EXCLUSIVE: Kahani (Indian Fine Dining) – Chelsea, London

HURRY! GRAB YOUR 20% DISCOUNT VOUCHER NOW! Here's how...

But hurry, 20% discount offer ends 31st Jan 2019. To grab your discount voucher, simply:

  1. Share this review on Facebook.
  2. Like our Facebook page:

Then Contact Us with 1) your FB username, and 2) a screenshot of your share for verification, and we’ll send you your exclusive discount voucher.

*Not in conjunction with any other offer. Call and book in advance, and notify the restaurant of this Feed the Lion voucher.

HALAL STATUS Halal food menu except game (prepped & cooked separately) • Alcohol served

Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry

Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal CurryThe discovery of a new fine dining establishment, with Chef Peter Joseph at the culinary helm, ought to stir some level of excitement.

But, learning that said restaurant also caters for Halal, while maintaining strict preparatory and cooking standards to ensure zero cross-contamination, should induce cartwheels of excitement.

And so we bring you an exclusive review of Kahani in London’s upmarket Chelsea a contemporary approach to cookery whose chef is focusing on Tamil Nadu, the southernmost state of India.

With the restaurant’s core dining philosophy revolving around grilled meats, fish and vegetables from the robata grill, Kahani is located opposite the iconic Cadogan Hall on Wilbraham Place.

dessert Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry

The Peacock Room – private dining area perfect for parties or business meetings.

The large and spacious, 90-cover venue is situated in the basement and can be accessed in two ways: down the stairs at the main entrance, or via a lift nextdoor in Cheval Phoenix House.

With chique and stylish, modern decor, Kahani offers an intimate private dining room it calls ‘The Peacock Room’, which overlooks the restaurant and accommodates up to 10 guests – ideal for parties or business meetings.

Although the restaurant serves alcohol, its bar is conveniently separated away behind a wall from the main dining room.

The restaurant is available for exclusive hire, with Chef Peter able to devise a specially curated menu to suit the exact requirements of any and all guests.

DRINKS

drinks mocktails Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry

(Left-right) Spicy Honey Moon – Seedlip spice 94 gin, tamarind, fresh chilli, fresh bergamot juice, honey, £8.00;
Green Sapphire – green tea, pineapple juice, fresh mint, ginger syrup, fresh lemon, £6.00;
Basil Straight & Narrow – Seedlip garden gin, basil and watermelon shrub, egg white, £8.00

Given the assortment of ingredients, you’d expect these beverages to be sophisticated concoctions of harmony and precision. Presentation-wise, that’s exactly what our initial reaction was. However…

The most intensely flavoured of the half-dozen non-alcoholic selections was easily the Spicy Honey Moon whose heat and spice will knock your tonsils right down your gullet. It was ferocious! The idea behind this approach, we were told, is that it’s supposed to help build up an appetite. Perhaps; but when it’s this hot, you’d be better off crossing out the other four alleged ingredients therein.

As for the beautifully presented Green Sapphire, then this was a mature outing where nibbling on the dried pineapple disc, along with the light sourness of its fresh counterpart and the squeeze of a lemon, helped counter the heat of the ginger syrup, which lingers pleasantly at the back of the throat.

The Basil Straight & Narrow was, indeed, fairly narrow, straightforward and one-dimensional, with the watermelon coming through ultra discreetly. This would serve more as a palette cleanser more than anything else.

Now, before you write in complaining: yes, there is, what’s known as, Seedlip gin used in some of these, but rest assured this is merely “distilled non-alcoholic spirit”.

mocktails drinks prawn Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry

(Left-right) Teetotal T’Apple – fresh lemon juice, apple juice, lemon verbena syrup topped up with seltzer, £6.00;
Jing-Jungle – apple juice, fresh lemon juice, cider vinegar, sprig of rosemary and thyme, sugar syrup, egg white, £8.00;
Zesty Grove – Seedlip spice 94 gin, cranberry juice, fresh lemon juice, topped up with Sicilian Lemonade & English elderflower with crushed juniper, £8.00

The elaborate ingredients in both the Teetotal T’Apple and the Zesty Grove ultimately flatter to deceive, with the former’s apple barely noticeable, and the tepid latter’s grapfruit materialising mildly before… nothing!

