Called Bibi, the 35-cover restaurant will be located on the corner of North Audley Street and Lees Place. It will feature a 13-cover kitchen counter overlooking a custom-built sigree charcoal grill and also have an outside terrace for a further 20 diners.
Translating in Urdu as ‘lady of the house’, a term used as a term of endearment for grandmothers across the Indian subcontinent, Bibi will draw inspiration from Sharma’s own grandmother with a menu influenced by India’s street carts and roadside cafés.
Sharma, who has a PhD in Physics from the University of Oxford, has worked as a development chef at fine dining restaurants including Moor Hall and L’Enclume as well as Mugaritz in Spain. He has spent the past four years as group development chef at JKS, the group behind restaurants including Trishna, Gymkhana and which backs Lyle's and Kitchen Table.
The menu will be divided into four sections: bar snacks, including lobster claw vada; and a chicken liver maska bun; the chaat section with dishes such as raw beef pepper fry with a coconut ash dosa and ginger pickle; Gondhoraj scallop with roe chaat masala and jalapeño; and the trout jhal muri.
There is also a sigree section of predominantly skewered dishes, inspired by Sharma’s grandfather’s pre-partition memories of Lahore’s kebab vendors. Examples will include green chukh masala thigh; and four-pepper lobster. Sides will include roomali roti; and ghee daal; with desserts such as apricot, buttermilk and black sesame halwa; and Kashmiri walnut and Pondicherry cocoa.
The wine list will feature 50 bins put together by sommelier and wine buyer at JKS Restaurants, Seamus Sharkey.
"It has been a long time in the making, but I couldn't be happier to open BiBi with the team at JKS Restaurants,” says Sharma.
“At BiBi we will tell the story of Indian food through a different lens; pairing impactful flavours with techniques that I have honed at some of Europe's most celebrated restaurants.
“My style of cooking is all about marrying the richly diverse cuisines of the Indian subcontinent along with the world-class produce available to us here in the UK."