Kanishka is Atul Kochhar’s first venture with Tina English, and will explore lesser known regions of Indian food.
Kochhar first hit the London spotlight upon winning a Michelin star at the acclaimed Tamarind of Mayfair in 2001. He left to open Benares in 2002, which was awarded its own Michelin star four years later. Now a celebrated restaurateur, television personality and cookery book author, Kochhar attributes his success to his use of regional Indian flavours alongside the best British produce, a practice which he will develop further in his latest venture.
Kanishka showcases the cuisine of territories previously unexplored by London’s restaurants, particularly the mountainous Seven Sister States in the North-easternmost region of India – namely Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Tripura and Mizoram.
Kochhar’s menu explores the flavours and cooking methods of the states, with techniques such as salting, smoking and fermenting made necessary by the remoteness of the region. The influence of bordering countries such as Nepal, China, and Bangladesh is also explored through the use of ingredients like soya, raw meat, dumplings and noodles.
Named after King Kanishka, an emperor of the Kushan dynasty in the second century, Kanishka is inspired by the ruler’s use of Buddhist values, including kindness, fairness, honesty, humbleness and a sense of equality.
These themes are explored through the interiors, designed by Fabled Studio with the aim of creating a nostalgic sense of ritual and tradition.
Guests will be greeted by whimsical topiary elephants and an antique front door, whilst inside will feature verdant foliage against calming shades of blue and intricate beaded details. Split across the ground and basement floors, the 127-cover space includes a bar, a terrace at the front, and an intimate, 12-cover garden room downstairs.