Rohit Ghai went to Gymkhana in 2013.
He worked out.
Now, he’s decided the time is right to fly solo – so he’s opened his debut self-run restaurant, Kutir, in Chelsea.
Set in a stately old town-house, you’ll need to ring the doorbell to enter. Once inside, you’ll be enveloped into a peaceful, elegant space decked out with parquet flooring, soft olive walls, floral paintings, a bejewelled central bar and – in the conservatory room – a huge glass skylight flooding the room with light (and a glittering chandelier to take over when it gets dark).
Kutir is, simply put, one of the best Indian restaurants in London. The service is spot on; staff are always there when needed but never overbearing, and the atmosphere is wonderfully pared back and refined – a perfect spot to bring the in-laws. But this gentle setting is in complete contrast to the food – vibrant, colourful and packed with spices, scents and flavours that don’t so much spring off the plate as win an Olympic medal for high jumping off it.
Take a peek at the menu and you’ll find tandoori stone bass with crispy squid; truffle & mushroom khichadi (a rice & lentil kedgeree topped with freshly shaved black truffle); lobster bonda (like a hot, fried dumpling-esque snack); and a 24-hour slow-cooked rogan josh, served with an offal cigar. The mains are, of course, fairly substantial, but you can also put together a feast of smaller dishes, from crispy fried potato cakes with spicy chickpeas; delicate scallops with fried aubergine; and masala prawns with coconut and sesame.
There’s a hefty wine list to accompany the whole thing, and cocktail-wise, there’s a list drawing predominantly from ingredients found in the “wilderness of India”, including the Sariska (sweet basil, ginger, gin, lavender); and the Lodgic, which blends vodka with jalapeño, watermelon, alphonso mango, and gold leaf.
It’s the kind of thing that makes you want to plan an immediate trip to the Indian wilderness.
NOTE: Kutir is open for lunch and dinner, Tuesday-Sunday. You can book and find out more on their website HERE.
Kutir | 10 Lincoln Street, Chelsea, SW3 2TS
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