In a charming townhouse in the centre of Chelsea, Rohit Ghai's Indian restaurant Kutir takes classic and traditional dishes from the country and reinvents them as refined, beautiful and flavour-packed plates of food.
10 Lincoln Street
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  • Kutir
    10 Lincoln Street, Chelsea, UK, London, SW3 2TS
    020 7581 1144
    Restaurant reservations

    Restaurant dining rooms usually fall into two categories: big, grand, open-plan halls or intimate, cosy, welcoming spaces. Kutir is definitely the latter. Housed inside a converted townhouse in the centre of Chelsea, guests ring a doorbell when they arrive, and the friendly service and series of small rooms offers a somewhat different dining experience to larger restaurants elsewhere in London.

    Kutir means ‘a small cottage in the middle of nowhere’, and while Chelsea isn’t exactly remote, you can see why co-owners Rohit Ghai and Abhishake Sangwan felt it was a fitting title for their first solo restaurant. The duo have plenty of experience in the realms of Indian fine dining – they were both at Michelin-starred Indian restaurants run by the JKS Restaurants group previously – but Kutir marks their first venture as co-owners.

    Despite the small rooms and intimate setting, the décor at Kutir ensures it never feels cramped or dark. Natural light floods one room thanks to a conservatory-style glass ceiling, and the bright and colourful wallpaper combines with plenty of vibrant patterns to make diners feel at home.

    The menus – à la carte, tasting, set lunch and early bird – span the entirety of India, taking inspiration from chef Rohit’s time spent cooking in luxury hunting lodge hotels in the country. What sets Kutir apart from the majority of other fine dining Indian restaurants in the UK, however, is Rohit’s ability to take incredibly simple and traditional dishes – think steamed dhokla cakes and rice and lentil khichadi (a precursor to kedgeree) – and reinvent them in luxurious and refined ways. Khichadi comes covered in truffle and wild mushrooms, for instance, while normally bland dhokla is given new life thanks to being heavily tempered with carefully balanced spices. During the autumn and winter months there’s also a focus on game, with a whole tasting menu dedicated to the wild meats of the UK. The entire menu changes regularly with the seasons, meaning there’s always something new to try on return visits.

    When it comes to drinks, there’s a huge variety on offer, with an extensive wine list full of rare and unusual bottles (including a few from India). Cocktails are complex and interesting, some of which contain Kutir’s own vermouth, and there are plenty of non-alcoholic options that go beyond the standard offering.

    London certainly isn’t short of high-end Indian restaurants, but Kutir is where you’ll find some of the finest and most interesting examples of the genre in the capital. Rather than relying solely on the rich, luxurious food of northern India, Rohit also draws from the south, east and west of the country to offer a wide range of flavours and techniques. Of course, there are fancified versions of classics such as lamb rogan josh and chicken tikka masala, but the most interesting eating can be found in the less familiar dishes.

    Three things you should know
    Chef Rohit Ghai also runs a street food stall in Boxpark Wembley called Koolcha, which specialises in northern Indian stuffed flatbreads.
    All the food at Kutir is made with freshly toasted and ground spices, to ensure the most vibrant flavour possible.
    The townhouse Kutir is established in was previously the home of the Michelin-starred Restaurant Vineet Bhatia.
    10 Lincoln Street, Chelsea, UK, London, SW3 2TS
    020 7581 1144
    Restaurant reservations