A must visit for refined cuisine! This Dubai-based Indian restaurant is inspired by the ‘raw beauty of home cooking’, says celebrity chef Vikas Khanna


Financial Express Online has tried several dishes in Kinara, including Dahi ke Kebab, which is a unique take on the typical Indian dish, and Shakarkandi ki Chaat.

Kinara by Vikas Khanna: In the 5-star JA Lake View hotel in Dubai is Kinara by Vikas Khanna. Just as luxurious as Dubai itself, the restaurant embodies the elegance that surrounds the visitor from the moment they enter. The soothing light and scent of Indian spices set the mood, raising expectations to standards that would already be expected in a Michelin-starred chef’s restaurant. Advancing further, we go along a passage while having a view of the live kitchen, and the passage then develops into a room where the tables and the typical decoration of fine cuisine are accompanied by huge pots filled with spices. which generally go into Indian cuisine.

“Simply put, Kinara’s concept is regional Indian cuisine in the dining room that feels right at home. Kinara is a tribute to the cuisines of India and Southeast Asia and inspired by the raw beauty of home cooking. We aim to bring Indian hospitality and culture to customers, while offering familiar dishes in a thoughtful and modern interpretation, ”said Chef Vikas Khanna during an exclusive interaction with Financial Express Online.

“Kinara is a tribute to centuries-old Indian cuisine in a modern setting. We want to transport guests to India in a whole new sensory way and bring real diversity and real flavor to every bite, ”added Chef Khanna.

The restaurant was launched in October 2019, shortly before the coronavirus pandemic spread across the world. Although the food is inspired by Indian cuisine, there is a typical touch in every dish that one would associate with chef Vikas Khanna and that sets the dish apart from usual Indian cuisine.

Chef Vikas Khanna with Chef Ashish Kumar.

At Kinara, Ashish Kumar, Chef de Cuisine is in charge of the preparation of the dishes. “The inspiration behind the preparation of the dishes is the practice of reflecting the roots of our great Indian cuisine, while keeping intact the simplicity and elegance of each dish. What is delivered on the plate is not only artistically beautiful, but also satisfying for all the senses – sight, hearing, smell, touch. The intention behind the plating of the dishes is to make everything look like edible art, without overloading the plates, to echo our goals of simplicity and elegance. We are also focusing on incorporating as many local ingredients as possible, ”he told FE Online.

The JA Lake View Hotel hosted numerous cricket teams during the pandemic, which led to part of the hotel becoming involved in the bio-bubble. On numerous occasions, Kinara has also been included in the bio-bubble to serve cricketers. In the midst of this, while Chief Ashish was in Kinara, Chief Vikas was elsewhere, presumably in the United States. So how was it in terms of coordination? Well, while Kinara’s trials started years ago, Chef Ashish gave us an example of their seasonal restaurant Ellora, which is located in the nearby JA Beach hotel and launched last year.

“The process of finalizing the dishes at our seasonal Ellora restaurant was conducted via video calls and was surprisingly very successful overall. I firmly believe that where there is a will, there is a way, and even the global pandemic or the great distance has not hindered our inventiveness and our thinking. This is the spirit of Kinara. In addition, Chef Vikas Khanna is always on hand for any idea, help, support and assistance. With the Kinara menu, we spent months finalizing and perfecting the dishes. Every detail has undergone a process before reaching the plate, and that’s what we’re most proud of, ”said Chef Ashish.

Financial Express Online has tried several dishes in Kinara, including Dahi ke Kebab, which is a unique take on the typical Indian dish, and Shakarkandi ki Chaat.

Chef Ashish said: “At Kinara, we don’t have ‘signature dishes’ as such, as we believe this might limit our creativity and imagination. Change and creativity must be constant and are an important part of our philosophy. We do, however, have dishes that are still popular with our customers, such as Dahi ke kebab, which was featured in the Top 50 Dubai Dishes in 2021 by Time Out magazine. One of our most popular cocktails is the Samundar, a gin-based cocktail, the name of which expresses a connection with the shore or Kinara. This beautiful turquoise drink is served in a conch-shaped glass, to evoke the sensation of the shore.

However, so far there is only one Kinara restaurant in the world. We asked Chief Vikas about this. “Throughout my career, I have always tried to create individual concepts ranging from restaurants to books to movies. I try to instill in each concept and project its uniqueness and individuality. But I really think Kinara Cuisine needs to reach a wider audience. This place is an exceptional combination of food, service, ambiance and spirit. He has a magical feeling that I think would translate, ”he said.

One of the strengths of the restaurant is the live cooking.

One of the restaurant’s highlights is the live cooking, most of which can be seen from the seating area. Most restaurants serving Indian cuisine generally do not have live cooking, a more common concept for Italian or Continental cuisines. However, while preparing food in itself is an art, preparing Indian dishes is a complex task due to the multitude of layers it has. A live kitchen showcasing the efforts of preparing Indian dishes, so personally felt like a window of wonder and kind of an interactive experience.

“Most of my kitchens are open kitchens. It’s engaging, refreshing and adds value to diners while providing a window into the techniques and passion of our team. Personally, I think it gives competence a face, ”explained Chef Vikas Khanna.

Overall the restaurant lives up to expectations and the ambiance and food can combine for a great time and experience for visitors to this Dubai restaurant. This can be a suitable option for vegetarians, who might otherwise have a hard time finding places with many options to eat in Dubai, as many cuisines, at the base, are not necessarily suitable for vegetarian diets.

Vikas Khanna’s Kinara can very easily be on the list of must-see visits for fine dining in the Emirati city of Dubai.

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