Nestled discreetly in South Kensington, Pravaas, Chef Shilpa Dandekar’s latest venture, promises a culinary journey steeped in Indian heritage with a contemporary twist.

This intimate 30-cover restaurant, just moments away from South Kensington station, exudes boutique charm, complete with a subterranean private dining space.

The décor, a fusion of traditional Indian elements and modern accents, sets a captivating scene for dining.

Soft grey tub chairs and plush velvet banquettes provide comfort amidst the industrial lighting and black steel features.

Descending into the private dining room reveals a softly lit space with a chef’s window offering glimpses into the bustling kitchen.

Chef Patron Shilpa Dandekar, renowned for her expertise honed across continents, brings her culinary finesse to every plate.

Inspired by her extensive travels and training with culinary giants like Chef Sriram Aylur and Raymond Blanc, she infuses each dish with soulful authenticity and innovative flair.

At Pravaas, spices are not mere ingredients but storytellers, carefully selected to recreate the rich tapestry of Indian flavours.

Every creation reflects Chef Shilpa’s dedication to her craft, ensuring that each bite is a testament to the vibrant culinary traditions she holds dear.

Papad, Tomato and Mango Chutney: A Prelude to Flavour

As the curtains rose on my culinary journey at Pravaas, the pre starter of Papad, Tomato & Garlic, and Mango Chutney, set the stage for the flavour extravaganza that was to follow. The crispiness of the papad which came in 3 different varieties – including one made from tapioca crispy bubbles of heaven – provided the perfect canvas for the duo of chutneys. The garlic tomato chutney danced on my palate with its tangy zest, while the tempered mango chutney added a sweet tone to the evening to come. Each bite was enticing me on to the next.

Lamb Galouti Kebab: A Melt-in-the-Mouth Masterpiece

The Lamb Galouti Kebab emerged as the star of the starters, captivating me with its melt-in-the-mouth perfection. Originally designed for a king with no teeth this kebab has been transformed by Chef Shilpa. Each morsel of lamb was a testament to the chef’s expertise, marinated in saffron, special spices, and a myriad of secret aromatic ingredients. The pan-fried exterior gave way to tender succulence, while the flaky bread provided a delightful contrast in texture. With each forkful (one wouldn’t even refer to it as a bite as no teeth required!), I was transported to a realm of culinary bliss, anticipating the fusion of Indian and French flavours to come.

 Passion and Fire or an Old Fashioned: What Would You Choose?

The drinks at Pravaas are amazing. My dining companion always chooses an Old Fashioned whenever he can. He says it is a mark of a good mixologist and of course this was no ordinary Old Fashioned. Burnt orange, spice and still the classic taste all hit the palate at once. My Passion and Fire came with just the right amount of heat for me, and then I was told that the team can easily adapt the heat with their chilli syrup according to preference. This had all been expertly done just by amazing communication between the team so they know how much heat we liked at the table, not only for drinks but for recommendations for food too. It is always a pleasure to see a team pull together to create the perfect experience for the diners. 

Seared Scallops : A Stunning Seafood Starter

The Scallops were a sensory delight, showcasing the delicate flavours of the sea in perfect harmony with a soft texture. The scallops, pan-fried to golden perfection, exuded a subtle sweetness that was complimented by a roast pepper purée which had a good kick of heat that was scalable with the presence of the artichoke purée delicately beside it. I personally went for the full red pepper heat while my dining companion needed more artichoke. Whatever your preference, these sumptuous seafood delights are worth ordering.

Patra Chat: A Burst of Exotic Flavours

The Patra Chat was a culinary gem that showcased the exotic flavours of India in all their glory. A street food delight now taken to fine dining palates. The deep-fried cassia leaf provided a crispy base for the tantalizing toppings of yogurt, date, and tamarind chutney. The sprinkle of pomegranate seeds, onion, and tomato added a burst of freshness to each bite, creating a harmonious blend of sweet, tangy, and spicy flavours. It was a dish that captivated not only my taste buds but also my imagination, transporting me to the bustling streets of India with every mouthful. It’s so popular it’s been said no-one has ever been disappointed ordering this street food no matter who the street food vender was. Now I can’t say if that’s true but I can say I am very confident everyone who tried this at Pravaas should absolutely be raving about it still the next day.

