The restaurant is Chef Chet Sharma’s way of telling the world that Indian food can be sexy, British Indian food, that is. At BiBi, it’s all about rediscovering Indian cuisine.
BiBi is the latest to grace the luxury restaurant scene at Mayfair’s North Audley Street and Lees Place. An Indian menu with a modern twist, they serve chaat and grills perfect for sharing.
A quick look at their website will tell you all you need to know about this place. The heart of BiBi lies not in its decor or menu, but in the culinary identity of the man at the helm of it all. Chef Chet Sharma has drawn inspiration from his paternal and maternal grandmothers (bibis) to present recognizable, comfort flavours in a whole new manner.
Having worked with JKS since 2017, he went from being the head of menu development to opening BiBi in 2021. JKS is also behind Michelin-starred Gymkhana, and it seems they have similar aspirations for their most recent site by putting Chef Chet at the helm. Apart from boasting a PhD in physics from Oxford, he has also worked at Michelin-level restaurants like Moor Hall, L’Enclume and Mugaritz.
The chef speaks a lot about memories and the nostalgic value of food and flavours from his childhood. Combined with his gourmet experience, they’ve translated exceptionally well into innovative dishes.
The menu is divided into four distinct sections that starts with snacks, small plates and various chaats, and finishes with Sigree (which are typically skewered, barbecued dishes) and sides. As opposed to the usual generous quantities at Indian restaurants that guarantee to have you waddle out the place, BiBi has something different in mind. The menu is designed as individually plated dishes, styled like haute cuisine and served in minuscule portions.
The snacks stand in a league of their own, with an interesting take on food familiar to most Indians. Choose from something glamorous like the Lobster Claw Vada or a plate of Sweetcorn Kurkure. The small plates present dishes like Scallops with a scallop roe chaat masala and jalapeno.
The Chef’s Selection comprises dishes like the Wookey Hole Papad, Okra Salan, and even Khatti Meethi Cod The mains are often cooked over the custom-built grill and celebrate Sharma’s grandfather’s pre-partition memories of his local kebab vendors.
What hits you at once with every bite are the distinctly south Asian flavours. However, the spice mixes are blended with European techniques and the best of British produce to create fusion food of the highest order. The glorious menu also highlights BiBi’s association with farmers from UK and India, and promises you only the best of seasonal produce on every plate.
Complementing the food at BiBi’s are a host of wines, sparkling teas, Champagne, and cocktails each as divinely refreshing as the next. Watch out for the delightful kulukki sharbat, lemon juice with a green chilli kick and laced with sabja seeds.
According to the chef, BiBi is meant to be a place that families frequent regularly. The mock-Rajasthani design and gleaming, mango wood with sandstone furnishings, as well as antique brass accessories and abstract prints are all designed to create a warm, familiar environment.
One can also consider the restaurant for hosting events, where they offer both a list of curated menus or the option for bespoke ones. Chef Chet Sharma’s debut venture is definitely unmissable for more than one reason. While the menu and visual format of the food might be subject to personal preferences, one cannot argue the rich stories and bold flavours that come with each dish. Add to that the light and refreshing new take on Indian food, and you have a restaurant that definitely calls for a visit in your hand!