Brummell recommends: Kutir

Kutir’s new Jaltarang Seafood Expedition menu is a superlative summer treat of perfectly spiced Indian gastronomy

Food and Drink 6 Aug 2019

Scallop with aubergine, part of the Jaltarang menu at Kutir
Soft shelled crab with spiced chickpeas at Kutir
The beautiful interiors at Kutir take inspiration from the natural world

The background

Rohit Ghai and Abhishake Sangwan’s lauded restaurant has one of the most charming settings in London, a beautiful and exquisitely decorated Chelsea townhouse. Kutir feels intimate and special from the moment you step in, an escape from the city, and it’s the perfect spot for an indulgent feast, inspired as it was by traditional Indian lodges and the great banquets that took place in them. Kutir’s menu evokes the idea of journeying through India, and for summer the restaurant has launched a collection of new menus, dreamed up to reflect the sultry weather and sunshine.

The space

To evoke that feeling of a wildlife lodge, Kutir is richly decorated with tiles and wallpaper adorned with flora and fauna against a serene green background. Cushions are embroidered with leaf patterns and birds of paradise look out from the flowers adorning the bar. While being extravagant, it’s extremely tasteful and really helps create the feeling of stepping from a London street into another world.

Flora and fauna adorn the walls at Kutir
Flora and fauna adorn the walls at Kutir

The menu

Ghai’s menus change with the seasons and all provide an innovative take on classic Indian dishes and flavours. Kutir serves a selection of ‘Expedition’ menus that take customers on a culinary journey through Indian gastronomy. For summer, Kutir has launched the irresistible new five-course Jaltarang Seafood Expedition menu. Jaltarang means ‘of the sea’ and the menu comprises a collection of beautifully prepared and fragrant dishes with seafood at its heart. The menu starts with a delicately spiced soft-shell crab with chickpeas prepared with tellicherry pepper, garlic and mustard. To follow is an exquisitely cooked and irresistible scallop served on the shell with deliciously soft sautéed aubergine and a crisp aubergine fritter. The next dish is wonderfully tender, mouth-watering king prawns with a piquant mustard marinade and refreshing dill raita. Next in line is the main event of lobster in a moreish coriander sauce with paratha, rice and incredible unguent black dhal. It’s a real balancing act to spice lobster so delicately that it enhances and doesn’t overshadow the meat, and Ghai has achieved this with aplomb. To finish, there is a choice of a deep, rich, dark chocolate dessert with chilli and banana fritters, or a layered cassata with mango, cranberry, pink peppercorns and pistachio sponge.

Each dish comes with a recommended wine, carefully paired and certainly worth ordering to complete the full journey of the menu. Kutir’s cocktails are masterful too – the Bagh, crafted from tequila, agave, fresh mango, camomile foam and pink peppercorn is especially recommended.

The bill

The Jaltarang Seafood Expedition menu is £55 per person, accompanying wine pairing is £45.

In summary

The new menu is the perfect expression of how well Indian spices and techniques can work with seafood. The food is summery, light, absolutely delicious and served in a beautiful setting you’ll want to escape to again and again.

Kutir, 10 Lincoln Street, SW3 2TS,