In the end, the Jing-Jungle, with its attractively frothy egg white head, was the best of the lot by default, given the extent of the competition, with the cider vinegar dominating initially before immediately dissipating to make way for the gentleness of the apple and the aroma of the thyme.

SMALL PLATTER

samosa Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry

Samosa Platter – Punjabi aloo, Kolhapuri chicken, Chettinad venison, £10.00

When you have a samosa platter which takes you on a journey from the Punjab to Maharashtra’s Kolhapur, before heading down towards Chettinad in Tamil Nadu, how could you ignore that?

samosa Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry samosa Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry samosa Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry

There was no faulting the crumbly-cum-buttery texture of the Punjabi and Kolhapuri pastry, with the former’s potato filling being subtly spiced and going well with the tamarind sauce, while the latter’s chicken interior being moist and tender, and quite flavourous.

Yet, while the Chettinad version had a thinner and crispier exterior, its venison filling, although having that familiarly rich meatiness and some mild heat too, bordered on the dry side.

Having that all that, however, while this trio was satisfying enough, it didn’t smack of fine dining, despite complimenting each other and being an enjoyable journey of India.

Crab Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry

Soft shell crunchy crab with Mangalorean spices, tomato chutney, £10.00

This soft shell crab was spiced using Mangalorean spices from the Indian state of Karnataka. Garnished with a simple salad of diced cucumbers, tomatoes and red onions, and accompanied by a gently spiced tomato chutney, which didn’t add much, this dish split the crowd.

Hence, although two Lions appreciated the crispy-crunchy and gently spiced, herby batter that encased the crab, the third Lion thought it too overpowering against the delicate nature of the crab, and concluded the plate to be “not very appetising”.

calamari octopus Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry

Octopus and tandoori calamari, kasoondi mustard, aloo pomelo chaat, £11.00

octopus Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal CurryThis busy looking octopus and tandoori calamari bowl  comprised a medley of colourful textures and flavours.

Served relatively cold, much to the chagrin of one Lion who observantly pointed out the absence of this important fact on the menu, this kept our attention enough to have us inquisitively nibbling away till the end.

In all, we enjoyed its vibrant freshness, the superb cooking of the octopus, which was gorgeously chewy and tender, the lovely hint of spice that marinated the calamari, and the interplay between the soft diced potatoes and the crunch of the onions.

That same Lion still insisted that this would have been far better served warm!

KAHANI SPECIALS

lamb chops Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry

Somerset lamb chops, Kashmiri-chillies, Nagercoil clove, £15.00

lamb chop grill kebab Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal CurryLord above! What utterly divine cuts of marinated Somerset lamb chops these were.

Once in a while, a dish will be presented that leaves you aghast and collectively stunned. The joys of food reviewing; and the answer to why we continue to do this.

This is arguably the best chops we’ve had this year, and possibly one of the best we’ve ever had under Feed the Lion.

Honestly; tell us those distinct parallel muscles fibres conspicuously visible on that cross section doesn’t look a picture.

This was perfectly pink, utterly soft, tender and juicy, and as close to melt-in-the-mouth as you’re going to get with a lamb chop.

Add to that the wonderfully judged, yoghurt-based marination, and this could be a contender for our end of year awards.

Sirloin kebab Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry

Sirloin kebab chargrilled, truffle oil, ground fennel, royal cumin, £14.00

What a fabulous sirloin kebab this was, and one that was as near faultless as any kebab is ever going to be.

The balance of spices in this mixture was wonderfully judged, with the lingering heat just strong enough to allow for the smoky aroma, courtesy of the tandoor, to define both its taste and its texture. Not only was the chargrill achieved on the outside just right, but the kebab offered a delightfully tender chewiness which made each and every bite worth savouring.

In light of two of the three dishes making up this impressive section, and given their large lobster tank (sadly empty on the day of this review), we have a feeling that their lobster special would have been just as good, if not better!

KAHANI KLAASIK

SEAFOOD
prawn Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry

Smoked Malabar prawns fresh turmeric, coconut, curry leaves, £14.00

The precision with which this dish was executed was so precise, that not only were we presented with that distinct degree of tender-chewiness only achievable with prawns blast-cooked to perfection at high temperatures, but forced one Lion to conclude that these were the best he’d ever had!

