Chef Chet Sharma is opening his first site, a contemporary Indian restaurant called BiBi in London's Mayfair this summer, backed by JKS Restaurants.
Sharma has worked as group development chef for the past four years for JKS Restaurants, which is behind brands including Gymkhana, Trishna, Brigadiers, Hoppers, Berenjak, Lyle's, Flor, Sabor, Kitchen Table and Bao. His CV also includes director of research and development at Simon Rogan's Umbel Restaurant Group and a PhD in physics from the University of Oxford.
BiBi will open at 42 North Audley Street, formerly Truc Vert restaurant, with space for 35 covers indoors and 20 on the terrace.
‘Bibi', translating in Urdu as ‘lady of the house', is used as a term of endearment for grandmothers across the Indian subcontinent. The restaurant's concept draws inspiration from Sharma's bibi, street carts and roadside cafés, while using British produce.
The restaurant will feature a 13-seat kitchen counter overlooking the custom-built sigree (charcoal grill). The menu will focus on wood and charcoal grilling and will be divided into four sections: first will be a selection of bar snacks (£4-£6), such as lobster claw vada and chicken liver maska bun. Small plates (£8-£12) follow in the chaat section, such as raw beef pepper fry, using dry-aged Dexter top round with a coconut ash dosa and ginger pickle; gondhoraj scallop with scallop roe chaat masala and jalapeño; and chalk stream trout jhal muri.
The sigree section (£6-£60) will be predominantly skewered dishes, inspired by Sharma's grandfather's pre-partition memories of Lahore's kebab vendors. Dishes may include a green chukh masala thigh; four pepper lobster; and a dagad phool lamb rump. A selection of sides (£3-£6) will be on offer, including roomali roti and yakhni pulao. A dessert section (£6-£10) will include dishes like apricot, buttermilk and black sesame halwa, and Kashmiri walnut and Pondicherry cocoa.
The drinks list will include cocktails and a 50-bin wine list curated by JKS sommelier and wine buyer Seamus Sharkey to complement the dishes. Led by JKS design director Sam Hosker, the interiors will feature mango wood furnishings and curved mirrors.
Sharma said: "It has been a long time in the making, but I couldn't be happier to open BiBi with the team at JKS Restaurants. At BiBi we will 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."
Landlord Grosvenor Britain & Ireland has also supported the restaurant with a loan investment.