Residing in Dubai or planning a visit soon? Then Kutir by chef Rohit Ghai has to be the new addition to your itinerary. The Indian restaurant (whose first outpost is nestled in London) has opened its doors to food connoisseurs in Dubai. You can now dig into succulent chicken tikka masala, signature Kutir dal and flavoursome lamb biryani at the acclaimed restaurant–tempting, isn’t it?
Kutir’s traditional Indian menu is inspired by the tradition of hunting in the dense forests and jungles of the Indian countryside. It represents the feasting style in retreats and includes highly seasonal ingredients. And this is exactly what chef Rohit wants to bring to the Dubai with his second outpost. FYI, chef Rohit is one of the fastest Indian chefs to win a Michelin Star in 2016, just within 10 months of launching Leela Groups’s first venture, Jamavar in London. So expect nothing short of an elevated fine dining experience!
Here’s the accomplished Indian chef in a exclusive tête-à-tête with us. Excerpts ahead.
ELLE: Congratulations on the opening of Kutir in Dubai! How does it feel to bring Kutir to the Middle East?
Rohit Ghai (RG): Wonderful! I love this part of the world and you have such a brilliant food scene here. It’s a privilege to be amongst it.
ELLE: Before we get into more details on Kutir, tell us your story and what drew you to the culinary world.
RG: I knew from a really young age that I wanted to cook. I loved being part of the kitchen at home and have such fond memories of learning from my mother. From there it was culinary school, and I’ve not stopped working since. I have been very fortunate, and when I came to London 15 years ago I have worked in some of the best restaurants in the world—each one teaching me something new, and allowing me to develop my own personal style.
ELLE: What fascinates you the most about Indian cuisine?
RG: I never get bored of it! It’s the most versatile cuisine on the planet, and I still get excited and inspired when I travel back home. I will never be tired of bringing the best flavours of India to new audiences around the world.
ELLE: Interesting! What inspires your cooking style?
RG: I take classic, authentic flavours and I try to present them in an elegant way—to make a plate of food that looks great as well as tastes great.
ELLE: Kutir is an intriguing name. What does it mean?
It refers to a ‘hut’ in Sanskrit and indicates a small, cosy, tucked away space in beautiful, rural India. The restaurant reflects this, and the interiors represent Indian animals, plants and landscapes.
ELLE: What are the must-try dishes at Kutir?
RG: I would recommend trying our aloo tikki, chicken chop, slow-cooked lamb shank, and lotus root kofta.
ELLE: Are you working on any other projects?
RG: We have just opened Manthan in Mayfair, London. It’s more casual with a menu of small sharing plates inspired by street food markets I ate in my youth. It’s a beautiful space, and we have a great cocktail list too—so it’s slightly more playful than Kutir, but still a very special place. It’s been open for a month and so far so good.