JKS Restaurants & Chet Sharma to launch BiBi in Mayfair next month

JKS Restaurants and chef Chet Sharma will launch his debut restaurant, BiBi, on Thursday 9 September, a year later than planned due to the pandemic.

The food, exploring India’s culinary expanse, has been inspired both by Sharma’s travels around the subcontinent and the food cooked by his grandmothers, which he affectionately called his bibis. Named after the Urdu word meaning ‘lady of the house’, Bibi is used as a term of endearment for maternal figures.

Located on the corner of Mayfair’s North Audley Street and Lees Place, BiBi seats 33 guests, including 13 at the kitchen counter, and an additional 20 on the terrace.

The food is contemporary and approachable, yet delivered with precision and a focus on ingredients, something Sharma learnt whilst working at the two Michelin-starred Moor Hall and Mugaritz. A ‘Chef’s Selection’ menu is available for lunch (£35) and dinner (£55) and features a rotation of Chet’s favourite seasonal dishes.

The wider à la carte menu comprises five sections, with traditional Indian flavours presented alongside modern cooking techniques:

1. Bar Snacks (£3.50-7): The menu begins with a selection of snacks. Highlights include Chettinad Chicken Liver, yoghurt meringues sandwiched with Chettinad-spiced chicken liver parfait and coconut blackberry chutney; and Sweetcorn Kurkure, spicy-sweet fresh corn fritter served with a yellow chilli and corn husk sauce.

2. Chaat (£8-15): Small plates from this family of savoury snacks draw influence from the roadside stalls and food carts that are so prominent across India. Highlights include the Orkney Scallop Nimbu Pani in ceviche-style with Kaji lemonade; and Raw Dexter Pepper Fry, finished with fermented green peppercorns from Tellicherry.

3. Sigree (£6-35): Dishes inspired by traditional Lahore kebab vendors come next and are cooked over Chet’s custom-built charcoal grill (sigree). Examples are Sharmaji’s Lahori Chicken, served with a cashew and yoghurt whey sauce; and Malai Lobster, made with Cornish native lobster and lemongrass-infused beef fat.

4. Sides (£2.50-6): Recommended to order alongside the sigree are a selection of sides such as the Rumali Roti; grass-fed Ghee Daal; and Kaima Yakhni Pulao.

5. Desserts (£6-10): Refreshing dishes such as Preserved Mango Kulfi with chilli and cashew nuts; and Guava, Buttermilk and Paigambari Atta bring an end to the menu.

Sharma has sourced his produce with great care - from the paneer, which comes from the New Forest in Hampshire, to the seasonally changing coffee from Mysore in Karnataka.

Heralding Indian craftsmanship, Sharma will use Mason & Co’s 65% chocolate from Pondicherry both for its flavour as well as the work the brand does in South Indian communities.

Joha rice, from Bibari’s farm in Assam, is also used throughout the menu on account of its sustainability, in support of Indian agricultural conservation efforts.

The cocktail list features classics with an Indian twist such as the Rose Spritz with gin, Gujarat rose kombucha; and the Monsoon Martini, with vodka, multani mitti and ambrette seed. The bar team at BiBi will also add an alcoholic twist to the syrupy shaved Ice Gola.

The Raspberry and Ajwain Gola is made with London Dry Gin, lacto-fermented raspberry vermouth and toasted arjwain. A 55-bin wine list offers a range of European and New World wines with prices starting from £6.50/glass and £32/bottle.

Sharma said, “After years in the making, I can’t believe BiBi’s opening is finally here. Whilst my food doesn’t look traditionally Indian, I want to make sure the flavours are genuine, and something that any Bibi would recognise.

'I’m looking forward to showcasing the produce from my travels, both around India and the UK, such as the Paigambari wheat from Punjab and the amazing chicken we’ve sourced from North Yorkshire. I can't wait for our guests to join us on this journey.”