Rohit Ghai — the chef that worked at Gymkhana and who, as head chef, helped win a Michelin star at Jamavar, the high-end Mayfair restaurant — together with front-of-house Abhi Sangwan, will open his first solo site in Chelsea this November.
Kutir will open on the former site of Vineet Bhatia London, which last year won a Michelin star, and closed a week later. Ghai and Sangwan have worked together as colleagues for many years — at Gymkhana, Jamavar, and Bombay Bustle.
The restaurant, located close to Chelsea’s Sloane Square in a townhouse, Kutir will offer “a punchy, authentic and traditional menu.” Kutir, meaning ‘hut’ in Sanskrit, “draws inspiration from the royal tradition of hunting expeditions in the luscious forests and jungles of the Indian countryside,” information supplied to Eater says.
The food will aim to represent of the feasting-style, “convivial and celebratory dining that occurs on these retreats,” while menus will feature seasonal ingredients with an emphasis on game and seafood. Kutir will offer a tasting, or “expedition” menu of six courses for £60, as well as an a la carte featuring dishes such as: truffle and mushroom khichadi (rice and lentils), lobster bonda, rasam, a 24-hour slow-cooked roganjosh, and a tandoori stone bass with crispy squid. The kind of cooking which earned Ghai such plaudits at Jamavar.
“I have loved each restaurant I’ve opened in London, but it feels even more special to open my own space and this is a passion-project for me,” Ghai said.
Both the chef and Sangwan trained in luxury Indian heritage hotels within wildlife sanctuaries across India. “We both fell in love with the lush green landscape and were fascinated by the regional, seasonal cuisines,” Ghai added. “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.”
The cocktail list — a focus — will be compiled by Sangwan. It will draw on natural ingredients found in the wilderness of India, which will be used in shrubs and infusions. Drinks such as the sariska — with sweet basil, ginger, bathtub gin, activated charcoal, and lavender bitters; and the lodgic — with jalapeño, watermelon, alphonso mango, gold leaf, sugarcane juice, and vodka, will feature.
As well as Gymkhana and Jamavar, Ghai most recently worked as executive chef at Bombay Bustle (Jamavar’s sister restaurant), Verandah (JKS Restaurants’ now-closed restaurant in Copenhagen), Trishna, and Benares; Jamavar’s Michelin-star, with Ghai as head chef, arrived in under a year.
Open: Tuesday — Sunday 12 to 3pm, 6 to 11pm; Closed Mondays