Launch of Chokhi Dhani, Battersea
by Anita Pati - Saturday April 14, 2018 9:04 am
2 Riverlight Quay, Nine Elms Ln, London SW11 8EB
Professor Green and Pixie Lott helped launch the opening of Rajasthani restaurant Chokhi Dhani on Thursday 12 April in Battersea.
A spark away from the power station and the new American Embassy, Chokhi Dhani aims to bring a "regal ambience" and "aristocratic luxury" to Indian dining.
Already renowned in India for the last 30 years as a hospitality venue/resort group, Chokhi Dhani will initially venture into restaurants in the UK.
"There isn't another restaurant doing Rajasthani food here," says executive head chef Vishnu Natarajan, who has headed up cheffing at Carom in Soho and was a training chef at Taj Group Hotels.
The team will also include senior sous chef Mohammed Naseem Qureshi, latterly of Bombay Bustle in Mayfair and Lotus, and pastry chef Rakesh Sharma (Chutney Mary, Mint Leaf).
Diners will first encounter a finely-carved, life-size bronze elephant guarding the front door, handcrafted by Indian artist Vivek K Agrawal.
Standouts among the food are the "Rajasthani feast" of a Maharaja thali whose pasta and dough dishes will be more unusual to the average English palate.
A smoky roasted aubergine ash, and a chilli and cumin lamb rump are excellent as is the rose creme brule whose intense rose petal relish, scrumpy meringue and dark honey comb lie deconstructed across the plate.
Working alongside Vishnu is Bhagwan Singh, an expert on Rajasthani cuisine who has showcased its intricacies worldwide. Bhagwan was most recently at Cinnamon Culture, but his two decade-long career has also seen him work at such venues as Woodlands and Mint Leaf.