Flavours, which opened in Edgware last week, is serving up a blend of North Indian and Far Eastern cuisine created by Mumbai-born chef Anil Panchal.
The 110-seat free house is the latest project from restaurateurs Ashok Modi, Naren Desai and Amish Dattani, the team behind the Bloomsbury-based, South Indian fine dining restaurant, Malabar Junction.
Panchal, who cut his teeth working for luxury hotel brands including Oberoi Group and Centaur Group and established the first Indian restaurant in Antigua’s Jolly Beack Resort, has created a menu inspired by Indians living around the world, whose cuisines have adapted to local flavours.
Dishes on offer include Mogo Chatpatta Lasooni – a traditional Kenyan cassava dish, Fish Koliwada – fillets of king fish marinated with carom seeds, chillies, garlic and chick pea, Masala Dosa – a traditional South Indian pancake filled with potato masala, served with a lentil sauce and chutney, and Chinese Hakka Noodles.
A range of snacks such as Chowpatty Chaat Ki Tokri – crispy baskets filled with rice puffs and vermicelli and served with assorted chutneys and spiced with green chillies, and Vegetable Manchurian – dumplings cooked in black bean sauce with chillies, garlic and spring onions are also available.
“All of the club-style restaurants around this part of North London are doing Indian food so we thought we could add a twist and try to do something different,” Ashok Modi told BigHospitality.
“Our chef comes from a big hotel group and specialises in Indo-Chinese food, so we have we introduced quite a few Indo-fusion dishes with a little bit of an Italian touch.
“We have a pizza oven and will start serving pizzas as soon as we can find a pizza chef.”
Fun and games
The venue has a large white-pebbled bar that will serve locally and internationally sourced beers as well as cocktails created by an in-house mixologist, with screens playing sports and Bollywood music. A seperate games area hosts three championship Carrom tables.
“Carrom is a really popular game in India, it is similar to snooker but it is played with fingers rather than cues and it has coins instead of balls,” explained Modi.
“All the pubs and restaurants in London have either snooker or table football or darts, so we wanted to get away from that and try and put an Indian theme in.
“Since we have opened people are taking to it. Indians play this game quite a lot so it is something which will attract people in, and we hope to host tournaments.”
A large outdoor area will have tables for drinking and eating in the summer, with a designated shisha area planned.
Long time coming
Modi said he and his business partners bought the venue at auction three years ago after accepting ‘fantastic offers’ on two of their previous restaurants, Utsav in Kensington and Malabar in Lincoln.
“We have been waiting for a long time to get to this point - it took us a year to get planning and then two years to renovate, we have not spared any expense on doing it up,” he said.
“But since we opened business has been really, really good. I think everybody has been waiting for this restaurant it has taken off quite well.”