Renowned chef Anirudh Arora a former protégé of the Michelin-starred Indian chef Atul Kochhar already has a wealth of fine-dining establishments under his belt both in India and the UK but has added another string to his apron by opening his new venture Hankies – an authentic Indian street food concept with a fine-dining finish.
Launching earlier this year, Hankies, situated in the beautiful and luxurious Montcalm Hotel in Marble Arch brings a refreshing fuss-free dining experience with a variety of small plates packed with big flavours, aromatic pairings and gracious hosting.
At the heart of Hankies is the infamous room ali roti – a thin, wheat-based flatbread which is hand spun until thin enough to see through and then cooked on a burning hot tawa before being folded into ‘hankies’ right in front of your eyes. This ultimate food theatre is not only fun to watch, but delicious to eat as you can dip, tear or encase your dishes inside its tender exterior.
There is only one rule here at Hankies – there are no rules. Hankies was created to showcase the relaxed north Indian vibes with signature small bites and side dishes all made to complement each other. And with the most expensive dish on the menu at just £9, with the majority floating between £4-6, Hankies not only encourages its diners to indulge but does it with a fine-dining flair.
Utilising his cultural expertise Arora launched Hankies with a personal mission in mind: making authentic and delicious Delhi street food accessible and enjoyable in a beautiful and curated London setting – and he has done all that, and more.
With each dish on the menu created to compliment the rest of your order Hankies has done something extraordinary. Not only have they created incredible dishes that tick all the flavour profiles on one plate but have also created a sense of flavour roulette when choosing an entire meal, with hundreds of combinations to be created, each dish playing off the next.
Small bites come in the form of soft-shell crab with a spiced mango dip, crispy duck with orange, watermelon and pomegranate salad sprinkled with warm cashews and an avocado and tomato salad which just highlights how incredible the synergy between the two cultures are. Give Hankies any ingredient and they will not only put their street-food Indian twist on it, but they will also make you question why you have never done this before.
Fresh from the tandoor grill the meat dishes come in the form of a beautiful braised Guinea Fowl folded into saffron fluffed rice, classic Dehli style pulled chicken with a buttery tomato sauce and gram masala that packs a punch in both flavour and spice and succulent skewers of prawns with chives and garlic.
Vegetable dishes include a seasonal twist on a takeaway fave – the saag made with tender pieces of pumpkin and spinach and a paneer and Padron pepper tarragon salan, complete with walnuts and a peppery tomato and curry leaf sauce.
With over 30 dishes on the menu each as inviting as the last, you will definitely have to make another trip back to Hankies’ to explore each one in depth. And combine the above with one of Hankies’ expertly mixed cocktails or the traditional lassi, and you really will be in for the street-food-experience of your life.
Find Hankies – 61 Upper Berkeley Street,
W1H 7pp London
T 020 7958 3222