Celebrity Chef’s New Bungalow Stirs East Village Buzz

Celebrity Chef's New Bungalow Stirs East Village Buzz

A Michelin-starred celebrity chef and a high-powered restaurateur have joined forces to create a culinary gem in the heart of the East Village. Bungalow, the brainchild of Chef Vikas Khanna and Jimmy Rizvi, has breathed new life into a once nondescript corner, turning it into a sophisticated oasis reminiscent of Mumbai.

The journey into Bungalow begins with a grand entrance that mirrors the Golden Temple, guiding patrons into a lavish Indian-style country club. The venue boasts a library, exquisite rattan furniture, and a bar leading to a sunlit space adorned with lush greenery. Khanna, renowned for his culinary expertise and Michelin star from Junoon, describes Bungalow as a homage to the grandeur of ancestral mansions, where festivities and togetherness reigned supreme.

Teaming up with Jimmy Rizvi of Bombay House Hospitality, Khanna opened Bungalow on a special date, commemorating his sister’s memory. Their vision was to create a welcoming space that exudes warmth and nostalgia, aiming to evoke a sense of homecoming for all visitors.

The restaurant’s popularity is undeniable, with a staggering 2,000-person waitlist on a recent weekend night for a venue with just 125 seats. Despite the high demand, Bungalow manages to host approximately 225 diners nightly, serving up a refined menu that showcases a modern twist on traditional Indian cuisine.

Patrons lucky enough to secure a table are treated to a culinary journey filled with imported ingredients, such as rare mangoes and Kashmiri saffron, in dishes like tandoori salmon and pan-fried lamb chops. Signature creations like purple sweet potato chaat and spice-roasted pineapple highlight the innovative approach to regional Indian-inspired fare.

Beyond the delectable dishes, Bungalow’s ambiance is a testament to meticulous attention to detail. The decor, curated by Shaila Rizvi, features bespoke furniture and handcrafted elements imported from Maharashtra, India, reflecting a blend of cultural influences.

Even the drinks menu at Bungalow tells a unique story, with offerings like the Holi Moli spicy mezcal margarita and Coco the Elephant rum-and-coconut water concoction, adding a playful touch to the dining experience. The restaurant’s commitment to authenticity extends to its floral arrangements, sourced from the Chelsea Flower District and tended by local Indian florists, symbolizing community and tradition.

As Khanna envisions, Bungalow serves as more than a culinary haven; it stands as a beacon of cultural preservation and communal bonding. Through each dish, each sip, and each floral arrangement, Bungalow weaves a tapestry of heritage and modernity, inviting guests to partake in a celebration of India’s rich traditions and flavors.

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