Hong Kong Indian Restaurant Excludes Curry: Chef Explains

Image Credit: Nine One

Samaira Kavatkar, head chef at Hong Kong’s Nine One restaurant, is redefining Indian cuisine by excluding curry from her menu. Originally from Mumbai, she explains that “curry” is a British term and prefers to focus on dishes like kadhi, a yogurt-based dish from Rajasthan.

Switching from a career in law to pursue cooking full-time in 2019, Kavatkar has collaborated on pop-up events across Hong Kong. She specializes in tasting menus featuring regional Indian cuisine paired with wines, aiming to introduce East Indian food culture to the city.

Raised in Mumbai’s East Indian community, which blends Indian and Portuguese influences, Kavatkar takes pride in sharing dishes like vindaloo and sorpotel, which highlight her heritage. One of her specialties is the roasted bottle masala three yellow chicken, served with wedding rice.

A standout on Nine One’s menu is the “Not Curry” dish—a traditional East Indian lamb stew with deep-fried dough balls, surprisingly reminiscent of French cuisine.

By steering away from the typical curry and tandoor dishes found in Indian restaurants, Kavatkar hopes to broaden Hong Kong diners’ understanding of Indian food. She invites guests to appreciate the diverse heritage and culinary traditions beyond common stereotypes, aiming to educate and delight with her unique offerings at Nine One.

Re-reported from the article originally published in SCMP.

Hong Kong Indian Restaurant Excludes Curry: Chef Explains

Image Credit: Nine One

Samaira Kavatkar, head chef at Hong Kong’s Nine One restaurant, is redefining Indian cuisine by excluding curry from her menu. Originally from Mumbai, she explains that “curry” is a British term and prefers to focus on dishes like kadhi, a yogurt-based dish from Rajasthan.

Switching from a career in law to pursue cooking full-time in 2019, Kavatkar has collaborated on pop-up events across Hong Kong. She specializes in tasting menus featuring regional Indian cuisine paired with wines, aiming to introduce East Indian food culture to the city.

Raised in Mumbai’s East Indian community, which blends Indian and Portuguese influences, Kavatkar takes pride in sharing dishes like vindaloo and sorpotel, which highlight her heritage. One of her specialties is the roasted bottle masala three yellow chicken, served with wedding rice.

A standout on Nine One’s menu is the “Not Curry” dish—a traditional East Indian lamb stew with deep-fried dough balls, surprisingly reminiscent of French cuisine.

By steering away from the typical curry and tandoor dishes found in Indian restaurants, Kavatkar hopes to broaden Hong Kong diners’ understanding of Indian food. She invites guests to appreciate the diverse heritage and culinary traditions beyond common stereotypes, aiming to educate and delight with her unique offerings at Nine One.

Re-reported from the article originally published in SCMP.