Jamavar is an Indian fine-dining spot set to hit London’s Mayfair in November, which will be led by former executive chef of Gymkhana, Rohit Ghai. We go behind the scenes…
Tell us about Jamavar – what can we expect?
Jamavar London will take a holistic approach to Indian cuisine and reflect the essence of its siblings across India. On the menu are dishes that showcase the varied flavours of the Royal Kitchens of the North along with succulent options from the rivers and shores of the South.
Describe Jamavar in three words…
Authentic, innovative and contemporary.
You’re travelling around India for this new opening. Where are you visiting?
My journey began in Bengaluru, home to the first Jamavar at the The Leela Palace Bengaluru. I am currently in Kerala, and during the next four weeks plan to travel through Mumbai, Delhi and Udaipur.
What has each place been like in terms of season, food and dining traditions?
The first half of my trip was South India focused. I caught the end of the Indian monsoon when there is abundance of fresh seasonal produce and rice without which no South Indian meal is complete. The ingredients are rife with diverse flavours, ranging from the exotic tamarind, snake gourd to the fiery dried red or fresh green chilies to the comparatively milder lentils and coconut.
What have been your favourite food discoveries or surprises?
The Indian restaurant scene is evolving rapidly and long forgotten regional cuisines are being introduced to many places. I’ve enjoyed discovering the culinary wealth of The Leela with its North Indian and South Indian chefs. One of the biggest moments over the last two weeks has been discovering secret recipes that were handed down from Madam Leela, after whom the hospitality chain was named by her husband and the company’s founding chairman, Late Capt CP Krishnan Nair.
What dishes are you looking forward to creating in Jamavar?
I am looking forward to having our guests try the diverse cuisines from all India’s corners. I will be incorporating my travels and bringing a mix of flavours to the Jamavar menu. We will be creating fun tasting plates to match the seasoned palate of London diners, while re-creating signature Jamavar dishes such as Lobster Neeruli, Sindhi Gosht and Coconut Payasam.
And the drinks?
We plan to surprise our guests with great cocktails, infused with earthy spices and leafy herbs.
Your favourite food local loves in London?
I love trying different flavours, especially in street markets. London is great when it comes to street food, Borough Market, for example, has a vast selection of British and international produce. When I feel nostalgic, I tend to look for Indian street food, and head to Southall, Tayyabs for kebabs, or Saravana Bhavan for a South Indian feast.
Rohit is currently in India for six weeks researching the menu for Jamavar London. Keep an eye out for his journey on Jamavar’s Instagram feed @jamavarlondon #tasteofjamavar #rohitdiaries
JAMAVAR | Coming Soon