Atul Kochhar is set to open Kanishka in London’s Mayfair next month at the former 28°-50° site on Maddox Street.
The venture will be his first partnership with Tina English, former commercial director of Cinnamon Club in Westminster, who will act as managing director of Kanishka Holdings, and is the chef’s first UK venture since his split with Benares in Mayfair last year.
Kanishka will explore “lesser known regions of Indian food”, showcasing cuisine from the country’s more remote territories and borders.
Kochhar was one of the first chefs to win a Michelin star for Indian cuisine when he worked at London’s Tamarind. He left to open Benares in 2002, which was awarded its own Michelin star four years later. The chef now has three UK restaurants in his portfolio – Sindhu in Marlow, Hawkyns in Amersham, and Indian Essence in Bromley, Greater London.
Kanishka will particularly focus on the seven sister states in the most easternmost region of India and the influences of neighbouring countries such as Nepal, China, and Bangladesh.
Using seasonal and locally sourced British produce where possible, signature starters will include the Kachela maas, a Sikkim-inspired venison tartare with mustard oil mayonnaise, naan crouton and onions.
Mains will include Samundri khazana alleppey, a dish of pan-seared seafood, Alleppey sauce and smoked cabbage poriyal, with desserts such as chocolate rasmalai, a milk-based dessert popular in eastern India and neighbouring Bangladesh and Pakistan.
Signature cocktails will include the likes of the roast banana old fashioned, made from Tandoor-roasted banana with cinnamon, orange and pecan bitters, maple; and Ingrita, made from mezcal served alongside a chilled lightly spiced tomato broth.
Guests will also be able to create their own drinks from a menu of herb and spice distillates, mixed with a choice of naturally flavoured tonic waters and their spirit of choice. The whisky menu will offer 50 types of whisky, including a selection sourced from India.
Named after King Kanishka, an emperor of the Kushan dynasty in the second century, the restaurant will be designed by Fabled Studio featuring topiary elephants and an antique front door outside, while inside will feature foliage, shades of blue and beaded details.
Split across the ground and basement floors, the 127-cover space will include a bar, a terrace at the front, and an intimate, 12-cover garden room downstairs.
Kochhar said: “Kanishka is a very exciting project for us – it’s a great opportunity to continue to showcase Indian flavours alongside quality British produce, but also introduce London’s diners to the unique flavours of territories previously unexplored by Indian cuisine in the UK.”