When you have such addictively thick and meaty prawns, brushed in a subtly spiced marination and presented with a quartet of fruity pearl drops that only enhanced the dish, our only wish was to continue masticating towards ecstasy.

Arguably the dish of the review!

MEAT
poussin prawn Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry chicken

Tandoori double poussin marinated with red and yellow chillies, ginger, £9.00

We have had some unbelievable poussins in our time, with the most recent immediately springing to mind at Chokhi Dhani. What defined that was its absolute tenderness, a key feature of any poussin precisely cooked in a tandoor.

This pair, while marinated in two lightly spiced marinades, with the yellow one being far gentler than its orange counterpart, wasn’t quite as good, with the latter turning out slightly drier than the former. Hence, while the smokiness was there,  they both lacked that moistness we were expecting.

VEG KEBAB
broccoli Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry

Marinated tandoori broccoli honey, nigella seeds, wheat crisps, £12.00

A dish that’s essentially broccoli based can stand on simplicity itself, but requires dexterity of thought and attention for it to deliver on flavour while remaining the centre of attention.

This did exactly that! The delicate interplay between the combination of sweet honey and the lightly spiced marination of the broccoli against the slight bitter edge of the nigella seeds was wonderfully achieved. Add to that slightly charred areas of the vegetable, enhanced by the crispiness of the wheat crisps, and we were utterly sold by this. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

DAWAT

butter chicken Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry

‘Kahani’ Butter Chicken – chargrilled chicken tomato makhani, fenugreek leaves, £20.00

As their signature in this section, it had to be tried. Kahani’s version was well executed, with the chicken breasts being beautifully cooked, and the spices mellow enough to allow for the smooth, creamy and mild tangy tomato taste to come through sufficiently.

But, as with all butter chickens, we expect it to be less about the tomatoes and more about the dish’s unadulterated buttery richness to envelope the buccal cavity and not let go. As such, this, while being pleasant enough, was more a tomato chicken than a butter one.

rice biryani Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry

Thalasseri Biryani (lamb) – braised fragrant rice, exotic spices, mint, corriander (with lamb or prawn), £23.00

We had some biryanis in our time, but by the end of Kahani’s, we were unanimous in it having set a new benchmark.

A sublime level of cooking which managed to accomplish three fundamental aspects of what makes a good biryani: 1) freshness – one that doesn’t taste fresh isn’t much of one; 2) spices – ought to be uncompromising, plentiful, but nicely balanced; 3) clarity – of flavours along with distinct, well cooked and separated rice, without things being oily.

biryani prawn Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal CurryThe balance of spices in the tender masala-lamb mixture, nestled neath a layer of fragrant rice to allow one to stir it in as desired, had a depth of flavour that all three of us found, in spite of our differing palettes, to be expertly judged.

In fact, what made this entire biryani even more interesting was the pair of accompanying bowls of yoghurt raita and a “chilli ka salan”, respectively, where the former might be used to dampen the soothing heat generated by the “exotic spices”, and the latter, with its warm sweet chilliness, to strengthen it.

To be honest, however, unless you can’t take your heat, you won’t really need either, such is the judgement of the chef in the balance achieved.

If you’re going to come to Kahani for one dish and one dish alone, especially if you’re after a good biryani, then this… is… it!

SIDES

PoppadumAlooGarlic NaanNaan
Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry chutneys

Poppadum chutneys £4.00

We wouldn’t expect a fine dining restaurant not to present inhouse sauces, except that in this case, these were exceptionally good.

Here we have three types of non-oily, crispy crackers: plain, papdum, and seeded, along with: 1) a pineapple sauce with nigella seeds that’s textured, mild and aromatic, 2) a rich and spicy tomato sauce whose heat and smokiness builds nicely, 3) and a gorgeous tamarind sauce that’s sweet, strong and satisfying.

potato Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry

Aloo chatpate £7.00

A very well made potato side that’s subtly spiced, with a touch of sourness to it. But for £7.00, that’s pretty darn steep.

roti naan Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry

Garlic naan/ Gruyere naan £4.00

It hasn’t risen as much as we’d have liked with any tandoori naan, but it’s thin and crispy, with the garlic being apparent.

Naan roti Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry

Naan/ Tandoori Roti £3.00

Again nicely done, but would have liked this more tandoored than it came out.

