Having established a glowing reputation for modern Indian cuisine during his time at the Michelin-starred Tamarind, Chef Peter Joseph has opened his first solo venture.
Kahani opened in London’s Chelsea in September and brings together Peter’s extensive culinary experiences into one venue. Kahani has 90 covers including a private dining area and bar. Kahani, the Urdu word for ‘story’, is inspired by Peter’s childhood and encourages a social feel through the restaurant’s food and design.
Speaking to Premier Hospitality prior to the grand opening, Peter said:
“I’ve been living in London for the past fourteen years. I previously worked at the Michelin-starred Tamarind and I was really happy there but I always had this in my mind, to open on my own. We are planning to do modern Indian, not too many curries like other regular Indian restaurants. The spirit of Kahani is lighter, modern, healthy Indian food made with seasonal British ingredients.
“I want my clients to come every day to my restaurant, not eat once and then in a few months you’ve forgotten about the place.
“Basically, my aim is to not give people heavy, greasy and saucy Indian food. I want to give them a lighter, clear plate.”
Kahani’s interior design has been created by the team at Kai Interiors. Taking a lead from the concept of sharing food and swapping stories, essences of Indian stories and fables have been scattered around the restaurant. Taking care to balance design features without detracting from the food, the space is warm and welcoming.
Elise Bowd, Interior Designer at Kai Interiors, spoke to Premier Hospitality about the project and gave a guide around the space:
“As you enter, you see a beautiful upholstered wall that is made of soft blush, woven leather, and this will draw people down the stairs. You pass a private dining room that is completely based on India’s national bird, the peacock. It’s a luxurious room in deep blues and greens. There is a bespoke wallpaper, beautifully hand drawn by the team at Lyons and Tigers Creative Agency. The private room overlooks the main restaurant space.
“As you go down the stairs further, you enter into the main restaurant that opens out to a double height ceiling with beautiful bespoke, suede ribbon chandeliers. On the left there is one my favourite features, a beautiful mosaic wall. This involved mixing a special render to obtain the exact colour, then meticulously hand placing the small, square mosaic tiles piece by piece into a pattern that was taken from Indian architecture.
“One of the challenges was finding a balance between making the interiors exciting and welcoming but without detracting too much from the food. Peter’s food is amazing, it’s so colourful and we had to think about how it would look on the table. We don’t want the colours of the restaurant clashing with it. We’ve used warm colours in the upholstery that don’t detract and kept the walls quite neutral, we wanted to ensure hints of India enrich the space.”
One of the more private dining nooks within the space is filled with a delicate silk wallpaper with multi-coloured sari threads running through it.
The bar, meanwhile, has been modelled on Chand Baori, which is a beautiful stepwell of 3,5000 narrow steps built over a thousand years ago in the Indian state of Rajasthan. An open kitchen gives a sense of theatre to the space and allows customers a glimpse behind the scenes and to watch Peter in action using the Robata Grill.
Starters at Kahani have to been designed as finger food, to encourage diners to dispense with the formalities of fine dining. The main menu moves away from traditional curries and focuses more on dishes cooked on the Robata grill.
Kahani is located at 1 Wilbraham Place, London, SW1X 9AE. For more information, please visit www.kahanilondon.com.
MOSO® Bamboo Surfaces
MOSO® Bamboo Surfaces is the UK distributor for MOSO® – the world-leader for manufactured bamboo. The company – part of the MWC Group – distributes a range of bamboo products including flooring, panels, worktops, decking, cladding and bespoke items, in addition to offering a joinery service.
MOSO® Bamboo Surfaces has been in operation for eight years and within this time has worked on a range of projects including the internal fit-out of Maggie’s Barts at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, decking & flooring for the Citizen M Hotels and various large fit-out projects for high-profile names. Most recently, MOSO® Bamboo Surfaces has been involved with the work on Kahani, supplying the restaurant with 20mm side pressed, stained and lacquered bamboo table-tops.
MOSO® Bamboo Surfaces Commercial Manager, Rob Wooldridge, said:
“It was exciting to be involved with this project. It’s great that designers are considering our bamboo products as a material of choice.”
“At MOSO® Bamboo Surfaces we proudly promote bamboo as a beautiful, sustainable & durable alternative to traditional timbers to be used in domestic and commercial applications and it’s refreshing to see it used for table tops in an interior fit-out project like Kahani.”
For more information, please visit: www.mosobamboosurfaces.co.uk