For my birthday dinner this year, as a special treat, we visited Vineet Bhatia London, named after the owner, the well loved chef Vineet Bhatia. As soon as I had read it was opening and I had seen some sneak previews, I knew this was where I wanted to celebrate.
Located in Rasoi’s previous home, in a townhouse on Kings Road, Chelsea, you can enjoy a tasting menu comprising of modern Indian dishes. The menu has approximately 16 dishes, which are a mixture of amuse bouches, small and larger plates, and desserts. The food is low in carbs and chef Vineet’s aim is to provide a sensory experience through his different dishes, which he truly succeeded in doing.
As we arrived, we rang the doorbell, and we were welcomed as if we had arrived at someone’s house for a dinner party. It was so lovely.
Unfortunately on the evening that we dined, chef Vineet was travelling, but that didn’t stop him surprising us with some bubbles to start with, which was very happily received.
We both opted for the non-vegetarian tasting menus, and decided to stick to the champagne rather than going for the wine flight.
First to arrive was Aloo Chat, presented in a spherical shape with a pipette filled with raita (yoghurt) attached to the hollowed out centre. A gentle squeeze of the pipette injected the Aloo Chat with the yoghurt mixture and we ate the whole thing in one go, appreciating the explosion of flavours in our mouths.
Then arrived a gorgeous platter which had one of Amit’s favourite dishes, but in a modern twist, Pau Bhaji. In this instance, the masala was baked into the dough and served with bhaji butter on the side. This was just magical and so delicious. While I am typing this up I am craving it!
Also on the platter was India’s beloved Khari biscuit topped with aubergine jaggery, called Khari biscuit Aubergine Kut.
Served in a metal plate and on a beautiful spoon was Idli Sambhar with crab chutney. This was so dreamy and left such lovely flavours on my palette.
A theatrical Sago papad soon arrived with a smokey aura. Topped with delicious tuna tartare and a green apple salsa, this was sensational. This would have been what would have been normal papad in an Indian meal, and I loved this alternative as it was really light, tangy and perfect in terms of portion considering we were having so many dishes.
In an extremely gorgeous dish, arrived amazing Pan seared Ghee scallops with garlic, chilli, pearl cous cous and edamame. This was one of the highlights of the meal and totally divine.
From the next section in the tasting menu we were served some Smoked Salmon with a dusting of pea powder and coriander ketchup. I had the smoked Paneer as I am not a Salmon fan, and it was just incredible. They were so flexible in terms of swapping dishes which was fantastic. The smoky aroma was intoxicating and invoked nostalgia of summer barbeques but with an upmarket twist.
Now the Mushroom Momo with makhani tomato ice cream and garlic raita was just superb. The broken plate is my friend Maham’s work – isn’t it just stunning? The momo, which is like a dumpling, was gorgeous and the tomato ice cream was a revelation. Garlic raita was always going to be a winner for me as I am obsessed with garlic.
Lobster is another weakness of mine and this Grilled lobster with gram flour cake (what we call Dhokla), squid ink foam and baby melons was heavenly.
With two main dishes to go before dessert, we were surprisingly okay after all these dishes. In a normal Indian restaurant if we had eaten this much we would not be able to move! I love the balance of ingredients that Vineet has so skillfully chosen and used and this experience was already at this point top of my list for 2016!
We had Malai chicken which was served with braised spinach, sundried tomato powder on white makhni sauce. Garnishing the plate was a Tomato crisp, Boraj leaf and black olives. This was really delightful.
The final of the savoury dishes was the Kapi Lamb Chops served with ghatia. Kapi, which is coffee, is something I never imagined would go with lamb but boy did it go well! It was such a treat.
We were by now very excited about dessert and to start with we had a bowl of Ras gulia called Coconut Calm, with coconut crisp, coconut jelly and coconut cream. It was a lovely light rendition of the dish and one you could eat tub fulls of while curled up on the couch with your favoutite TV show.
The highlight for me, out of the desserts, in terms of taste and presentation, was the Chocmosa which was served alongside pani puri filled with cheese which was sat on top of a shot glass filled with green pistachio milk. Mamma mia was this amazing!
The Salted caramel kulfi topped with toasted quinoa served on a banana leaf and cooled on a himalayan salt block was just as fabulous!
The dessert didn’t end here though. Next we had a selection of Petit fours which included Rose ginger jubjub, Chai Ganache (which was my favourite), Chocolate Fennel, Sesame crips, Chilli chocolate and Almond Tuille. We were well and truly spoilt with the assortment.
The surprise didn’t end there though and out came a Birthday mocha mousse cake which was amazing. I truly felt like a princess having dined on a fantastic banquet in Vineet Bhatia London and I really did have the best meal I have had in a long time.
As far as tasting menus go, I am not sure what could possibly top this! However, I was assured that the menu is going to change frequently which is a great excuse to go back! The vegetarian menu is just as incredible. I can totally see a Michelin star being awarded super soon.
If you have seen me you are probably wondering how I managed to eat so much. I can assure you it is so well though out that is is an enjoyable experience rather than one which leaves you passed out on the couch in a food coma.
The entire experience is just out of this world, from the venue, the service and the fantastic food. At £105 per person it is the type of meal you would choose for a special occasion and it is one I can’t recommend enough! If I had to rate it I would give it 11/10.