Garlic, Capers & Beurre Noire Tandoori Prawns: A Flavourful Journey

The Clay Oven Starter of Garlic, Capers & Beurre Noire Tandoori Prawns was a personally favourite of the starters and it showcased the way a clay oven should be used. Pravaas have definitely got it right here. The jumbo prawns, marinated in garlic, chili paste, lemon juice, and mustard, were cooked beautifully in the clay oven, imparting a smoky depth of flavour. The richness of the prawns was complemented by the tangy sweetness of the beurre noire sauce and the heat of the spices.

A Sling Made Of Two

Cocktails at Pravaas are absolutely amazing. Take this Sling, it is no ordinary sling, it isn’t even just a sling with Rose. It has been painstakingly made with much care and attention. Crafted to be not only the exact type of rose, but the perfect quantity, type and colour. In its development, many attempts were made just on mastering the colour without misbalancing the flavour. The team at Pravaas have got it spot on, such a vibrant delight with all the taste.

Lamb Rogan Josh: A Culinary Masterpiece

The Lamb Rogan Josh was a dish that embodied the essence of both Indian and French gastronomy. The slow-cooked quarter rack of lamb, bathed in a luscious sauce of yogurt, chili, and saffron, just danced on my palate. Each tender bite of lamb released a burst of spicy warmth that was well balanced by the subtle sweetness of the saffron. Definitely not an overly hot dish and the accompanying and indulgent potato dauphinoise was a very unusual pairing that I wish I had found earlier. Each element of the dish complemented the other in perfect harmony, creating a culinary experience that was nothing short of extraordinary. It was a dish that spoke of tradition and innovation, a true testament to the culinary artistry of Pravaas.

Venison Dalcha: Hot, Heavenly and Homely

The Venison Dalcha was a stunning example of the culinary excellence at Pravaas. The tender venison ribs, served with pearl barley rice and lentils, were a masterpiece of spice and seasoning. The black garlic paste topping the pearl barley added a depth of flavour, while the heat from the sauce provided a tantalizing kick that lingered long after each bite. It was a dish that spoke of tradition and innovation, a true wonderment of spices that left me utterly satisfied.

Prawn Biryani: Familiar, Fragrant and Fun

The Prawn Biryani delighted the senses. The fragrant rice, infused with spices and studded with plump prawns, was a testament to the skill of the chefs at Pravaas. Each mouthful was a journey of discovery, with the delicate sweetness of the prawns complemented by the earthy richness of the spices, the hints of rose, cardamom and comforting ingredients makes it a dish that easily transports one to distant lands. One can imagine sitting with a grandmother who has been passed this recipe down the ages and is cooking something to warm the hearts of someone requiring comfort. A must-try dish and a hug in a bowl.

Creamed Spinach: A Velvety Delight

The Side Dish of Creamed Spinach was a velvety delight that added a touch of indulgence to the meal. It was a dish that spoke of comfort and elegance, I can see why it is ordered by the regulars time and time again.

The Pravaas Aubergine Masala: A Vegetarian Delight

The vegetarian option of Aubergine Masala which also works well as a side dish was very popular at our table. The baby aubergines, cooked with sesame seeds, onion, and tomato masala, were enough to make the carnivores jealous. The richness of the aubergines perfectly complemented by the bold flavours of the masala. It was a dish that spoke of love and heritage, again coiffing one’s hat or should I say beret to the culinary traditions of India.

Pistachio Ice Cream and Salted Caramel Ice Cream: A Simple Sweet

The dessert of Pistachio Ice Cream and Caramel Ice Cream was a sweet symphony that brought the culinary journey to a delightful conclusion. Recommended for those who want a light dessert or to balance the wonderful heat from the main event.

Gulab Jaman Frangipani Tart: A Dessert Worth Saving Room For

The Gulab Jaman Frangipani Tart ended the journey perfectly. Again a fusion of both Indian and French culinary traditions. The delicate frangipani tart, almond paste and pastry casing set the position like a ring waiting for its jewel. The tart was topped with soft gulab jamun, so beautiful and delicate but extremely filling. It was a dessert that transcended cultural boundaries, a true celebration of the art of fusion cuisine. It would be criminal not to save room for this scrumptious delight.

3 Glendower Place, South Kensington, London SW7 3DU
020 3161 7641