DESSERTS

chocolate dessert Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry

Chilli chocolate mousse bomb with gulab jamun bits, £7.50

As you can see from the above, the sheen on that tempered chocolate bomb casing alone was enough to raise our pulses.

chocolate dessert Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal CurryBut even before the process of pouring and melting had played its visual part, we all agreed, given the evident quality of the chocolate, that we were in for an indulgent few moments of pleasure.

And so it transpired. Once the ball collapsed under the heat of the shiny silky caramel sauce, our excitement was only heightened with the uncovering of the smooth mousse within alongside the few precious bits of wonderfully saturated gulab jamun.

Had together with the contrasting strong strawberry ice cream and the spiced strawberry slices, and not only was a flavour-equilibrium achieved, but also a level of unbridled pleasure.

dessert cheesecake Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry

Raspberry & mint cheesecake ‘melt in the middle’, £7.50

dessert Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal CurryThe texture of the deconstructed cheesecake ball was unquestionably good, being gorgeously soft and light on the outside, and filled with a not-so-tart and creamy raspberry sauce.

The rest of the plate, while offering a beautifully smooth and flavourous cardamom ice cream, had bubblegum-coloured cubes, a couple of raspberries, and some crumble that didn’t bring very much to the rest of the plate.

Truth be told, we’d have enjoyed a large version of that cheesecake ball.

kulfi dessert Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry

Medley of kulfis – salted caramel, Rose malai, pistachio cardamom, £7.50

All three of us have had kulfis in our combined age of 113 years that range from the good to the not-so-good. This was beyond good!

And what made these trio so was not so much the flavours or texture – the former being subtle and the latter being smooth – but that distinct, rich taste and aroma of cream skimmed off the top of heated milk.

A really satisfying end to the review, and arguably one of the best kulfis we’ve had!

THE ROAR
Kahani
4.5 FTL's Roar
5 Pride's Roar (2 Roars)
Alcohol/ Pork?
  • YES/ NO
FSA HYGIENE RATING
Last Checked: 15/11/18
Facilities
  • CHILD SEATING
  • DISABLED FACILITIES
  • FREE WI-FI
Summary
So what's the story behind Kahani? Well, it certainly impressed us, with Chef Peter Joseph pulling out some outstanding dishes, a couple of which might be in with a shout for our FtLion End of Year Awards next month.

If we did have a quibble, then it would be with some of the prices of the dishes. We appreciate the fact that Kahani is aiming for fine dining while being situated in posh Chelsea, but £7.00 for a bowl of spiced potatoes?!

And there were a few issues stopping this from being rated this year's first 5/5 restaurant: firstly, the mocktails, which simply weren't up to scratch; secondly, technicalities regarding some of the dishes and sides; and thirdly, the service wasn't as attentive as one would expect from a budding high end restaurant.

Kahani have kindly put up an exclusive 20% discount with this exclusive Halal review, so take advantage and enjoy our recommended menu below. And don't forget to follow our social media channels.

Menu Recommendation

Drink - Jing-Jungle

Starter - Soft Shell Crab

Main - Biryani/ Lamb Chops

Dessert - Medley of Kulfis

FOOD
PRICE
ATMOSPHERE
SERVICE
What people say... Leave us your Roar below...
Sort by:

Be the first to leave a review.

Show more
{{ pageNumber+1 }}
Leave us your Roar below...

Kahani
1 Wilbraham Place, Belgravia, London SW1X 9AE.

T: +44 (0)20 7730 7634 | W: www.kahanilondon.com | E: reservations@kahanilondon.com

Opening Hours: Mon–Sun (Lunch) 12:00–15:00, (Dinner) 17:00–22:30

Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry octopus Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry soft shell crab Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry samosa Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry grill kebab Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry kebab Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry grill kebab Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry grill kebab Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry grill kebab Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry grill kebab Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry grill kebab Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry grill kebab Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry grill kebab Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry grill kebab Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry lamb chop grill kebab Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry lamb chop grill kebab Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry lamb chop grill kebab Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry biryani Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry prawn Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry prawn Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry prawn Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry lamb chops Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry dessert Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry prawn Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry prawn Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry prawn Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry prawn Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry prawn Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry soft shell crab Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry calamari octopus Kahani London Indian Restaurant Halal Curry

Share With:
No Comments

Leave A Comment