What can you tell us about Bibi?
It comes from Chet Sharma, who was once at powerhouse restaurants L'Enclume and Moor Hall before becoming development chef at JKS (the people behind Gymkhana and Hoppers and who also back restaurants like BAO and Lyle's). Here he's fronting the restaurant and says he's aiming to create "impactful" Indian food. In our minds, he's certainly achieved that.
Where is it?
You'll find it in a narrow space on North Audley Street in the heart of Mayfair - less than five minutes from Bond Street station and just off Oxford Street.
Where should we sit?
The booth by the window is probably the best seat, but we loved the little 2-4 seater booths that lined the room. You can also sit at the counter and watch the chefs in action. This would also be recommended - but for the fact that the stools are designed for those over six feet. Anyone shorter will struggle to reach the foot rest.
So what kind of food can we expect?
We'd probably describe it as Indian cuisine influenced by the British small plates scene. Everything was of a noticeably high quality that's just short of being too high-end, a delicate balance that's pulled off very well here. You can, in some dishes, really see the influence of L'Enclume and Moor Hall in the quality of presentation.
Generally speaking, it's all about small plates for sharing (with a few sides). There are snacks, chaat (cold starters) and the main section which is the Sigree grill, where everything is at least part-grilled over charcoal. You can see a version of the seasonally changing menu here (note that it had already changed on our visit). We'd suggest ordering a couple of snacks, a couple of chaat and then four to five dishes from the Sigree section.
Here's what we had (with a little extra info on the dishes from Sharma himself):
What about vegetarians?
There's plenty on the menu if you're veg-only (but only a couple of dishes that are specifically vegan). Even the grill section is equally divided between meat/fish and vegetarian dishes. We tried the following and can highly recommend them.
On top of this, the chukh masala tikka is recommended but as Grace Dent warned, is a "Vesuvius-hot spin on the curry house classic". The much-lauded snacks of sweetcorn kurkure were sadly missing on our visit, so get them if you see them on the menu.
It's definitely worth holding back a little for dessert - the kulfi "lollies" below are a must.
What about drink?
The wine list is on the punchy side, moving up to £50+ quite quickly, but still manages to have an entry bottle at £32, which is not bad for Mayfair (a 2018 Rousanne or Carbernet Franc from Alphabetical wine in South Africa). The cocktail list is particularly worth your attention, though. We tried the below:
Chet Sharma has created something really very special in Mayfair, easily delivering one of our meals of the year. The room is beautifully decked out, there's a nice buzzy relaxed feel about the place (almost Soho crossed with Mayfair) and the food is phenomenal. This should absolutely be on your must-visit list this year.
More about Bibi
Where is it? 42 North Audley Street, Mayfair, London W1K 6ZR
Hot Dinners ate as guests of Bibi. Prices are correct at the time of writing.
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