Chef Rohit Ghai’s eagerly awaited solo debut has arrived. Kutir, an Indian fine-dining restaurant almost a year in the making, opens today — on the former site of Vineet Bhatia in a Georgian townhouse near Sloane Square in Chelsea.
Ghai, a chef who has cooked at Michelin-starred Gymkhana, Jamavar, and Bombay Bustle, knows his way around west London and is no stranger to the judging criteria laid out by the Red Guide. Kutir is patently in the market for star-status. And — given the location, the reputation of the chef, and the style of the output — it would be among award season’s more high-profile shocks were Michelin’s inspectors not to anoint Ghai’s restaurant in October next year.
The chef and co-owner opens the restaurant with his long-time supporting front-of-house, Abhi Sangwan, also an alumnus of Gymkhana, Jamavar, and Bombay Bustle. Sangwan will take charge of the dining room and an “extensive” cocktail list.
Kutir means “cottage” in Sanskrit; the restaurant, the owners say, draws inspiration from the royal tradition of hunting expeditions in the forests and jungles of the Indian countryside. The food, through its seasonality, wants to reimagine the feasting-style and conviviality that is representative of those locations.
Here’s full look inside the dining room, plus a look at some of the dishes.
Both Ghai and Sangwan trained in luxury Indian heritage hotels within wildlife sanctuaries across India. It is that environment that provides some of the inspiration for the restaurant in London. “We both fell in love with the lush green landscape and were fascinated by the regional, seasonal cuisines,” Ghai said in September. “I have been dreaming about serving this menu and have been refining these dishes for a long time and I can’t wait to introduce my guests to a menu that goes far beyond the usual Indian restaurant offering.”
Kutir will offer both a tasting, or “expedition,” menu of six courses for £60, as well as a full a la carte (see below) separated into small plates, main courses, classics, sides, and desserts. Among the highlights: Lobster rasam, 24-hour slow-cooked lamb shoulder roganjosh, chicken tikka masala, and a tandoor stone bass with squid, and ink