Not everyone needs spaghetti, blackboards and rustic vibes to feel romantic, because not everyone was raised on a diet of Nora Ephron, Richard Curtis and Disney. At BiBi in Mayfair, chef Chet Sharma offers Michelin-starred Indian cuisine inspired by his grandmothers, his travels around India and his Cambridge physics degree, and it’s one of the most romantic meals I’ve ever had. The space is intimate — not in an estate agent sense, but because the design makes every table feel like the only ones in there. The rich red kitchen counter is a fun place to be, but the dining room offers equal, if quieter, pleasures in observing the abstract artwork, and ivory black stone floors. As for the food, I defy anyone to eat Sharma’s creamy Lahori chicken or squidgy, spice-encrusted Buffalo milk paneer with fenugreek masala without falling in love all over again — with him, if not their current partner. His marriage of classic comfort and Michelin-lead cooking, combined with creative, well-crafted cocktails, is one of the happiest around.
London restaurants that are romantic — but not schmaltzy
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