Modern-Indian cuisine from Michelin-starred chef in upmarket Chelsea townhouse
Category : Restaurant
| Cuisine : Indian
Address : 10 Lincoln St, Chelsea, London , SW3 2TS, UNITED KINGDOM - Directions
Web : www.vineetbhatia.com
Opening Times : Tues-Sun: 6.30pm–10.15pm
Closest Tube : Sloane Square
There aren't many restaurants quite like Vineet Bhatia, the freshly renamed and relaunched restaurant formerly known as Rasoi, nestled a stone's throw away from Sloane Square. Aspiring diners must stroll to the north end of Lincoln Street and ring the bell at number 10, a townhouse that looks suspiciously like a residence and nothing more. Once inside you'll be whisked to your table with the wonted professionalism of a Michelin-starred chef, but the experience doesn't get any more orthodox…
But first a note on the dining room(s). Reimagined by Bhatia's wife Rashima, the interiors have been soaked in soothing grey, with the walls, the moulding and the ceilings a touch lighter than the slick leather banquettes and mid-century modern armchairs that circumscribe the space. This and the dark wooden herringbone floors are given luminous relief by natural light entering through large bay windows or funky chandeliers and wall lights. Upstairs you'll find a large ovular table in the private dining room, which adjoins an outdoor terrace with a conservatory.
The eponymous chef's origin story is worth its weight in salt. Originally hailing from the sun-blanched streets of Mumbai, the lucky young cook made his way up in the kitchens of the Oberoi before decamping for London, becoming the first ever Indian chef to earn a Michelin star at Zaika, and then winning another at his own restaurant Rasoi in 2004. Craving a bit of a shot in the arm, he rejigged it as Vineet Bhatia, with a punchy new USP. Guests have one choice only if they want to experience his Indian reexamination of fine dining: the eleven-course tasting menu. They then have the option to bolt-on wine pairings.
We obviously did. We won't bog down to deeply in the details as the only way to fully experience the wide range of delicacies on offer is to book a table, but we will pry out a few of the meal's highlights. An amuse bouche of lime soup was served in a tumbler and heavily laden with lemongrass and turmeric that delivered an electric shock to the olfactory senses. It was served with a smoked prawn chaat smacking of chilli and coriander that arrived in a bell jar containing a nebula of wood smoke. As an introduction to the meal, it was masterful.
Chilli cod served with a squid ink infused tuile found a beautiful mate in a fizzing late disgorged blanc de blanc English sparkler from the Bluebell Vineyard Estate in Sussex. However, the most enlightened marriage was between the unbridled elegance of a Peña Roble tempranillo and the duck korma. As we were approaching course number eleven we were running out of steam, however the mouthfuls on offer were entirely too delicious to leave unfinished, particularly a minute nest of crisp milk chocolate containing tamarind caviar, a sweetmeat dumpling and a painstakingly fashioned white chocolate feather.
By the time we were finished we were on another planet. Mr Bhatia has that ability to transport the diner.