Refurbished former Rasoi and Vineet Bhatia location serving quality Indian cooking under Rohit Ghai
A very pleasant return to Kutir from Rohit Ghai. Kutir, incidentally meaning cottage in Sanskrit is aptly named by being away from the bustle of the town off King’s Road and the very pleasant way in which you need to ring the doorbell to gain entry in keeping with its townhouse feel. This meal was taken in the Atrium and for more photos of the rest of the restaurant and their private dining room upstairs, please refer to my first review of 30 Nov 2018. The hospitality here is second to none under the steerage of the General Manager Prem Sangwan and this a charming setting in general with reassuringly decent Indian food and one I would recommend.
Food Grade: 80%
Naan breads were wonderfully fluffy but not too thick and served with a very good gooseberry chutney which was a pleasant change from mango. Pink prawns, coconut, sesame and Roscoff onion were meaty and sweet. The lamb I have had before and is extremely good with real depth of lamb flavour, gently balanced with black cumin, sprouts, onion and yoghurt. I’m actually struggling to think where in London I have actually had better lamb chops.
Morels with berries, wild mushroom, white turmeric and crisps was very good as I recall it so I was pleased that my dining companions who had not been there enjoyed this. The panfried sea bass, curry leaf and coconut was a very delicate dish as is the fish, and both were treated exactly as they should be, the curry being a gentle accompaniment to the lovely sea bass cooked to perfection (much more difficult than most realise).
Chicken tikka masala with fenugreek, tomato and Kashmiri chilli was a masterstroke. I was curious to see how Kutir would handle this and the result was a bowl of sweetness and depth of tomato curry with succulent chicken contained within and at this point, I only wished I had a bowl of that and nothing else to fill me up as is usually the case when dining on Indian cuisine (very filling). The Kutir kaali dal had good depth and was a luxurious dip for the naan. Sadly none of my dessert photos made it successfully, but the two tried were well spiced and light at the same time.
Another very good experience here, which I would definitely put on your list of to do’s if you are in any way fond of curry, for this upgrade experience. If this establishment received a Michelin star, I would say this is entirely appropriate.
Kutir is the revitalisation of the same charming Chelsea townhouse that used to be occupied by Vineet Bhatia’s Rasoi (rebranded to being called Vineet Bhatia in its latter months prior to closing). Rohit Ghai is the new owner and has done, frankly, a very nice job with it. The refurbishment is elegant and cosy at the same time. The atrium allows much light in the back area and its name of Kutir, meaning cottage in Sanskrit, seems appropriate being away from the bustle of the town. The food is clearly in an upper realm of Indian restaurants within the UK and I would be much more inclined to return here than several of the existing Michelin starred Indian restaurants based on this meal. I cannot see why this should not join this tier in the next guide, but then again the same question mark exists in my mind for Indian Accent, so you never know what Michelin are up to sometimes. A definite recommendation for Indian food and unlike any of the others in its Chelsea home-like setting.
The menu at Kutir is mainly North Indian cuisine but also showcases signature dishes from around the country. Menu prices are not vast considering the location, but it is easy to get caught up with several attractive options from under £10 which will obviously add up. For this visit, we tried the stone bass squid, scallops aubergine, truffle mushroom khichadi and I could not resist one on my favourite curries of all time, the duck korma.
Nibbles of breads, crackers and popadoms were the obvious nibbles, but crucially, were done well (not too oily at all) and served with very good chutneys especially the mango and pineapple spiced chutney. The tandoori cooked stone bass came with squid ink and crisps and was marinated in yoghurt, cream cheese and spices making it nice and moist. It included two little squid rings which, separately were very nice as well. The scallops were hand-dived and served with aubergine frittas and puree which was pleasing, but the actual sweetness of the scallops was one of the gems of the whole meal.
Quail naan (naan bread with diced quail inside) with scrambled egg and truffle on the top was never going to fail as a combination, but it was a little tricky to eat with hands and actually qualified as a dish in itself when I was mainly after a naan to help mop up the korma. This was duly provided in the form of a plain paratha, kulcha and naan and were all fine in texture (great to have the different kinds of breads on one side plate).
The lamb was another highlight in that it almost didn’t need its supporting cumin (but was delicately handled all the same) as the quality of this lamb was super providing excellent flavour. Truffle khichadi (a form of kedgeree using lentils with rice) was rich and satisfying. The duck korma was very good to have albeit with a korma sauce that I was expecting just a little more kick or excitement from. Certainly not a negative though.
Dessert comprised of chilli chocolate banana mousse. This was heavy but pleasant, along with ginger biscuit & dehydrated banana with creme brûlée using a hard & soya chocolate to accompany along with banana fritas on toffee. This was a superb dessert and would rival a mass of desserts in any Michelin starred restaurant you care to mention and was a lovely finish to show that this ex-Jamavar head chef is still very much operating at a consistently high level and I look forward to returning when I can.
Food Grade: 80%
Location (Click google logo for directions)