BiBi

Indian·
££££
·
Gold Award
·

SquareMeal Review of BiBi

Gold Award

Stepping out from the side-lines and into the spotlight, chef Chet Sharma’s debut solo venture is a confident addition to the Mayfair dining scene. Having sensed a gap in the market for contemporary Indian food made with best-of-British ingredients, his menu delivers plate after plate of vibrant fare.

Having designed some of JKS’ most popular dishes you might be forgiven for thinking he has lofty aspirations, but busily working behind the bar on our visit he tells us he doesn’t want Bibi to be “a once in a lifetime restaurant”. Instead, the chef says, he wants Bibi’s to be “a 2-3 times a week place”, he wants it to be a familiar favourite, a proper neighbourhood restaurant. And on a busy Friday lunchtime it feels that way, with solo diners at the counter happily dining alongside family groups, looked after by genial staff. It’s a place for everyone and this is food we’d never tire of.

The menu is expertly balanced to deliver a range of fresh and fragrant; creamy and spicy; crispy and saucy plates. Based on his favourite childhood snacks, little hot corn cakes are crunchy and sweet and speckled with seasoning that sticks to your fingers. A raw scallop dish is incredibly light and fragrant with the flavours of Indian lemonade – another nod to Chet’s upbringing. Mains bring the most succulent tandoor-cooked chicken we’ve ever had – not an exaggeration – in a creamy sauce that’s hard to narrow down to one flavour but instead is aromatic and addictive, perfect for mopping up with handkerchief style breads.

Throughout, there are stories about the background to each dish, and Chet’s cooking is a timely reminder that there’s so much more to food than just its flavour. It’s so often about bringing people together and creating shared experiences, and this warm and welcoming spot is somewhere special we’d want to reserve for spending time with our very favourites.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Cuisines
Indian
Ambience
Cool, Fine dining, Luxury, Unique
Other Awards
SquareMeal London Top 100
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Alfresco And Views
Outside seating, Terrace
Special Features
Chef’s table, Counter dining, Gluten-free options, Vegan options, Vegetarian options
People
Celebrations, Dates, Romantic, Special occasions

About BiBi

Adding to the ranks of some of London’s best Indian restaurants comes Bibi, a fine-dining destination for deftly spiced dishes of warming Indian flavours.

This contemporary restaurant is backed by JKS, the people behind Michelin-starred Gymkhana, and it seems they have similar aspirations for their most recent site by putting Chef Chet Sharma at the helm. Sharma has spent the last four years as the group’s development chef, creating some of the best-loved dishes in London. This venture sees him have free reign of his very own kitchen for the first time.

The menu is divided into four distinct sections to guide diners through a leisurely meal that starts with snacks, small plates and various chaats and finishes with Sigree (which are typically skewered, barbecued dishes) and sides. Snacks include things like a lobster claw vada while small plates might present scallops with a scallop roe chaat masala and jalapeno.

Mains – which are often cooked over the custom-built grill – celebrate Sharma’s grandfather’s pre-partition memories of his local kebab vendors. Options here span a green chukh masala thigh, a four-pepper lobster and a lamb rump. Familiar favourites are covered in the sides, where warm breads and buttery daals feature. While flavours might be distinctly south Asian, spice mixes are blended with European techniques and the best of British produce to create fusion food of the highest order.

As is fitting for a Mayfair address, there’s Champagne on the drinks list here, as well as sparkling teas, a progressive wine list and a whole host of cocktails.

Interiors at Bibi have been created by Sam Hosker and have been designed to create a warm, relaxed environment for diners. Expect mango wood paired with sandstone furnishes, as well as antique brass accessories and abstract prints. Inside the restaurant there’s room for 35 guests, while the outside space can accommodate up to 20 people and is furnished with rattan chairs surrounded by verdant foliage.


FAQs

Who owns Bibi?

Bibi is owned by JKS restaurants which is a renowned restaurant group who also own places like Gymkhana, Trishna, Brigadiers, Hoppers, Berenjak, Lyle’s, Flor, Sabor, Kitchen Table, and BAO.

Helpful? 0

What does Bibi mean?

In Urdu Bibi translates as “lady of the house” and is used as a term of endearment for grandmothers. In this case it’s used to honour chef Sharma’s own grandmother, who he has drawn inspiration from.

