From Bengal to Rajasthan, Kerala to Uttar Pradesh, and many places in-between, a meal at Kahaani can be like a tour through India’s diverse regional cuisines. The restaurant’s name translates to “story” in Hindi, and the menu chronicles Indian cuisine (with a map of where each dish comes from).

A meal will likely begin with house-made pani puri (puffed flatbread usually filled with tamarind sauce). This zingy, crunchy take on the chaat classic is the same recipe co-owner Kunal Bhardwaj’s mother made for him growing up. Another sure bet is the signature goat curry. Co-owner and chef Aseem Sood follows the same his family used at their street stall in Gujranwala, just outside Lahore, pre-Partition.

Also on offer is traditional biryani, made with rotating slow-cooked meats and topped with parda pastry that seals in the luxurious saffron scent. Finish your meal with the kulfi falooda (an ice-cream-adjacent dessert of vermicelli, pistachio and rose water) or one of Kahaani’s signature cocktails, made with Indian ingredients and spirits, such as Old Monk rum, loved across the subcontinent.

Kahaani’s cosy, minimalist interior is instantly recognisable in Carlton. It has industrial lighting fixtures, exposed brick, banquette seating and a tiled bar. Little nods to India are everywhere – the ceiling is even made from the same clay as the tandoor oven.

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Updated: June 6th, 2024

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