A celebration of cuisines, home kitchens of India: Michelin-star chef Vikas Khanna set to open flagship Indian restaurant in NYC

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Interiors of Michelin-star chef Vikas Khanna's new flagship Indian restaurant Bungalow, set to open in New York City.

Interiors of Michelin-star chef Vikas Khanna's new flagship Indian restaurant Bungalow, set to open in New York City.

New York: A new flagship Indian restaurant, helmed by Michelin-star chef Vikas Khanna, that celebrates India’s rich culinary culture and pays an ode to the “mothers who have nurtured” generations, is all set to make its debut on Manhattan’s gourmet stage.

‘Bungalow’, Khanna’s flagship restaurant "deeply rooted in India's social clubs of times past", will open its doors to New York City on March 23.

"Restaurants are all about the food but in New York, they are about food and heritage because there's so much of a combination of cultures here,” Khanna told PTI ahead of his restaurant’s grand opening.

India’s “culture and cuisine need to be celebrated in this country” and 'Bungalow' will be that “home” connecting the diaspora as well as the next generation of Indian-American children, bringing them closer to the cultural roots and heritage of India, Khanna said.

“For me, the most important part of Bungalow” is that it will be a platform and a medium where the diaspora children "can connect to the Indian culture, our food, our celebrations”, he said.

Khanna is partnering with Indian-born restaurateur Jimmy Rizvi, who owns the popular eatery ‘GupShup’ in Manhattan, for 'Bungalow'. The new restaurant and cocktail bar is coming up in the city’s East Village neighbourhood.

In an Instagram post, Khanna said 'Bungalow' “celebrates millions of home kitchens of India, our street vendors who perfected their recipes over generations, our cookbook authors, our food custodians of India and also most importantly, our mothers who have nurtured our souls for generations”.

The restaurant will also celebrate the life and legacy of Khanna’s late sister Radhika, who would have turned 50 on March 23, the day of the restaurant’s opening.

Khanna, an acclaimed author, filmmaker and TV personality, said that among the highlights of 'Bungalow' is its architectural layout, which is nostalgic and reminiscent of memories of home, grandparents and childhood.

“The architecture looks like a ‘Nani’ and ‘Dadi’ ka ghar (grandmothers’ house)", a place of emotions where there were no judgments, no homework, only good food, celebrations and love.

"So I wanted to create that culture. This is going to be an amazing way of representing a culture” that is in the past, almost forgotten, he said.

The days leading up to Bungalow's opening have been a celebration of Indian culture and heritage with young Indian-American children and members of the diaspora showcasing various art and dance forms at the restaurant's premises hailing from the length and breadth of India -- from Garba, Sambalpuri to Kuchipudi and Odissi.

Khanna also announced a special philanthropic collaboration with ‘Annamrita’, an NGO in India that serves more than 1.2 million meals in schools across the country for free.

Through his FeedIndia initiative, Khanna is partnering with Annamrita and under this, every time starting March 23, when a guest will dine at 'Bungalow', the initiative will feed five meals through Annamrita in India to schoolchildren.

Khanna’s massive food drive ‘FeedIndia Initiative’ has provided meals, rations and other essential supplies to millions of people across India amid the devastating COVID-19 years.

As Khanna puts the finishing touches at 'Bungalow' on the eve of its opening, he says he is privileged to open a dining space and experience in New York City that is representative of India, its people, rich cuisines and culture.