Authentic Indian Cooking, But Not As You Know It: Our Take On Kahani

With a dad that prefers a good takeaway and home-cooked food to eating out in a restaurant, we rarely dine out together. God forbid he’s home past 10 pm on a weekday. But on a balmy Thursday night, there was only one place worth dragging him out of the house for; Kahani. Spearheaded by chef Peter Joseph – of Tamarind fame, the Belgravia restaurant is bringing a fresh approach to Indian cooking.

Kahani Chelsea Interiors

If the menu is anything like the beautiful interior, we're in for a treat.

In case you aren’t familiar with Tamarind, it was the first Indian restaurant in the world to earn a Michelin star, so we had high hopes for this new venture. Just minutes from Sloane Square, the subdued spot was every bit as impressive as I’d imagined. Kahani might have space for 90 diners, but it felt like an intimate space. High ceilings adorned with draped lighting fixtures contrasted with leafy corners featuring plush velvet booths... and waiters looked just as dapper.

From sirloin kebabs spiked with truffle oil to scallops coated in star anise, this isn’t your usual Indian fare. A far cry from the biriyani that arrives at my parents’ door from the takeaway around the corner, Kahani is serving up an elevated menu. Poppadums (£4) arrived in an assortment of textures, matched with chutneys that included a thick spicy pineapple creation; while hunks of crunchy soft shell crab (£12) were topped with sweetened yoghurt and mint alongside dollops of tamarind chutney.

Kahani Chelsea Indian Food

Prawns too pretty to eat? Not quite.

Not usually ones for a cold dish, we were pleasantly surprised by the unusual combination of octopus and tandoori calamari (£12) with kasoondi mustard and aloo pomelo chaat. The trio of signature smoked Malabar prawns (£16) doused in fresh turmeric and lashings of curry were a must... so good that there was no way dad was sharing the third morsel. Even the Tandoori Ananas (£15) which combined house-made spiced rum with pineapple, cinnamon, honey and lime was an unusual hit.

Satisfying dad’s love of seafood, the waiter suggested a fish curry (£24) in which the catch of the day, halibut, was drenched in juicy spices and simmered in shallots. Staying true to my dessert always mantra, we ended on a sweeter note, opting for a glass of house wine (£7) and the gooey chilli chocolate mousse bomb (£10) with sorbet and gulab jamun bits. Filling the last bit of space in my stomach, it was a delicious (and Insta-worthy) end to a stunning meal.

Kahani Chelsea Chocolate Bomb

It's a hard job, but someone's gotta eat all this.

The DesignMyNight Digest

Did dad enjoy his first review? Absolutely. I couldn't fault a thing at Kahani. Service was fabulous, with a waiter so tuned in to our tastes and the menu itself that we loved every single dish he recommended. If the food doesn’t get you (trust us, it will) then the decadent interiors and relaxing atmosphere will certainly do it.