The Benares owner, who is renowned for his innovative Indian-come-English-style cuisine, told BigHospitality that the restaurant’s closure was a mutual agreement after the lease was up, but he is still undecided where to re-open.
“We are sad to close Vatika,” said Kochhar. “But we will relocate.”
The 45-cover restaurant - Kochhar’s first outside of London - was situated in Hampshire, within Wickham Vineyard. Vatika, which means orchard in Hindi and Sanskrit, served modern British food with an Indian twist using local ingredients.
Kochhar had originally said the restaurant would relocate to London, but the chef since revealed that the new site could be in another city instead.
“We haven’t surely decided to move to London,” Kochhar said. “We are exploring - Winchester, Bath and London among many other cities. We are not sure yet.”
Vatika restaurant originally opened its doors in July 2008, with dishes including Goan Spiced Lobster Tail with Granny Smith Confit and Lentil Sweet ‘n’ Sour and Charred Basil Chicken with Stewed Corn and Pickled Avocado.
Kochhar, who gained wide public appeal after appearing on the BBC’s Great British Menu, went on to reveal that while he hopes Vatika’s food concept will not change, it will remain ‘very different’ from that of his first restaurant, Benares in central London.
He hopes that the new site will be open sometime next year.
Meanwhile, the owners of Wickham Vineyard are now planning on starting up a restaurant of their own.