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Pahli Hill, Fitzrovia awarded Michelin BIB Gourmand, 2022

Fitzrovia restaurant, Pahli Hill, from Head Chef Avinash Shahidhara (previously River Café, Hibiscus), has been awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand in today’s announcement.

The widely reviewed and critically acclaimed restaurant has been described as “full of zest” by Fay Maschler whilst she was at The Evening Standard, and “a premium passage to India awash with joyful surprises…” by Marina O’Loughlin in her The Sunday Times review, even adopting Chef Avi’s famous crab sukkah as her death row starter and picking Pahli Hill as one of her best restaurants of 2021.

Michelin awarded the Bib Gourmand to Pahli Hill saying:

“A couple of minutes’ walk from Oxford Circus tube is this bright restaurant with an open kitchen and a fresh, fun vibe. The cooking has a lighter style than at most Indian restaurants: choose from dishes such as Mangalore bun with crab sukkha, fennel seeds, crushed chilli & ginger or sea bass stewed in banana leaf, accompanied by some delicious Tandoori sourdough roti with house ghee. Sharing is encouraged, staff are friendly and professional – and there’s an intimate bar in the basement.”

Michelin’s Twitter announcement noted Pahli Hill’s use of ‘fresh, simple flavours’ and a ‘good quality, and good value restaurant’.

Avinash Shishahdara, Head Chef said: “We opened Pahli Hill in the hardest of times and very pleased to get this recognition from Michelin. I’m so very proud of the team; for their hard work and support, and look forward to welcoming both new guests who might discover us and old ones that have continued to support us since we have opened.”

Having opened in 2020 only to close immediately due to the pandemic, Pahli Hill was the first UK venture for owners Rahul Khanna and Kabir Suri of Azure Hospitality in India. Despite its halting start, it has slowly become a firm Fitzrovia favourite following glowing critical reviews

The menu at Pahli Hill brings together the regional flavours of Mumbai’s vast culinary communities and ingredients sourced from local and high-quality suppliers, combining Avinash’s classical training and inspiration from his upbringing in Bangalore, for dishes that are warming and packed full of flavour with surprising details.

The design of the restaurant was carefully thought out by CADA Design. With 60-covers, the restaurant mirrors its interior design with India’s eclecticism and diverse palates. Inspiration is taken from the terrazzo floors of art deco apartments in Mumbai, Pondicherry yellow pillars and furnishings, and tributes to Le Corbusier’s Chandigarh. Specially commissioned artworks from India adorn the walls, with folk patterned cushions and accessories providing warmth and comfort.

Downstairs to Pahli Hill lies a secret bar, Bhandra Bhai, with exceptional cocktails, live music and sumptuous interiors.