clock menu more-arrow no yes

Chef With Trail of Michelin Stars Enters the ‘Street Food’ Game

Rohit Ghai of recently opened Kutir in Chelsea has launched a new brand which will open in Boxpark Wembley

Chef Rohit Ghai
Stuart Milne

Rohit Ghai — the chef who opened his first solo restaurant in Chelsea last week — has been announced as a surprise new entrant in the forthcoming shipping-container-shopping-centre Boxpark in Wembley. Though the centre opens this coming weekend (8 December), Ghai’s outlet will launch in the new year.

The brand, KoolCha, will serve an “extensive menu of Indian comfort food,” including a selection of North Indian kulcha flatbreads, which will be “filled with innovative flavours and served alongside delicious homemade pickles and chutneys,” an announcement share with Eater this lunchtime said.

KoolCha has been conceived by Ghai and his business partner (at Kutir), front-of-house Abhishake Sangwan. The two have a long working history, at a number of London’s most popular south Asian restaurants, including Michelin-starred Gymkhana and Jamavar. (Ghai oversaw the kitchen at the latter, when it earned a star within 10 months of his arrival; following his departure, the restaurant was downgraded in when Michelin announced the 2019 in October.)

Roger Wade, Boxpark’s CEO said the company was thrilled. KoolCha’s Chef Rohit has worked at an impressive number of world class restaurants and we have no doubt that KoolCha will be no different. Who knows, could this be the first Michelin star for Boxpark?”

How Boxpark Wembley will look
Boxpark [Official Render]

It’s an interesting move for Ghai. London is a city which for the past 10 years has privileged the “street food” to bricks and mortar trajectory. This year, as demonstrated by Marksman, Koya, and Roti King (at Market Halls Victoria), a reverse move from proper site to concession within a food court is a new and attractive, comparatively risk-free, way to pilot a new concept or test a different audience.

Although the early signs at Market Halls in Victoria are positive, the move did not work for Darjeeling’s Asma Khan at Market Halls in Fulham, and a number of outlets that comprise the The Kitchens in Spitalfields have closed since it opened in the autumn of 2017.

Gymkhana

42 Albemarle Street, , England W1S 4JH 020 3011 5900 Visit Website

Roti King

40 Doric Way, , England NW1 1LH 020 7387 2518 Visit Website

Jamavar

8 Mount Street, , England W1K 3NF 020 7499 1800 Visit Website

Marksman

254 Hackney Rd, London, Greater London E2 7SJ +44 20 7739 7393 Visit Website

Kutir

10 Lincoln Street, , England SW3 2TS 020 7581 1144 Visit Website