Rahul Khanna and Kabir Suri of Azure Hospitality have announced they will launch their first UK venture in May in London's Mortimer Street on the site of the former Gaylord restaurant which closed in June 2019.
The operation in Fitzrovia will include ground floor restaurant Pali Hill which takes its name from one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Mumbai and will serve “an eclectic menu of regional sharing plates”.
Meanwhile, Bandra Bhai will be “a lively underground cocktail bar, inspired by the illicit hangouts of India’s smuggling era”.
The 60-cover restaurant Pali Hill will be open for lunch and dinner and celebrate the "apartment 'building societies'” that bring together a range of people and culminate in a “melting pot of different regional flavours and culinary traditions” enjoyed by people from all over the Indian subcontinent.
The group plans to reflect this diverse food culture across seasonal menus, as well as in the atmosphere and interior design, which will have a “contemporary feel whilst also taking cues from mid-century Indian design” and include specially commissioned artworks from India and folk patterned cushions and accessories.
The restaurant’s kitchen will feature a large grill designed by head chef Avinash Shashidhara whose menu will include seasonally changing small plates such as poori sagu with spring peas and broad beans and salad of banana blossom, black chickpeas, fresh coconut and lime, as well as large sharing dishes such as Coombe Farm kid goat pulao with Merinda tomato and yogurt raita. The menu will also feature gluten-free flatbreads as well as regional classics, chaats, home-style dals, fried fish and slow cooked meats.
The entrance to 40-cover bar Bandra Bhai will be through a "hidden doorway" in the basement of the Mortimer Street site and will be filled with “velvets, gaudy art and kitsch upholstery”. It will offer contemporary cocktails including tropical flavours.
Khanna and Suri founded Azure Hospitality in New Delhi in 2009 and operate a number of restaurant brands in India under the Mamagoto brand, nine Dhaba restaurants, two Sly Granny restaurants in Bangalore and New Delhi, Asian food delivery business Speedy Chow, and street food brand Rollmaal.