If we’re talking stories, it’s difficult to beat that of the 200-year journey of Indian cuisine in the UK. From the first curry house in 1809 to Chicken Tikka Masala being named Britain’s national dish, it truly has been quite a ride. It is this exciting and often complex story that Michelin-starred chef Peter Joseph wants to tell in his Chelsea restaurant Kahani. Taking inspiration from his childhood in Tamil Nadu, the southernmost Indian state, Kahani—which means “story” in Hindi—takes a contemporary approach to Indian cooking whilst using seasonal British ingredients.
We enter the subterranean dining room that is tucked within a red brick building opposite Cadogan Hall. A mix of earth tones greets us as we make our way to our table, giving off a warm and welcoming vibe. Joseph’s desire to combine his experience of growing up in an Indian mother’s kitchen and then cooking in British restaurants is reflected in the communal approach of his menus. Aside from the main menu, Kahani also has an all-vegan menu, weekend roast menu, tasting menu, and festive Dawat, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve options as well.
To get a good taste of the story Joseph wanted to tell, we decided to take a few plates to share from the different menu sections. Our favourites were the perfectly-cooked seared scallops with star anise coating, smoked pepper chutney, and shrimp pickle; and the smoked Malabar prawns marinated with fresh turmeric, coconut, and curry leaves. A robata grill is central to some of Kahani’s signature dishes, and they did not disappoint. The Kahani Chicken Makhani features a chargrilled chicken served with a punchy tomato makhani gravy and fenugreek leaves.
The dishes we tried clearly showed that Joseph is successful in giving diners an Indian food experience with a twist without compromising on flavour or soul. With a strong wine and cocktail list, a menu that is diverse yet balanced, and a dining room that makes you want to spend hours inside, Kahani is a place where diners can gather around the table to share both food and stories.
Address: 1 Wilbraham Place, London SW1X 9AE
Phone: 020 7730 7634