Vineet Bhatia London (VBL), the new flagship restaurant from Vineet Bhatia, heralds a new beginning for the award-winning chef and restaurateur.
Set within a lovingly-restored Georgian townhouse, Vineet Bhatia London (VBL) opened this month in what was formerly the chef's long-established restaurant Rasoi at 10 Lincoln Street, just moments from the Sloane Square end of London's King's Road.
Reimagined and redesigned, VBL's Indian inspired cuisine and the restaurant's personal interiors reflect the chef's 23 year journey from his birthplace of Mumbai to Chelsea and the vision that he and his wife Rashima set out to accomplish more than 20 years ago.
Offering a menu of between five and six courses, proceeded by a selection of delicate canapés and ending in a flourish of desserts; in a single evening guests will experience a culinary exploration of Vineet Bhatia's life in food. Marrying east and west, his dishes are an accumulation of three decades spent pushing the possibilities and challenging the perception of his native cuisine, and display his continuous devotion to creating something new.
The dishes at VBL identify with a childhood and nostalgia of India. The canapés, including Sago papad and Aloo-yoghurt chaat hail back to the street vendors of Mumbai. The following courses – which include smoked salmon, white tomato butter chicken and coffee lamb chop - showcase Vineet Bhatia's respect of the traditional flavours of India, but with a delicate and intricate touch. A full vegetarian menu is also on offer with dishes such as aubergine steak and beetroot cashew tikka. Both menus can be enjoyed alongside a flight of matching wines.
Born in Mumbai, Vineet Bhatia moved to London in 1993, where he hoped to find the freedom to express and evolve his modern approach to Indian gastronomy. Perhaps ahead of his time, the London of that era offered a limited outreach for Indian cooking, with many establishments serving a cuisine of ambiguous authenticity. Unperturbed he began his career with his trademark determination.
The result was huge respect from his peers, a successful restaurant and global acclaim. It wasn't until 2001 however when Vineet became the first Indian chef to receive a Michelin star, for restaurant Zaika in Kensington, that things really began to change for Indian gastronomy globally.
Today Vineet Bhatia has a successful portfolio of 10 restaurants including in Geneva, Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Mumbai.
However October 2016 sees the journey for this pioneering chef take an unprecedented turn.
“I never ever felt I had fully achieved what Rashima and I left India for", explains Vineet, “I was always held back by either financial restrictions in the early days, or by market perception of what box Indian food should sit in. Times have changed now; people are more inquisitive and more connected to food and more open. VBL is a very personal project for us both. It captures everything we have learnt over the last 20 years and celebrates our dual identity. We are British now, as are our sons. We have spent longer in this country than anywhere else in the world: it is our home, but of course our cultural DNA is Indian. VBL is a marriage of all we know, of what we've learnt and our dual identity and just simply everything I ever wanted my restaurant to be back in 1993".
VBL's decadent Georgian townhouse has been designed with a colour palate of calming light greys. Interspersed with splashes of yellow and ornate tiles throughout, the contemporary and elegant interior highlights the striking original features of the 100 year old building.
Visit the Vineet Bhatia London restaurant website here.