Hammersmith Chef Manoj Vaisaikar Goes South of the River

Indian Zilla opens in Barnes

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Celebrated Indian chef Manoj Vasaikar has opened the third in the Z-chain of Indian restaurants going south of the river from Hammersmith to Barnes to open Indian Zilla.

Indian Zing, the first in the chain started five years ago in Hammersmith and since then Vaisaikar opened another in the chain, Indian Zest in Sunbury on Thames. Indian Zilla opened doors on 15th August to coincide with Indian Independence Day celebrations with a traditional prayer and blessing at the opening ceremony.

A wide range of canapés were served from the menu to share the chef’s celebrated style of cooking which is both light and fresh with local residents and invited guests.

The former site of Andy Worral Thomas’ restaurant, Indian Zilla near the Wetland Centre hopes to draw in local residents. One local speaking to Hammersmith Today said they had often crossed the river to eat at Indian Zilla and welcomed the neighbourhood branch “You know the north of the river and south of the river divide, we are happy not to have to do the river crossing to eat at our favourite Indian,” the local Barnes resident said.

The word Zilla means district, the ancient Indian system of dividing villages, districts and towns for local administrative purposes predates the British bi-cameral democracy. Each village had a group of elders or the panchayat who were five elected members and had to be re-elected each year; the district Zilla had a larger administrative body the Zilla Parishad the highest court of appeal being the Maharajah’s darbar.

Vaisaikar who comes from the former Maratha princely state ruled by Shivaji, one of the most celebrated Indian Maharajahs who fought against the British Raj, is proud of his Maratha heritage and says the word Zilla is so appropriate to Barnes – the next village on from Hammersmith - and represents the broadening of his restaurant empire south of the river

August 18, 2010