Helpful? 0

What is the menu at Bibi like?

The menu at Bibi’s focuses on modern Indian food. You can expect indulgent serves like a four-pepper lobster and a chicken liver maska bun.

Helpful? 0

Is there a terrace at Bibi?

Yes, there is outdoor dining at Bibi by way of a 20-seater terrace.

Helpful? 0

Are there gluten-free options on the menu at Bibi?

Yes there are gluten-free options on the menu at Bibi.

Helpful? 0
Meet the team
BiBi

Chet Sharma

Head chef

Chef Chet Sharma heads up Bibi in Mayfair, his first solo venture. His previous experience is as a development chef for the restaurant group JKS (which also backs Bibi), as well as time at Mark Birchall’s Moor Hall and Simon Rogan’s L’Enclume – plus a stint at the world renowned Mugaritz in Spain. With a PdD in Physics from Oxford, Sharma loves process and takes pride in his exacting standards which helps him produce his signature high-end dishes. When dining at Bibi you can see Sharma in action as he works from his custom-built charcoal grill which overlooks a 12-seater kitchen counter.  Speaking about his restaurant Sharma says: “At BiBi we tell the story of Indian food through a different lens; pairing impactful flavours with techniques that I have honed at some of Europe's most celebrated restaurants. My style of cooking is all about marrying the richly diverse cuisines of the Indian subcontinent along with the world-class produce available to us here in the UK."


Location

42 North Audley Street, Mayfair, London, W1K 6ZR

020 3780 7310

Website

Opening Times

Lunch
Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed Closed
Thu Closed
Fri 12:00-14:30
Sat 12:00-14:30
Sun Closed
Dinner
Mon Closed
Tue 17:30-22:30
Wed 17:30-22:30
Thu 17:30-22:30
Fri 17:30-22:30
Sat 17:30-22:30
Sun Closed

Reviews

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2 Reviews 
Food/Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Alex G

06 December 2021  
Food & Drink 4.5
Service 4
Atmosphere 4
Value 3.5
Curry’s coming home

As soon as your reviewer learned that the JKS Group was opening a new venue in Mayfair, he was excited. For those unaware, the venture has been responsible for hits such as Trishna, Gymkahana and Bridgadiers (plus many more). What’s the winning formula? Employ an A-grade chef (Chet Sharma has worked not only within the group but also at prestigious outlets such as Moor Hall), have amazing design and serve up top-quality food. The landing page for the BiBi website claims that the venue promises “contemporary Indian flavour, exceptional British produce.” In this respect, BiBi could do better; it almost seems as if the restaurant is under-selling itself. The term ‘BiBi’ is an affectionate one in Urdu for grandmother and the choice of term is not unintentional, with the conception of the menu clearly acknowledging the long culinary heritage of the Indian sub-continent. There is an emphasis on range of ingredients (one dish contains 23 different spices) and slow cooking, but it is done with panache and verve. There is a similar angle at work in the dining room, with JKS making effective use of the narrow space, which formerly housed Truc Vert, a fairly forgettable French brasserie. We liked the reworking which included a highly polished floor, the revealing of an ornate ceiling and patterning on the chairs that apparently pays homage to some of the shawls worn by Sharma’s own BiBi. This is a place where you can settle in comfortably for a long meal – which is broadly what your reviewer and his dining comrade did. The menu is split into sections comprising snacks, chaat (street food) and sigree (grill), with diners encouraged to choose across the menu – the obvious up-sell – and share. Somehow you can’t begrudge BiBi, since the food was so good. Standouts were the Wookey-hole cheese papad – a novel take on the humble popadom – our two mains (chicken in a wonderfully rich and moreish cashew and yoghurt sauce, and a pair of intensely flavoured lamb chops whose meat hailed from the Yorkshire Dales) and an amazing cauliflower malai side. To spend a moment on the latter – which is pictured – it takes a certain culinary genius to render the humble cauliflower into both a visual and gustatory centrepiece, here served with a cashew and paneer sauce and decorated with a very generous helping of black truffle. We washed all this done with a superbly zingy South African Chenin made by the highly talented Pieter Walser, chosen from an intelligently composed wine list. There was little not to like and BiBi has to rank among the best places currently to grab a curry in Mayfair.

