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Eating Out
Eating Out -> London's Top Ten Best Curry Chefs
LONDON'S TOP TEN BEST CURRY CHEFS
By Lopa Patel (April 2008)

London's Top Ten Best Curry ChefsIt is almost a crime to describe this group of London's top ten curry experts as "curry chefs"! Pioneers of Indian cuisine, they are leaders in innovation, authentic textures and flavours, fusion cooking, artistic presentation, culinary performance and are all round masters of the art of cooking. I had considered calling them Britain's Top Ten Best Curry Chefs, but the eagle-eyed among you will have noticed that they are all based in London, a city widely-recognised as a global capital for Indian cuisine.



I am pleased that these top chefs are forging ahead with introducing regional Indian cuisines to the international palate: Cyrus Todiwala is a world leader in Parsee cooking techniques; Mehernosh Mody will satisfy your curiosity about Indo-French cuisine, Das Sreedharan will delight you with South Indian delicacies and Atul Kochhar is well-known for getting us to try new adventures in sea food. Many host cookery classes for the aficionados of Indian cuisine and this group have collectively won just about every Award going for their talents.

Four of these top chefs have also firmly planted Indian cuisine as one of the great cuisines of the world by winning an all-important Michelin star inspired by the Roux brothers.

So go forth and enjoy, provided you can get a booking, of course!

LONDON'S TOP TEN BEST CURRY CHEFS

NO CHEF (RESTAURANT)
1. Vineet Bhatia (Rasoi) *
2. Sanjay Dwivedi (Zaika)
3. Atul Kochhar (Benares) *
4. Mehernosh Mody (La Porte Des Indes)
5. Alfred Prasad (Tamarind) *
6. Vivek Singh (The Cinnamon Club)
7. Das Sreedharan (Rasa)
8. Aylur Sriram (Quilon) *
9. Cyrus Todiwala (Café Spice Namasté)
10. Andy Varma (Vama)

Listed in alphabetical order by surname. * Michelin star rated.

VINEET BHATIA
Chef-Patron, Rasoi

Vineet Bhatia Born in India in 1967, Vineet Bhatia was born into an educated middle class family in Bombay. He studied at catering college in Bombay from 1985 until 1988. He went on to gained an economics degree 1989 and then trained at Oberoi Hotels. Driven by a desire to elevate Indian cuisine Vineet was backed by investors and in 1999 Zaika was born, which in 2001 became the joint first Indian restaurant in London to win a Michelin star.

He opened 'Rasoi Vineet Bhatia' in June 2004 with his wife and gained a Michelin Star in 2006. In 2008, he launched the London flagship 'Urban Turban', a tapas-style restaurant that brings Indian "street food" to the UK.

Click here to read a full profile of Vineet Bhatia.

(Vineet Bhatia) Rasoi, 10 Lincoln Street, Sloane Square, London SW3 2TS.
Tel: 0207 225 1881, Fax: 0207 7581 0220, www.rasoirestaurant.co.uk

SANJAY DWIVEDI
Chef-Patron, Zaika Restaurant

Sanjay DwivediSanjay Dwivedi, originally from Delhi, grew up at a coastal hotel in South India, which was owned by his family. A young Sanjay was immediately thrust into the world of catering, of kitchens and of restaurants. In 1999 Sanjay was part of the opening team at Zaika which at the time was under the stewardship of Michelin-starred Vineet Bhatia. Under Bhatia's guidance, Sanjay also spent 6 months consulting for Tantra in Los Angeles, and 2 months at Tabla in New York, adding to his global experience. Now back at Zaika, chef patron Sanjay has managed to make the menu his own and the dishes offered truly represent his unique skills and experience.

Click here to read a full profile of Sanjay Dwivedi.

Zaika Restaurant, 1 Kensington High Street, London W8 5NP.
Tel: 020 7795 6533, Fax: 020 7937 8854, www.zaika-restaurant.co.uk

ATUL KOCHHAR
Founder, Benares

Atul KochharBorn in Jamshedpur, eastern India, Atul was trained and worked at the Oberoi Hotel Group in New Delhi where he established himself as one of the leading chefs of his generation. His reputation brought him to London in 1994 where he was appointed head chef at Tamarind restaurant, in Mayfair. By the age of 31, he had become the first Indian chef to be awarded the coveted Michelin star. 'Benares' restaurnt represents Atul's most ambitious venture to date, with a menu that reflects his passion for food from India.

