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Bar Fox review: The private dining experience at Kahani restaurant

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Bar Fox review: The private dining experience at Kahani restaurant
A selection of plates at Kahani (Photo: Kahani)

I am sitting in a private dining area called the Peacock Room inside the restaurant Kahani, surrounded by plates of divine Indian food, including a jackfruit biryani, chicken makhani curry and truffle naan.

Before dining here, I was asked by the Head Chef, the Michelin-starred Peter Joseph, what I enjoy eating so he can create a tailored service for his guests.

Now he brings me dishes he thinks I will like straight to my table. Out comes a platter of samosas with fantastically crispy pastry and delicate venison within it, next to soft shell crunchy crab and tomato chutney. They are devoured within minutes.

The Peacock Room in Kahani, London (Photo: Kahani)

Meanwhile, my very attentive waiter tells me stories about how jackfruits hang from trees in India while he tops up my chilled glass of Côtes du Rhône.

Slowly I can feel some tension being released. It is my first meal out of lockdown and honestly it is a joy to be looked after.

No longer do I need to be relying on takeaway apps, shining my own cutlery and avoiding the unavoidable washing up. And somebody is pouring me a drink!

Some people have said that dining out after a pandemic should be void of any references to coronavirus. I agree that the last thing you want during a night out is to think about a global pandemic.

But I think, without entering cliche territory, that everybody needs a bit of spoiling after the past few months. And there is no better way to be pampered than by having an entire restaurant to yourself.

The very sophisticated bar at Kahani, London (Photo: Kahani)

This might seem like something only accessible if you are an A-lister or have a large inheritance. But Kahani, based in Sloane Square, central London, is offering diners their restaurant to yourself for an affordable price.

There is no minimum spend so all you need to do is find five willing friends. It’s really very reasonable for such splendid food and service and can work out as little as £40-£50 a head. That can easily include three courses, wine, the excellent service and a swanky restaurant to yourself.

The wine cellar in Kahani, London (Photo: Kahani)

Usually from the Peacock Room you can look out over the restaurant and see the bustling restaurant below. Now it is empty, but it gives you a chance to admire the sophisticated decor, including a wine cellar built into a brick wall.

On the table in front of me a few more plates have been delivered. There are some juicy smoked prawns from the Malabar coast in India and a trio of chicken tikka. The restaurant prides itself on the use of its grill and you can tell by the taste.

The Malabar prawns from Kahani, London (Photo: Bar Fox)

One of their specialities is the tandoori broccoli. It is covered in yoghurt and honey and is a sure-fire way to get anybody to eat their greens.

Chargrilled broccoli at Kahani (Photo: Kahani)

One of the highlights of the evening for me is their naans. I did not realise I needed gruyere naan in my life, but it is a revelation. Their truffle naan is great, too.

The truffle naan from Kahni, London (Photo: Bar Fox)

Finally, for dessert there is a medley of kulfis (traditional Indian ice cream) in salted caramel, rose and pistachio flavours. It is a refreshing way to end the evening and the salted caramel kulfi is definitely my favourite.

The medley of kulfis at Kahani (Photo: Kahani)

In short, the restaurant might be based in Chelsea, but that does not mean it is inaccessible. While it is more of a ‘treat’ dining destination, you really do get what you pay for, with fantastic service and food. It is certainly one of the best places I have dined at all year.

Where to find it: 1 Wilbraham Place, London, SW1X 9AE

Sample prices: Soft shell crab (£12), Samosa platter (£11), Trio of chicken tikka (£16), Tandoori broccoli (£14), Gruyere naan (£4), Medley of kulfis (£8), Côtes du Rhône white wine (£7 a glass)

How it works: Bookings can be made 48 hours in advance. The Peacock Room fits 4-6 people comfortably with social distancing. Usually you would have to book out their private dining room, but for now you can (minimum group of 6) book out the whole restaurant with no minimum spend or restaurant hire fee. The waiters were masks and only clear your glasses and plates once they are finished with.

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