In March 2019 Atul Kochhar, the first Indian chef in the world to receive a Michelin star, officially opened Kanishka on Mayfair’s Maddox Street. Kanishka explores lesser known regions of Indian food, showcasing cuisine from the country’s more remote territories and borders.
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 is developing further in his latest venture.
Using seasonal and locally sourced British produce where possible, signature starters include the likes of Gangtok momos filled with Kentish lamb and served with fermented vegetable chutney and Tibetan guinea fowl thupka, a classic North-eastern noodle and meat soup with coriander and green onion. Mains include a Seafood Alleppey Curry, a dish of pan seared seafood and coconut and turmeric sauce, before desserts such as a Tandoori fruit custard, pistachio bhoora, which uses a Tandoor to cook seasonal fruit alongside Kashmiri saffron custard.
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, with the aim of creating a nostalgic sense of ritual and tradition. Guests are greeted by whimsical topiary elephants and an antique front door, whilst inside features verdant foliage against calming shades of blue and intricate beaded details. Split across the ground and lower ground floors, the 127-cover space includes a bar, a terrace at the front, and an intimate 12-cover garden room downstairs.