Michelin-starred Indian chef Atul Kochhar is to open Colony Bar & Grill, a new mid-market venture, with restaurateur Carlo Spetale in Marylebone in February 2010.
Inspired by the street food served during India’s British colonial rule, Colony will predominantly serve a variety of nashta (tapas), which will be grilled using one of three traditional Indian cooking methods, Tandoor (clay roasting oven), Tawa (griddle) and Sigiri (hot coals).
The menu will feature a range of traditional Indian dishes, as well as Malaysian, African and Caribbean varieties, with a modern British twist, including Punjabi Chicken Livers with Chilli, Cumin and Ginger on Buttered Toast; Chicken Piri-Piri, Tandoor-roasted Quail with Coriander and Chilli, and Grilled Paneer filled with Mango & Mint Chutney and Lotus Stems served with Seasonal Tempura Vegetables with a Chilli and Lemongrass Dip.
Kochhar, executive chef of Michelin-starred Benares in London, told BigHospitality that Colony would be his fourth venture (behind Vatika in Hampshire and Ananda in Dublin) but his first bar-led dining concept.
“For lack of a better word I’m calling it a Bar, Grill and Dining Room,” he said. “We have 50 covers in the bar but can do about 40 in a separate dining room, which is there in case people want something more substantial. Most of the menu will be made up of tapas dishes, so it’s very relaxed.”
Unique Indian street food concept
The chef said his latest concept would be ‘very different’ to Mooli’s, the Indian street-food restaurant operated by former Benares chef Raju Rawat.
“Yes they are also doing street food of India but we’re giving the dishes a British makeover to make them more contemporary.”
Plans for Atul's Kitchen, a mid-market Indian restaurant concept that was penned to open in Westfield London last May, have been put on the backburner as a result of the current financial climate, although Kochhar told BigHospitality he was keen to restart the project in the future.
Spetale co-founded the First Restaurant Group with Harold Tillman, which now operates Taman Grill, The Ebury, Harry Morgans, and Notting Hill Brasserie. Spetale no longer works for the company.