Re-vamped Zaika returns to Kensington

By Lauren Houghton

- Last updated on GMT

Zaika's menu will be inspired by Northern India’s Awadhi cuisine
Zaika's menu will be inspired by Northern India’s Awadhi cuisine

Related tags India Indian cuisine

Indian restaurant Zaika will return to its former London site on Kensington High Street this November after the closure of One Kensington.

Indian restaurant group the Tamarind Collection will reopen Zaika with a new team in place, as well as a new look and new menu of North Indian cuisine.

The restaurant will have 120 covers and a semi-private raised dining area which will be able to sit 20 guests.

Executive chef Sanjay Gour, previously of Maze London, the Savoy Grill and Murano, will be in charge of the new team. Head chef Dayashankar Sharma, who has worked with the Tamarind Collection for 11 years, will run the kitchen.

Business developer for the Tamarind Collection Rahul Khanna said: “It is a very exciting time for the Tamarind Collection to be launching the re-imagined Zaika.

“Sanjay is an extremely talented chef and brings so much life to his cooking and the project as a whole. Alongside Tamarind, the original Zaika was the first Indian restaurant to gain a Michelin star, we hope to recapture its popularity and work towards regaining such accolades.”

The menu

Gour has put together a menu inspired by Northern India’s Awadhi cuisine, which is influenced by the Middle East and uses European cooking techniques.

Starters on the menu will include palak-patta Chaat (spinach temp-kora, chickpea salad and lentil doughnut) and Samudri Khazana (amristsari prawn, lime leaf crab cake, spice crusted scallop). Signature main dishes on the menu will include mahi mussalan (Awadhi baked sea bass), hiran kheema (braised venison mince, green onions, petit pois, straw potatoes), and murgh kurchan (chicken breast julienne, green pepper, pan-scraped tomatoes).

Gour has trained as a pastry chef and the desserts on offer will reflect this, including Indian ‘Old Monk’ Rum Baba, lauki kheer (bottle-gourd pudding, Madagascan vanilla apples) and matka kulfi (Hazelnut praline parfait).

The drinks list at the restaurant will include Indian beers and a number of signature cocktails. There will also be a bar menu of Indian snacks.

Tropics feel

The site on Kensington High Street is a former banking hall and the new restaurant will retain some original architectural features. These include wood-paneled walls, vaulted ceilings and double-height windows.

The restaurant will offer banquet and booth seating upholstered with taupe leather. It will also have spotlights and more than 150 pieces of artwork will be displayed on the walls.

The design will reflect the tropics of India and will feature a great deal of plants and fresh flowers, including a ‘living wall’ of greenery which will screen the private dining area.

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