Fay Maschler Reviews London’s New BiBi Indian Restaurant


Chet Sharma, who has a PhD in physics from Oxford (grannies must be delighted), has worked as head of development at star locations including Moor Hall in Lancashire and L’Enclume in Cartmel, as well as Mugaritz in Spain. BiBi is where his heritage meets and salutes his culinary erudition. Sourcing of ingredients, both from India and the UK, is meticulous, with the meat used being raised by artisanal farmers and the fish delivered from day boats. Crosscurrents can produce sneers over snacks such as airy papads (poppadoms) flavored with cave-aged Wookey Hole cheddar, served with a dip described by Amy as a pond smothered in posh pesto coated in posh mayo coated in posh ketchup .

Orkney scallops piled with mustard seeds like dense pearls on an evening dress also reveal the flavors and refreshing properties of nimbu pani (lime soda), India’s favorite soft drink. Chukh masala tikka with herb-fed chicken thighs is light years away from the chicken tikka masala memorably described by the late Robin Cook when he was British Foreign Secretary as a “true British national dish”. Magically, mysteriously, the stickiness tendency has been eliminated from okra, which sails on a peanut and sesame sauce enriched with fermented chili oil. Grass-fed ghee daal is a must. And the kulfi (milk ice cream) with saffron and white chocolate on a lollipop stick is just the ticket for dessert.


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