Kanishka
Kanishka
Kanishka
Kanishka
Kanishka
Kanishka
Kanishka
Kanishka
Kanishka
Kanishka
Kanishka
Kanishka
Kanishka
Kanishka
Kanishka
Kanishka
Kanishka
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SquareMeal Review of Kanishka

Silver Award

Atul Kochhar was the first-ever Indian chef to win a Michelin star, when he worked at Tamarind in the early noughties, a trick he then repeated at Benares. Kanishka marks his return to the London scene, and here he is focusing on the little-known food of the Seven Sister States, which border China, Tibet and Burma in the far north-east of India, which means an expanded range of dishes like lentil dumplings with tamarind chutney and guinea fowl noodle soup. This may all sound pretty esoteric, but the cooking here is both delicious and much more approachable than what we’re used to from Kochhar.

Venison tartare (standing in for the region’s staple meat of yak) made for a vibrantly chilli-accented starter, while goat curry, redolent of smoke and pepper, would make a fine meal in itself with a bowl of the deeply flavoured black dal, strikingly pungent onion salad – cutting through all that richness – and naan bread so moreish that, even when completely full, you want seconds.

Eating here does not come cheap: a starter of lamb and chilli stir-fry with grilled bok choy seemed simple for the prices (starters are around £15), as too chicken tikka simmered in tomato and fenugreek gravy (at £24), but both are exceptional in their execution, the latter demonstrating tandoor cooking at its best.

Nonetheless there is value to be found, too. A set lunch or early dinner menu weighs in at a reasonable £28/32 for 2/3 courses, while a six-course tasting menu with matched wines delivers a full-throttle experience for just £125. We loved a rich and beautifully marinated piece of monkfish with a coconut curry paired with a peachy, medium acidity Tornatore from Sicily, and a lean and unctuous venison accompanied by crushed aubergine, balanced off with a sweet-fruited Californian zinfandel. On the same menu a scallop with three-ways cauliflower is given added zip by a young and fresh Stellenbosch Chardonnay while Atul’s bold and humorous chicken tikka pie served with a glass of Rheinhessen was a lesson in melding richness (the pie), sweetness (the pastry) and sharpness (some berries) with a wine that displayed all these characteristics. Magic! 

The restaurant which, despite its size, has a discreet intimacy is split over two floors. Upstairs has bright turquoise wall panels and mirrors which sparkle in the daylight and shimmer exotically at night, while marble-topped tables (daytime) and white napery (night) add an element of requisite luxury. Downstairs has a different ‘garden’ character – less formal, more bistro-like and in-yer-face, and good for groups or private parties, which benefit from a bespoke bar. 

Charming, well-informed service provides further polish. 

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Cuisines
Indian
Ambience
Glamorous, Lively, Quiet conversation
Other Awards
SquareMeal Gold List
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Special Features
Vegan options, Vegetarian options
People
Group dining [8+], Special occasions

Kanishka is featured in

StreetSmart Restaurants

This venue also offers

Christmas at Kanishka
Christmas Parties
Kanishka
Private Group Dining
Kanishka
Event Party Venue

Special offers from Kanishka

Kanishka Tasting Menu £78pp

From: 15 March, 2019
To: 31 January, 2020
Max: 6
Wine pairings are an additional cost - £60 for premium pairing wines and £85pp for deluxe pairing wines.
Availability: Sun 5:30PM-10:45PM,Mon-Sat 12:00PM-2:30PM 5:30PM-10:45PM

Set Lunch Menu £28: 2 courses/£32 for 3 courses

From: 15 March, 2019
To: 31 January, 2020
Max: 6
From a set menu. Not Valid on 16th June lunchtime.
Availability: Mon-Sat 12:00PM-2:30PM

Set Dinner Menu £28: 2 courses/£32 for 3 courses

From: 15 March, 2019
To: 31 January, 2020
Max: 6
From a set menu.
Availability: Daily 5:30PM-6:30PM

