Indian maestro’s Mayfair comeback

Rohit Ghai, the most prominent of the Indian chefs to have established themselves in London in the past decade, marks his return to Mayfair this autumn with the launch of a new restaurant, Manthan, on the Maddox Street site vacated by Dhruv Mittal’s well-received Lucknow 49 when it closed down in August last year. It will be the second upscale venue Ghai has opened under his own name with his front-of-house business partner Abhishake Sangwan, following their three-year-old Chelsea debut, Kutir.  

Ghai was chef at the acclaimed Gymkhana before moving on to open Jamavar in 2016 – both within five minutes’ walk of his new venture. Manthan means to “churn or reflect”, and Ghai said the veggie-heavy menu was inspired by his memories of childhood in India, resulting in “traditional dishes with a modern twist”.

“I’ve never cooked this way before in London – dishes that truly speak of my past as well as my present. Manthan is the culmination of many years of work and I hope it speaks to Londoners as being representative of the comfort food I love at home, as well as the food I have made my name with cooking here.” 

Ghai and Sangwan also have a much simpler venue, Koolcha at Boxpark Wembley, which serves stuffed naan breads; Ghai will open a further restaurant, Ishka 360, in Doha later this year.

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