13th July 2021
Indian entrepreneur and hotelier Roop Partap Choudhary will open his first UK venture this summer – ‘Colonel Saab’ – a new all-day modern Indian restaurant and bar in Holborn. This will be Roop’s first venture outside of his native India, where he is MD at boutique 5* hotel Noor Mahal in Karnal.
Launching in September, Colonel Saab is located at the historic Holborn Town Hall on High Holborn, next door to the Hoxton Hotel. The new 150-cover site encompasses a 100-cover dining room and mezzanine, and two private dining rooms hosting up to 50 guests. Colonel Saab will open for breakfast through to dinner seven days a week with a brunch menu served at the weekend. The food menu takes inspiration from Roop’s many childhood travels throughout India with his parents, while the decor is designed in collaboration with his mother, Binny. The restaurant is named in homage to his father Manbeer, who was known as ‘Colonel Saab’ during his time in the Indian Army.
Open from 8:00 am daily for breakfast through lunch and onto dinner, there will be an eclectic mix of dishes from around India – with inspiration on ingredients, spice and flavour taken from the many places across India that Colonel Saab and his wife Binny were stationed during his time in the Army. From street food signatures, to home-style Indian cooking and dishes inspired by royal kitchens, the menu at Colonel Saab will offer something for every palate and occasion. The menu takes a contemporary viewpoint taken from a nostalgic palate of memories, aromas and flavours, from a quick breakfast-on-go, to a leisurely work lunch or a special birthday celebration into the early hours in one of the restaurant’s private dining spaces. The food menu has been developed in partnership with renowned Indian food-writer and cook, Karen Anand.
Signature breakfast dishes include ‘Caramel & banana paniyaram, with jaggery sauce’ – hot, crispy bites from south India usually savoury, but served sweet and stuffed with banana and caramelised unrefined cane sugar syrup, ‘Colonel Saab eggs Benedict’ – turkey ham, poached eggs, creamy korma sauce & toasted pau, and a house special ‘The Indian Fry Up’ – featuring a Masala omelette, chilli chicken sausage & curried baked beans served with toast (breakfast will be served daily from 8am to 12 noon, with dishes from £6).
The all-day menu will offer huge dosas from south India, served with a choice of meat, seafood or vegetarian options, alongside rice dishes served in tiffins, allowing customers to experience the theatre of Indian dining at their table. The dinner menu, served daily from 6pm will offer a choice of small plates to share through to larger individual plates, with dishes such as, ‘Bharli Vangi’ – Maharashtrian baby aubergines in a chilli peanut sauce, ‘Nizami roast chicken’ and Binny’s childhood chicken curry – paying homage to Roop’s mother’s delicious home cooking (small plates from £8, larger dishes from £14).
Colonel Saab’s drinks bar, led by award-winning bartender Antony Bertin – who has worked in some of France’s’ best cocktail bars (currently head bartender at the Aquarium Bar at the Castelbrac Hotel in Dinard), will serve a list of punchy cocktails designed to match and complement the food menu, with a collection of signature house cocktails named after Roop’s close family, alongside artisanal Indian-made gins, whiskies and rums. The bar (and private dining suites) will have a 1am late licence on Friday and Saturday evenings.
The restaurant interiors are curated by Roop and his mother Binny, taking inspiration from colours and patterns of the late 1970’s and 80’s and the family’s own dining and living rooms back in India, the space will offer a luxurious yet creative and fun dining setting. Stand-out brick red walls will display Indian artworks, with vintage Persian rugs and combination of modern and antique furniture throughout – including a vintage Asprey drinks cabinet dating back to the early 20th century, all collected by Roop over the last decade. Colonel Saab’s interiors are a real labour of love and will be a real feast for the eyes when the restaurant opens this September.
Ahead of the launch, Roop comments, “I am excited to be able to finally reveal plans for Colonel Saab. It’s been almost a decade in the planning and after this last year or so, it’s great to have some positive news to share. London was always my first choice to open a restaurant outside of India. You have one of the best and most diverse dining scenes in the world and I’ve loved visiting and eating my way around the capital for many years now, so when this central London site came up it really was a no brainer for me. The site is the old Holborn Town Hall and is a wonderful old building with bags of charm and personality of its own, and so provides the perfect venue for Colonel Saab. We have big plans afoot and can’t wait to welcome guests to the restaurant when we open this September.”
Colonel Saab, 193-197 High Holborn WC1V 7BD