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Rohit Ghai

Up until this point, Rohit had always worked for others, and soon enough felt it was time he ventured out on his own. Partnering up with Abhishake Sangwan, who he’d worked with at JKS, the duo opened Kutir in November 2018 to offer a slightly different take on London’s high-end Indian food offering.

‘The restaurant is based on the hunting lodges of India,’ says Rohit. ‘I’ve done a few projects in London before, but I always look to bring something new and refreshing to the city as people are so open to trying foods they haven’t had before. When I was part of the team at Oberoi Hotels in India I helped to launch a luxury lodge in the heart of the forest, and that’s what inspired me to do something similar in London. It was perfect – we didn’t want to open a big restaurant so we could really focus on the food and have staff talk customers through some of the more unknown dishes.’

Housed in a small townhouse in the centre of Chelsea with sixty-five covers, Kutir gives Rohit the chance to properly show off his culinary prowess. Taking inspiration from all the different regional Indian cuisines he experienced when working at the big hotel groups, his menus make the most of seasonal British produce – particularly game when in season – and shine a spotlight on lesser-known traditional Indian dishes. Presentation is bright and colourful without being over-complicated, and his expertise at balancing freshly toasted and ground spices is prevalent in every course.

With two Michelin stars to his name at previous restaurants, another can’t be too far on the horizon. And while Rohit’s own restaurant is perhaps more affordable, relaxed and friendly than the hotel restaurants he used to work at back in India, there’s no denying the skill and talent on show. While more familiar dishes appear on the menu, it’s the dhoklas, khichadis, khastas and faloodas that really showcase Rohit’s flair. Indian food in the UK is enjoying a bit of a golden age at the moment as we start to understand its many regional cuisines – it’s chefs like Rohit Ghai that we have to thank for that.

Three things you should know

Rohit was invited to represent the UK's Indian food scene at Mumbai's World Gourmet Festival in 2019.

Rohit also has a street food business at Boxpark Wembley called Koolcha, which serves stuffed Indian flatbreads.

In 2017, Rohit appeared at World Food India, inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as one of an elite group of chefs who have made their country proud.