What: A 90-cover Indian restaurant in a plush town house in London’s equally plush Sloane Square. Translating as ‘story’ in Hindi, it’s a contemporary space with a focus on grilled meats, fish and vegetables from the kitchen’s robata grill.
Who: This is chef Peter Joseph’s debut venture having previously spent the past decade at Indian restaurant Tamarind in Mayfair, where he helped it maintain its Michelin star. Originally from Tamil Nadu, India’s southernmost state, Joseph started his career in India before coming to the UK in 2003. He joined Tamarind the following year and was made head chef in 2012. Kahani’s restaurant manager is Sheikh Shofi, who has also been responsible for putting together its wine list.
The vibe: The interior is said to have been inspired by India’s national bird, the peacock, with dark tones that create a smart and sophisticated dining room. Diners can see chefs on the dessert section thanks to a large window and also have views of the wine selection that is elevated to the rear of the restaurant.
The menu: Starters at Kahani are designed to be served as finger food, and while this works for its samosa platter with Punjabi aloo, Kolhapuri chicken and Chettinad venison, dishes such as its delicious soft shell crab require the use of cutlery. For mains, grilled and tandoori dishes feature heavily, such as smoked Malabar prawns with fresh turmeric, coconut and curry leaves (£24); Gressingham duck breast with coriander, pokharaya chutney and a Jaitooni naan (£18) and tandoori broccoli marinated in honey, nigella seeds and wheat crisps (£12). Two curries available - butter chicken (£20) and a nalli gosht (£22). Where Kahani goes more off piste is with its desserts, which include a peanut butter parfait and a raspberry and mint ‘melt in the middle’ cheesecake, although more traditional kulfi is also on offer. Prices befit Kahani’s premium postcode, and portion sizes aren’t huge.
And another thing: Kahani is soon to have competition in the form of Kutir, Rohit Ghai’s forthcoming restaurant that opens down the road in Chelsea. Things are getting spicy in West London.