Lloyd S

25 October 2021  
Food & Drink 5
Service 4
Atmosphere 4
Value 4
Outstanding Indian Restaurant

We popped in recently to see a good friend of ours who had started to work here. During our short visit we enjoyed a sample of their fabulous desserts and cocktails. It was also nice to have had a chat with head chef Chet Sharma who gave us a brief description of his background and plans he had for the restaurant. One last thing was the aromas coming from the open kitchen that were amazing so on departure we thanked them and said we hoped to see them very soon for the full dining experience.

 

This in fact turned out to be on friday. We arrived at Bond Street station and took the short ten minute walk from there to the restaurant which is set on the very popular area of North Audley Street. As we entered we received a fabulous welcome from manager Gina before being escorted to our table. Once we were seated it was very nice of Chet to come over and personally welcome us back to the restaurant and to say if we needed any assistance with the menu to let him know. Before he headed back to the kitchen he gave me his recommendation of a cocktail to begin with as it would also pair well with a couple of the early dishes.

 

So while we looked at the menu we enjoyed two fabulous cocktails. I opted for chef’s recommendation of the Sandalwood Mizuwari which was a slight take on an old fashioned. My wife chose the Calamansi Gola a tequila based cocktail decorated with shaved ice. These we enjoyed along with a complimentary snack of Wookey Hole Cheese Papad.

 

Now we could take a look at the menu which is a small plates menu designed for sharing. The inspiration behind the menu is based on food from the whole of India where normally you’ll find a restaurant would stick to one region. The menu is set out into five sections Snacks , Chaat , Sigree , Sides and Desserts. With some great assistance from the we made our selection. Now we could have a look at how the restaurant is set out. It has an open kitchen with counter service as well as around the outer has tables set out for parties of two , four or a small group. Each table gives you a great view of the kitchen where the aromas will inspire you to choose as many dishes as possible.

 

We started with another snack of Morecombe Bay Shrimp Vada before moving onto the first of our three choices from the Chaat section. Here we began with the Orkney Scallop Nimbu Pani which was raw scallop with an indian lemonade. This was followed by the Loch Duart Salmon Jhal Muri of raw salmon with an odia mustard oil emulsion before finishing with the Raw Belted Galloway Beef Pepper Fry with fermented tellicherry peppercorns. All these dishes were absolutely amazing with the flavour combinations simply stunning. You can clearly see with these dishes why Chet is a highly respected chef.

 

Now we moved on to the Sigree section where we began with the Buffalo Milk Paneer with fenugreek kebab masala that for me was the best I’ve ever tasted. This was followed by the Dahl Aubergine with tempered yoghurt and a tamarind glaze. Then from the meat section we chose the Sharmaji’s Lahori Chicken with cashew and yoghurt whey. Then to finish we had the Aged Swaledale Lamb Chop Barra with kashmiri walnut doon cherrin. The flavour combinations in each dish just blew us away. We accompanied these dishes with a selection of Sides. The Roomali Roti , Kaima Yakni Pilao and Boondi Raita.

 

We enjoyed these dishes with a delightful South African Chenin Blanc 2020 from the BlankBottle Winery which complimented each dish nicely so thank you to Gina for the recommendation.

 

We now needed a bit of a rest which gave us a chance to catch up with our good friend and assistant manager Millie who had previously looked after us at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay and Core. We were delighted to tell her how much we were enjoying our lunch and that the food and service was amazing. This was something she continued herself as we moved on to Dessert. Here we both decided to choose the delicious Pondicherry Hot Chocolate Mousse with rice milk ice cream & shahi tukada. Along with this came a complimentary Malai Kesar Kulfi to round of a fantastic dining experience.

 

We finished with tea & coffee to bring to an end a truly fabulous lunch. The food was absolutely amazing which was matched by excellent friendly service. I really would highly recommend a visit to experience a different type of Indian restaurant that takes it’s inspiration from the whole country and not from one particular region. I absolutely cannot wait to walk through these doors again.

 

Thank You Chet , Gina , Millie and all the team for an amazing lunch and look forward to seeing you all again soon

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