Kochhar opened Colony with First Restaurant Group co-founder Carlo Spetale in February last year as a bar-led dining concept, serving a range of traditional Indian street food dishes with a British twist.
However the chef has now decided to part ways with Colony and Spetale completely, claiming he had become too far removed from the business for his liking.
“When I first got into the business I thought both of us were going to manage it - but it turned out he wanted to manage it alone,” Kochhar told BigHospitality. “I explained my ambition for Colony and he said it wasn’t possible. I don’t like doing things that are not in my control; that’s not my way of running a business. So I said okay, good luck, and I moved on.
“It was an amicable split,” he added.
With Colony behind him, Kochhar will now focus on realising Atul’s Kitchen, the mid-market Indian concept he originally planned for Westfield London but pulled at the last minute due to economic pressures.
The concept will offer affordable British-Indian cuisine similar to that offered at the Benares pop-up restaurant currently running at D&D London’s Meza.
Kochhar confirmed that while the economic pressures he experienced previously have not disappeared, he is actively looking for a medium-sized, central London site with a high footfall.
“I’m not a financial expert but what I hear is that we’re still not out of the deep trouble yet. However I’m confident that we can deal with it so I want to move on. If a suitable site comes along I’ll take it.
"The food I’m currently doing at Meza is entirely what I’d do in Atul’s Kitchen, and it’s been a huge success. It has restored my confidence that the concept I made was absolutely right and is something that has got strength."
In December 2008 Kochhar revealed plans to roll out five Atul’s Kitchens in five years, however the chef has now decided to develop the concept slowly.
“I would like to walk before I run,” he said.
Kochhar also operates two additional fine dining restaurants, Vatika in Southampton and Ananda in Dublin.