Click here to read a full profile of Atul Kochhar.

(Atul Kochhar) Benares Restaurant, 12a Berkeley Square House, Berkeley Square, London, W1J 6BS. Tel. 020 7629 8886, Fax. 020 7499 2430
www.benaresrestaurant.com

 

MEHERNOSH MODY
Executive Chef, La Porte des Indes

Mehernosh ModyOriginally from Bombay, Mehernosh mastered the art of cooking and began working in the Taj Hotels group. The creation of his famous restaurant is as much a love story as it is anything else. In 1986, Mehernosh Mody hired a young chef, Sherin, as his assistant. They soon were inseparable, and their mutual love for one another and French-Indian cuisine bore the very first 'La Porte des Indes' in London.

Click here to read a full profile of Mehernosh Mody.

(Mehernosh Mody) La Porte des Indes, 32 Bryanston Street, London W1H 7EG, Tel: 020 7224 0055, Fax: 020 7224 1144, london.reservation@laportedesindes.com, www.laportedesindes.com

ALFRED PRASAD
Executive Chef, Tamarind

Alfred PrasadAlfred Prasad, Tamarind's Executive Chef, joined Tamarind restaurant in 2001 as Sous Chef, and graduated to Executive Chef the following year. His expertise, talent and ambition have ensured that Tamarind's cuisine continues to receive praise from guests and critics alike. He is a rising star and was the youngest Indian chef to receive a Michelin star at just 29 years old. The restaurant has retained its Michelin star since 2001.

Click here to read a full profile of Alfred Prasad.

(Alfred Prasad), Tamarind, 20 Queen Street, Mayfair, London W1J 5PR
T: 020 7629 3561, F: 020 7499 5034, www.tamarindrestaurant.co.uk

VIVEK SINGH
Executive Chef, The Cinnamon Club

Vivek SinghVivek Singh spurned family expectations by announcing his intentions to be a chef. After graduating from catering college, he joined the Oberoi Hotel group where first worked at their flight kitchens in Mumbai producing meals for airlines. He was then fast-tracked to become the Indian chef of the Oberoi's flagship Rajvilas in Jaipur- at the tender age of 26. In 2000, Restaurateur Iqbal Wahhab talked Vivek Singh into helping him set up renowned 'The Cinnamon Club' in London.

Click here to read a full profile of Vivek Singh.

(Vivek Singh), The Cinnamon Club, The Old Westminster Library, 30-32 Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3BU. T: 020 7222 2555 , F: 020 7222 1333, info@cinnamonclub.com, www.cinnamonclub.com

DAS SREEDHARAN
Founder, Rasa Restaurants

Das SreedharanDas Sreedharan grew up in a small village near Cochin, Kerala, on the lush, spice-rich south west tip of India. As a young man, he moved to London to study accountancy, but food was always Das's destiny. After managing a vegetarian restaurant for a while, he opened the first Rasa in 1994 - it was an instant success, with its the now-trademark pink walls. Since then, seven new Rasa restaurants have been added to the chain and now Das owns a beautiful riverside farm in Kerala which he has converted into 'Rasa Gurukul', a centre for culinary excellence, hospitality and culture.

Click here to read a full profile of Das Sreedharan.

(Das Sreedharan) Rasa W1, 6 Dering Street London W1S 1AD Tel: 020 7629 1346, www.rasarestaurants.com

AYLUR SRIRAM
Executive Chef, Quilon Restaurant

Aylur SriramFrom the first time Sriram set foot in his father's kitchen, it was the beginning of the long quest for knowledge of food. He gave up his Law studies for his first love and in 1984 he joined Institute of Hotel Management, Catering Technology and Applied Nutrition in India.

In 1989, he joined the Taj Group of hotels which secured him position at The Gateway Hotel in Bangalore, but it was two years before he became its executive chef. In 1999, Sriram earned the opportunity to start the Quilon Restaurant in the heart of London for the Taj Hotels group. In 2008, Aylur Sriram was awarded one Michelin Star by eponymous guide of gastronomy.

