Celebrity Chef & Restaurateur Revamp East Village Scene

Celebrity Chef & Restaurateur Revamp East Village Scene

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 new Indian restaurant opened last month, has breathed life into a previously overlooked corner of the neighborhood, nestled between a pizzeria and a funeral parlour.

Once inside the unassuming exterior, diners are transported to a luxurious Indian-style country club, reminiscent of the grandeur of British-era mansions in India. The ambiance is further enhanced by a library, rattan furniture, and a bar leading to a skylit space adorned with greenery.

Renowned chef Vikas Khanna, known for his Michelin-starred restaurant Junoon, has partnered with Jimmy Rizvi of Bombay House Hospitality to craft this culinary masterpiece. The restaurant, which opened on March 23, aims to provide a sense of calm and homeliness to its guests, drawing inspiration from nostalgia and tradition.

Despite its recent opening, Bungalow has quickly become a hotspot, with a staggering 2,000-person waitlist reported on a busy weekend night. Reservations are scarce, underscoring the establishment’s popularity and demand.

Khanna’s vision for Bungalow extends beyond exquisite cuisine. He envisions the restaurant as a hub for cultural exchange and community building. The carefully curated menu showcases a reinterpretation of traditional Indian dishes, utilizing imported ingredients like Kashmiri saffron and unique mangoes.

The attention to detail at Bungalow is not limited to the culinary offerings. The decor, overseen by Rizvi’s sister Shaila, features bespoke furniture imported from India, including teak and mango wood pieces. The restaurant exudes a blend of elegance and authenticity, inviting guests to immerse themselves in Indian culture.

From the carefully crafted cocktails, such as the Holi Moli spicy mezcal margarita, to the meticulously prepared dishes like the pan-fried lamb chops and tandoori salmon, Bungalow promises a sensory journey through the flavors of India.

Moreover, by sourcing flowers from the Chelsea Flower District and working with local Indian florists, Khanna has incorporated elements of celebration and tradition into the restaurant’s ambiance. The choice of blooms, including tuberose and Kashmiri Nargis, adds a touch of symbolism and cultural significance to the dining experience.

In essence, Bungalow is more than a restaurant; it is a gateway to an immersive cultural experience. Through culinary artistry and thoughtful design, Khanna and Rizvi have created a space where food, tradition, and community converge, inviting guests to savor the essence of India’s rich heritage. As Bungalow continues to captivate diners with its blend of sophistication and nostalgia, it stands as a testament to the power of culinary excellence in fostering connections and preserving cultural legacies.

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