Flora Indica to open with Gymkhana's Suresh Pillai as head chef

25 August 2015 by
Flora Indica to open with Gymkhana's Suresh Pillai as head chef

Flora Indica, a new restaurant, cocktail bar and lounge, is to open on London's Old Brompton Road in October, with former Gymkhana sous chef Suresh Pillai at the helm.

Inspired by the gardens and orchards of India, the site comprises a 30-seat bar, which is styled as a cocktail, gin, and whisky lounge, and which will offer a ‘tiffin box' menu of snacks and sharing dishes. The lower-ground-floor dining room will have 70 seats and offer an à la carte and tasting menu.

Head chef Suresh Pillai, whose career includes time spent as a sous chef at Michelin-starred Indian restaurant Gymkhana, and as chef de partie at high-end site Veeraswamy, has created a new menu of dishes influenced by botanical flavours inspired by the thousands of plants that were discovered, labelled, and studied throughout India and Great Britain during the Georgian and Victorian eras.

Typical dishes will include Isle Of Mull hand-dived scallops, pan-seared and poached in juniper-coconut milk; Cornish mussels with ginger and tamarind broth and a coriander naan; and Tamworth pork vindaloo with purple garlic and palm vinegar.

The drinks menu will also feature craft beers made especially by the Portobello Brewery, alongside a malt whisky collection, and a small-batch gin and punch bar. There will also be private dining room available for group hire.

The interior has been created by designer Henry Chebaane of Blue Sky Hospitality, and is intended to appear elegant while incorporating elements from the 19th-century brewing and distilling industry. The décor also includes English oak, leather, and Harris tweed upholstery, alongside textured marble surfaces, with silver and pewter accents. There is also a ‘steampunk-style' botanical distilling installation.

Indian restaurants: Where it all started and where it's all going >>Menuwatch: Gymkhana >>

What's on the menu - Gymkhana ‘thoroughly awesome' says Giles Coren >>

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