Click here to read a full profile of Aylur Sriram.

(Aylur Sriram) The Quilon Restaurant & Bar, 41 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6AF. Tel: 020 7821 1899, Fax: 020 7233 9597, info@quilonrestaurant.co.uk, www.thequilonrestaurant.com

CYRUS TODIWALA MBE
Chef-Patron, Café Spice Namasté

Cyrus TodiwalaCyrus Todiwala is Proprietor and Executive Chef of the Café Spice Namasté restaurant, renowned for its innovative and fresh approach to Indian cuisine. Born and brought up in Bombay, India, he graduated from Bombay's Catering College and trained as a chef with the famous Taj Group in India. He left India for Europe in 1991, where he set-up. Café Spice Namasté, the only Indian restaurant in the UK to be awarded the Investors in People Standard.

In 2000, Cyrus was awarded an MBE in recognition of his extensive knowledge, skill, commitment and expertise to the restaurant and catering industry.

Click here to read a full profile of Cyrus Todiwala.

Café Spice Namasté, 16 Prescot Street, London E1 8AZ. Tel: 020 7488 9242, Fax: 020 7481 0508, www.cafespice.co.uk

ANDY VARMA
Co-Founder, Vama

Andy Varma, co-founder of VamaHead Chef and co-owner (with brother Arjun) Andy Varma opened Vama on the King's Road in 1998. Previously, Andy had managed the restaurants of top hotels including the prestigious Oberoi Hotel chain. On one of his trips to London, Andy discovered a niche in the restaurant market and so decided to wrap up his business ventures in India and joined his brother Arjun in London. Together, Andy and Arjun launched Vama in 1998 in the heart of Chelsea to an enthusiastic response.

Click here to read a full profile of Andy Varma.

(Andy Varma) Vama The Indian Room, 438 King's Road, Chelsea, London SW10 0LJ. Tel: 020 7565 8500, Fax: 020 7565 8501, www.vama.co.uk

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RESTAURANT DETAILS

(Vineet Bhatia) Rasoi, 10 Lincoln Street, Sloane Square, London SW3 2TS.
Tel: 0207 225 1881, Fax: 0207 7581 0220, www.rasoirestaurant.co.uk

(Atul Kochhar) Benares Restaurant, 12a Berkeley Square House, Berkeley Square, London, W1J 6BS. Tel. 020 7629 8886, Fax. 020 7499 2430 www.benaresrestaurant.com

(Mehernosh Mody) La Porte des Indes, 32 Bryanston Street, London W1H 7EG, Tel: 020 7224 0055, Fax: 020 7224 1144, london.reservation@laportedesindes.com, www.laportedesindes.com

(Alfred Prasad), Tamarind, 20 Queen Street, Mayfair, London W1J 5PR, Tel: 020 7629 3561, F: 020 7499 5034, reservations@tamarindrestaurant.com, www.tamarindrestaurant.com

(Udit Sarkhel), Sarkhel's 199 Replingham Road, Southfields, London SW18 5LY, Tel: 020 88701483

(Vivek Singh), The Cinnamon Club, The Old Westminster Library, 30-32 Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3BU. T: 020 7222 2555 , F: 020 7222 1333, info@cinnamonclub.com, www.cinnamonclub.com

(Das Sreedharan) Rasa W1, 6 Dering Street London W1S 1AD Tel: 020 7629 1346, www.rasarestaurants.com

(Aylur Sriram) The Quilon Restaurant & Bar, 41 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6AF. Tel: 020 7821 1899, Fax: 020 7233 9597, info@quilonrestaurant.co.uk, www.thequilonrestaurant.com

(Cyrus Todiwala) Café Spice Namaste, 16 Prescot Street, LONDON, E1 8AZ, Tel: 020 7488 9242, Fax : 020 7481 0508 www.cafespice.co.uk

(Andy Varma) Vama The Indian Room, 438 King's Road, Chelsea, London SW10 0LJ. Tel: 020 7565 8500, Fax: 020 7565 8501, www.vama.co.uk

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