Asma Khan to open Calcutta Canteen cafe

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

Asma (third from left) with her Darjeeling Express team
Asma (third from left) with her Darjeeling Express team

Related tags: Chefs, Restaurant

Chef Asma Khan is to launch a café in London’s Carnaby Street following the success of her Darjeeling Express restaurant in nearby Kingly Court.

Calcutta Canteen will initially open for three months from mid-November, with a menu inspired by Khan’s North Indian and Bengali roots.

It follows a busy year for the chef, whose Darjeeling Express concept started as a pop-up before opening a permanent restaurant in Kingly Court​ in 2017. She will also be the first UK chef to appear on the next series of Netflix’s Chef’s Table.

Dishes at Calcutta Canteen will include pau buns stuffed with four types of filling -  vegan potato with cashew nut and curry leaves; vegetarian beetroot chop; masala omelette; and beef mince, all served with green chilli and coriander chutney and tomato relish.

Khan has partnered with self-taught baker Tarunima Sinha of North London’s My Little Cake Tin to offer masala chai flavoured bundt cake, and Indian-spiced shortbread cookies and pistachio biscuits.

Calcutta Canteen will also serve up Khan’s masala chai and tea from a garden owned and run by her aunt in India.

The chef opened an outpost of Calcutta Canteen at Market Halls Fulham earlier this year​, but it has now closed.

“I consider Carnaby home and my new opening is a way for me to serve authentic Indian home cooking to Londoners and tourists alike,” says Khan.

Darjeeling Express is run by an all-female kitchen team,​ many of whom are housewives and second-born daughters Khan is training up.

The new Carnaby café will feature a community wall, where women can display seasonal food and condiments.

Related topics: Venues

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