‘‘I’d be lost without my tandoor’’

by Santosh Shah

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Santosh Shah was born and raised in a small village in Nepal called Karjanha, Siraha. Santosh’s inspirations and amazing dishes come from the ingredients from his childhood such as terrine made from colocasia leaf, a spinach like leaf with a deep earthy flavour. One of his signature dishes the ‘Tandoori Octopus’ has the element of colocasia leaf, as he was growing up this leaf used to grow in his mother’s garden during the rainy season.

Santosh is the youngest of seven siblings. All his siblings married or moved away for work, he grew up with just his mother. At 14 he moved from Nepal to India with friends from the village to work as a commis in a five-star restaurant. He always had a dream to become a big chef, and now he is here in London as an Executive Chef, It took Santosh eighteen years of working his way up through the kitchen ranks. In 2011, he relocated from Gujarat to London, where one of his first jobs was at Brasserie Blanc, owned by Raymond Blanc.


Executive Chef Santosh Shah of The LaLiT London and Baluchi.

The LaLiT London houses one of London’s most gorgeous dining rooms as Pan Indian Destination, Baluchi at the Great Hall. The food served at the restaurant constitutes a diverse selection of flavours from all over India. With traditional dishes from Kashmir, Bengal, Kerala, Goa and more, there is something to flatter everyone’s taste buds. 

Baluchi at The LaLiT London is a perfect amalgamation of two great cultures. While the food takes you on a culinary journey of authentic flavours from the Indian subcontinent, the lavish interiors including vaulted ceiling, rich blues and dark wood highlight the British element. The restaurant features the iconic Naanery- The Bread Bar.