work at JKS to take a hand in such incredible venues as BAO, Lyle’s, Hoppers, and more – couldn’t bite, taste or smile.
He’s on his way to recovery – which we currently understand is a long and painful road – but a very large stop along that road is the opening of his own restaurant, Bibi. It’ll land in Mayfair this summer, and it’s going to be an Indian comfort food joint (the name ‘Bibi’ refers to an affectionate nickname for grandmother used in parts of the subcontinent).
The space is a former French coffee shop sitting on the corner of Audley Street. It’s an old Georgian building with a nice big terrace (hurrah!) and it’s got plenty of space inside. It’s all going to be reshaped to reflect Rajasthani architecture, which is intricately carved, colourful, and instantly recognisable.
The idea for the menu is to let the produce dictate the day’s dishes. Sharma claims that he’ll be able to tell you not only the name of the boat his seafood is caught in, but the fisherman/woman who reeled it in, too. That produce will then go into pan-Indian dishes like 4-pepper lobster skewers; chicken liver maska buns; Gondhoraj scallop with scallop roe chaat masala and jalapeño; and apricot, buttermilk and black sesame halwa.
There’ll be cocktails too, including the likes of the Ice Gola, which blends tequila with calamansi (aka the Philippine lime), apple marigold, and a healthy dose of flavour from some chaat masala spice mix.
NOTE: Bibi is due to open this summer. We’ll be back then with the full scoop. In the meantime, you can find out more at their website right HERE.
Bibi | 42 North Audley Street, W1K 6ZR
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