Darjeeling Express is back on London’s culinary map. The popular Indian restaurant that closed its doors in Covent Garden is popping up at a gastropub in Kensington from August 24 to November 2022.
“Before opening the doors of our new location this winter, we are launching a pop-up in partnership with The Pembroke! A beautiful gastropub located in the heart of Kensington and Chelsea,” shared Asma Khan, who grew up in Kolkata and studied in La Martiniere and Loreto College.
“It’s a temporary home on Old Brompton Road, ironically very close to my home,” said Asma in a video that she shared on her social media handles.
What’s on the pop-up menu at The Pembroke? “A taste of home”. There’s Tangra Prawns, Prawn Malaikari and Bengali Aloo Dum. There’s Kolkata street food like Phuchka, Chana Chaat and Chicken Pakora, and even club grub like Chilli Cheese Toastie. “The food is a true homage to my royal Mughlai ancestry and the busy streets of Kolkata, where I grew up,” she says.
“It (the pop-up at The Pembroke) is not going to be every day and it’s only 30-something covers,” she says, so you “really need to book”.
Earlier this year, Asma had announced that Darjeeling Express would be closing doors at its Covent Garden address. “The building that houses my restaurant is going to be sold and I am looking for a place. I am very optimistic,” she said at ‘Iftar with Ammu’, an event by British Council x Sienna Cafe & Store held in April in Kolkata. She had even hinted at a large open kitchen in her new restaurant so that guests could see the talented faces behind the food, and the magic of the meals prepared.
Her all-women led restaurant rose to greater fame when Asma became the star of Netflix’s Chef's Table Season 6. Several celebrity diners have also dropped in for a taste of her famed Biryani Supper Club.