Kahani: This Venison Kebab Might Be The Best Thing Ever Made In Chelsea
In the wealthy, slightly featureless stretch of Chelsea behind Cadogan Hall, we're not expecting big atmosphere from Kahani.
The menu talks a seductive game, though, all grills over curries, big flavours over dense richness, all smoking and truffling and Tamil Nadu inspiration overlaid with British ingredients. And it turns out Peter Joseph's first solo venture's living up to the promise of its exciting menu, and then some.
Joseph's reputation must be at least part of the reason the restaurant's healthily busy and buzzy on the weekday we visit; the ex-Tamarind chef has a sturdy fanbase.
And, it turns out, an eye for good-times. The restaurant's a touch more off-beat and a touch more flamboyant in its set-up than we expected; the awkward basement-space turned into a warm-hued, welcoming and mildly weird affair. Tables are planted in nooks and alcoves, under archways and on mezzanines, furnished with outrageously comfortable sapphire-velvet armchairs, lion's head door-knockers, frothy tropical-toned cocktails, small glowing fireplaces in the corners and hectic prints on the bathroom wallpaper.
It's a good place to be a vegan, not just for the breadth of the dedicated menu, but also as the meat and dairy-less options are some of the best dishes from our dinner. The marinated tandoori broccoli, which comes in a honey-less vegan version, crisped up with nigella seeds and little shards of crunchy wheat, sticks in the memory as tenaciously as any of our meat dishes (with the exception of the venison keema, we'll come back to that one). Ditto the golden beet cakes, a mustardy, crunchy job with a crust of poppadom.
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Kahani food blends the cuisines from chef Peter Joseph's two home countries, India and Britain, by staying true to the spices and robata grill method of cooking of the Tamil Nadu region while using only seasonal and sustainably sourced British ingredients. ——————————————————————— 📜 To see our full menu follow the link in our BIO 📌 Reservations can be made online, by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 020 7730 7634 . . . #michelinstarchef #michelinstarlondon #michelinstarred #londonfoodies #toplondonchef #londoneats #tastygram #indianfusion #cookingteam #waiter #londonrestaurantscene #indianfoods #indiancuisine #finedining #indianfoodporn #indianfoodtales #indianfoodlovers #foodart #team #restaurantstuff #toplondonrestaurants
Side dishes like the Kahani daal or the pineapple chutney still come with the star-turn swagger of the more obvious heavyweights — like the smoked Malabar prawns with coconutty, toasted-turmeric flavours or a golden tamarind-spiced fish curry. Absolute stand-out is the venison keema, the game softly minced into a velvet-textured heap, all bedded down on a truffle naan. The naan on its own would be the loveliest carb we've eaten all week (and it's been a carb-heavy week). Top it with that warmly spiced meat and it'd easily be the one dish we'd repeat order on any visit.
The things we're sorry not to be able to make space for this time round are a long list, with gruyere naan and the entire rest of the vegan menu at the top of it.
A woman sitting at the next table strikes up a conversation — Kahani's that sort of place — telling us this is her new favourite restaurant; she's here fortnightly, at a minimum. But, then, she says, any restaurant Peter Joseph runs is her new favourite restaurant.
After that truffle naan, and the venison keema, and the broccoli, and the general warm, slightly off-beat grandeur of the place — lady, we get it.
Kahani, 1 Wilbraham Place, SW1X 9AE.
Last Updated 07 May 2019