Bursting onto London’s Indian restaurant scene with exceptional pedigree and high hopes, the buzz that surrounded Kutir’s opening already had it that the restaurant was on its way to Michelin stars, even before the Michelin inspectors had time to look up its location on Google maps.
And it is easy to see why. Kutir is the brainchild of serial Indian restaurant hitmaker Rohit Gai and another veteran of the high-end Indian scene, Abhi Sangwan.
Adding to the expectation is Kutir’s location. The attractive Chelsea townhouse was previously home to Vineet Basai’s Rasoi, which itself won a Michelin star before making way for the short-lived VBL, which was similarly rewarded before closing unexpectedly a year later.
And they’re not wrong. Unmissable dishes on the menu include the quail naan and scrambled egg, whose bread is covered in rich fluffy quail eggs and given a generous scattering of truffle. The paneer makkai, with sweet corn, cottage cheese, yoghurt and garnished prettily with a smattering of purple leaves is also delicious.
Another egg dish almost matches the quail naan – the nargisi kofta, which sees boiled eggs served in keema with bone marrow and churchur paratha.
The prawn masala is another show-stopper. The lamb chops too – a classic that can easily separate good Indian from the merely adequate – are served pink with just the right amount of heat.
As well as Kutir’s à la carte options, diners can also opt for “Expeditions”; seven to nine-course tasting menus named Signature or Vegetarian Signature. Highlights here include the subtly executed chicken tikka masala, as light an interpretation of this UK favourite as you could hope, and the aloo tikki, a crisp potato cake that comes with tamarind and mint chutney.
After all those riches, end with the beautifully plated Valrhona chocolate and banana for dessert – as geometrically satisfying as a Modrian.
Or bring the meal to close with a bhappa doi, a steamed yoghurt pudding that is here served with honeycomb and rose petals. A subtle end to a strong menu that makes a forceful claim for Michelin recognition.
Kutir, 10 Lincoln St, London SW3 2TS. For reservations, visit kutir.co.uk or call 020 7581 1144.