Palash Mitra helms Black Sheep Restaurants’ New Punjab Club as executive chef, bringing a dedication to time-honoured techniques to the boisterous tandoor grill house.
Mitra grew up in India and cooked alongside his mother and grandmother which inspired him to attend the Merit Swiss Asian School of Hotel Management in India and then earn his degree in Nutrition and Catering Technology from Alagappa University. Upon graduation, Mitra spent four years at Kandahar, a fine dining restaurant in The Oberoi Rajvilas in Jaipur, part of the prestigious Oberoi Hotels & Resorts company. Kandahar was celebrated for its specialty cuisine from the northwest, and Mitro honed his expertise with tandoor ovens and oversaw the restaurant’s butchery programme. Mitra then moved to Hong Kong in 2005 where he joined VEDA, an ambitious and modern restaurant which took regional Indian and Pakistani fare out of the traditional context and elevated in a fine-dining setting. Mitra relocated to London and spent five years at The Cinnamon Club as senior sous chef under Vivek Singh where he learned new techniques to showcase the region’s pristine produce and meats. He was then enlisted as head chef at Scarfes Bar, of Rosewood London, which was his first solo venture and allowed him the freedom to experiment and define his personal style of cooking. His menu honoured rustic fare that was honest and true to its roots, presented in an original, refined manner. Returning to his roots, Mitra then moved to Gymkhana, heading the team at the colonial British-Indian Michelin-starred restaurant that references the era’s ‘gymkhana’ sports clubs. There he created elevated dishes rooted firmly in authenticity using seasonal British produce and centred on the tandoor oven.
After meeting Black Sheep Restaurants’ co-founders Christopher Mark and Syed Asim Hussain and connecting over their academic love for the food from India and Pakistan, Mitra moved back to Hong Kong to head the group’s New Punjab Club. The most personal project yet for Hussain, a proud Punjabi, the restaurant celebrates the cuisine of the united provinces. Two smoky tandoor ovens, painstakingly restored from a famous Indian restaurant, centre Mitra’s menu, which features authentic, hearty dishes in a convivial setting.