3 a la carte courses for £38pp

From: 30 October, 2019
To: 30 November, 2019
Max: 6
From the a la carte menu.
Availability: Mon-Wed 12:00PM-2:30PM 5:30PM-10:45PM

Offers to book by phone

Offer

Festive Lunch from £28pp

Expires on 24 December, 2019

There are a variety of festive lunch menus from £28pp 

Offer

Divine Dinner from £48pp

Expires on 24 December, 2019

There are a variety of Divine Dinner menus from £48pp

Location for Kanishka

17-19 Maddox Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 2QH

020 3978 0978

Website

Opening Times

Lunch
Mon 12:00-14:30
Tue 12:00-14:30
Wed 12:00-14:30
Thu 12:00-14:30
Fri 12:00-14:30
Sat 12:00-14:30
Sun Closed
Dinner
Mon 17:00-23:00
Tue 17:00-23:00
Wed 17:00-23:00
Thu 17:00-23:00
Fri 17:00-23:00
Sat 17:00-23:00
Sun 17:00-23:00

Reviews of Kanishka

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2 Reviews 
Food/Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

TinaS

Fantastic lunch from start to end.
09 June 2019  

We took our friends to Kanishka for their 30th wedding anniversary.  The service we received from start to end was 10 out of 10, the maitre d' welcomed us whole heartedly , the waiters were very friendly, attentive and knowledgeable and to top the whole experience Chef Atul Kochhar went out of his way to greet us not once but twice. Even the chefs preparing the meals were very friendly.  The food was was very flavoursome and aromatic the spices used were well balanced- enjoyed every morsel of food - the only downside and this is being very very picky, for us the food was very generous in size ( we all have small appetites!)

Can’t wait to visit again!!

Food & Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Mr. Alex G

Give it a year…
20 March 2019  

Restaurants come and go in London, with around half shutting within a year of opening. I fear Kanishka may well fall into this category. Maybe I was negatively prejudiced towards the venue, having never rated chef Atul Kochhhar’s previous Benares venture, but I have no specific desire to return to Kanishka. Sure, the concept is great. What the restaurant aims to do is take food from a lesser known region of India – the north east, where the country borders China and Nepal and so draws on these influences – and bring it to London. However, the décor in Kanishka felt brash, the vibe wrong, and the food not quite good enough to justify the inflated price tags. Located doors away from Bombay Bustle (which I would rank much more highly on all counts), Kanishka occupies the former site of 28:50. The bar area has been shrunk and the dining space correspondingly enlarged. While upstairs was fairly busy on our recent week night visit, the capacious downstairs (where the toilets are also located) was deserted. Upstairs, diners are forced to confront a garish turquoise décor which looks as if it has literally been tacked to the walls, while having to endure slightly-louder-than-necessary upbeat nightclub style music. Maybe Kanishka has a certain demographic in mind, but it didn’t work for me. Whatever the demographic, they better come with hefty wallets, since starters will set you back around £15, with mains roughly double. At this price, the food ought to be good. Having done my research, I learned that the meat staple in this region of India is yak. Sadly, it is not possible to source yak in London (as far as I know) and so diners have to make do with lamb and venison as substitutes instead. There is no shortage of culinary daring and experimentation on the menu as evidenced by, say, my starter of venison (not yak) tartare served with a quail egg. The dish in question was light yet packed full of intense chilli-dominated flavour. Alternatively, diners could go for the likes of Tibetan guinea fowl or scallops served with smoked chilli. My goat curry main did also impress, showing a wonderful earthy smokiness with the same emphasis on chilli (and, in this case, black pepper) intensity. By contrast, my comrade’s murg makhani (effectively posh chicken tikka) was bland and insipid and seemed somewhat incongruous on a menu which claims to draw on north eastern influences. The wine list is relatively brief but shows some originality, although pricing again is not for the faint-hearted. My bet: Londoners may come and try this venue for novelty, but there won’t likely be much repeat business.

Food & Drink
Service
Atmosphere
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