In 2001, Atul Kotchar became the first Indian chef to receive a Michelin Star, at the age of just 31, while working at Tamarind in Mayfair. A few years later after moving onto Benares, also in Mayfair, he won another Star.
You can see a pattern emerging.
Now he’s opened Kanishka. And it’s in Mayfair. The idea of this new project is to explore some of India’s lesser-known regional culinary styles, particularly those from the Seven Sister States in the easternmost region of the sub-continent (Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Tripura and Mizoram). In fact, the place itself is named after a second-century king of the region.
This space itself is a two-floor affair: up top you’ll find an azure blue cocktail bar surrounded by marble-topped tables, and underneath there’s a smaller area with thick, verdant greenery hanging down from the ceiling. There’s even a 12-seater ‘garden room’ if you fancy a private diner.
On the menu, that regional cuisine comes out in the form of starters like plump Naga scallops with smoked chilli; Kurkure soft shell crab fried to a perfect crispiness and served with passion fruit chutney; and some Sikkim inspired venison tartare with quail egg and butter naan.
The larger offering include some hearty roasted Gressingham duck breast with smoked tomato crush & potato chokka; a banana leaf-steamed seabass marinaded in sorrel; and a whole roast baby cauliflower with almond korma. There’s even a beautifully aromatic lamb biryani that comes with a classic, puffed pie-like crust.
Washing all that down, there’s a cocktail list that also includes a kind of highball pick-n-mix: you can choose from a list of almost a dozen flavoured distillates (cinnamon, star anise, kaffir lime, turmeric, lapsing, etc.) the blend them with either gin/whisky and a splash of tonic/soda. It means you can create combos like a coffee & black cardamon g&t, or a cinnamon & blood orange whisky soda – among hundreds of others.
If you fancy mixing it up.
NOTE: Kanishka is open now. You can find out more, and make a booking at their website right HERE.
Kanishka | 17 – 19 Maddox Street, W1S 2QH
Want a drink before hitting the restaurant? Here are the best bars in Mayfair…
The Nudge is an independent, searchable and highly-curated guide to the most interesting places to go and things to do in London, giving members unrestricted access to our full compendium of continually-updated restaurants, bars, events, exhibitions, date ideas, itineraries, member perks, weekend guides, monthly agendas and more – all delivered via our website, email newsletters & members’ app.
Join us to see what’s hot in London this week; to explore all of the recommendations & ideas stored within The Nudge’s website and members’ app; and to start making the most of life in London today. Start Free One Week Trial