Kiara Soul Kitchen Offers Vegetarians A Fine-Dining Experience
Image Credit: Kiara Soul Kitchen

Linen-covered tables, exquisite cutlery and settings, impeccably crafted dishes that can pass off as art pieces—and yet taste incredible—and a world-class service provided by a knowledgeable staff: these are all the hallmarks of fine-dining restaurants around the world. But for the longest time, vegetarians in India have only been able to access such spaces in a very limited manner, especially with most fine-dining restaurant menus offering non-vegetarian as well as vegetarian options. All that is changing for Delhi’s vegetarians with Kiara Soul Kitchen

In India, vegetarian-only restaurants usually tend to be big joints that offer up a wide menu with everything from snacks to main courses loaded with paneer to desserts and drinks. Kiara Soul Kitchen, established by brothers Manav and Madhav Windlass in 2018, changes all of that while also hitting notes of nostalgia with its expansive vegetarian menu that not only brings flavours from around the world together, but also does so with incredible nuance and flair. 

Calling their menu “cuisine-agnostic” and focused around “clean food”, the Windlass brothers are entrepreneurs who have learned from their own travels and experiences as vegetarians, and their intent is to deliver the best possible fine-dining experience to Delhi’s vegetarians and conscious foodies. Here is everything you need to know about the food at Kiara Soul Kitchen and the two men who make it a restaurant worth visiting when you are next in Delhi. 

A Closer Look At The Food At Kiara Soul Kitchen 

Currently, Kiara Soul Kitchen offers a fine-dining experience for vegetarians through two outlets—the one in Greater Kailash II which started off in 2018, and another in Ashok Vihar, opposite Satyawati College, which was launched in March 2024. The Ashok Vihar outlet also houses the Windlass’ new venture, Soul Cafe, which has a more casual vibe. While the menu at the GKII outlet has all their well-loved classics, there are a number of ingredients and dishes that are being experimented with at the Ashok Vihar outlet, not to mention the menu at the Soul Cafe which is quite different from the fine-dining menu. 

Manav and Madhav Windlass, while giving a run-down of the menu, explained that their Black Rice with Thai Green Curry, Baked Yoghurt with Blueberry Sauce, and Pok Choy Dimsums are crowd favourites in GK II. However, barley dishes, like their Barley Chipotle Bowl, are doing well in Ashok Vihar. But for those who are curious, here’s a deep-dive into the food at Kiara Soul Kitchen.  

The first thing to hit the table were the drinks. While Kiara Soul Kitchen has no bar, their mocktails and hot beverages are extremely well-crafted and pay an ode to Indian staples like ginger, ashwagandha, turmeric as well as new-age global favourites like kombucha. To nibble on the side, a Trio of Hummus (beetroot, garlic and avocado flavours) with bite-sized (and ghee-soaked enough to generate nostalgia about kulchas and parathas) pita bread was offered. This start promised that though the menu at Kiara brings together dishes from around the world, each has an Indian touch that is bound to bring joy to Indian foodies above all else. 

While every dish on their menu has its own appeal and charm, there are a few standouts that everyone must try out. The Pineapple Rasam, with its tangy, spicy flavours and innovative vadis instead of traditional croutons is not to be missed. The Steamed Bok Choy Leaf Dimsum is not only packed with perfectly cooked vegetables, but is also gluten-free and vegan. The Shakarkandi Kebab Tart has the typical Delhi-style chaat vibe, but in a high-end, bite-sized packaging. 

Among the larger plates, the Steamed Paneer Roulade with the Makhani Gravy is simply stunning, and so is the Super-Green Kulcha that can whip you off to the lanes of Amritsar with its authentic flavours. The Black Rice with Thai Green Curry also manages to be as authentic as it gets with ingredients sourced from India. And for those with a moderate sweet tooth, the Baked Yoghurt—a take on Bengali Bhapa Doi—is an unmissable treat. 

The World On Your Picturesque Plate, But With An Indian Touch 

But while the food at Kiara Soul Kitchen speaks for itself, making it a true fine-dining experience in terms of quality and flavours every dish on the menu delivers, there is something more to the restaurant that Indians will find appealing—a true sense of “atithi devo bhava” represented by the Windlass brothers. Truth be told, a lot of fine-dining restaurants can be alienating for everyday Indians, especially large families. But that’s not the case with Kiara Soul Kitchen, thanks to the journey and approach of the brothers. 

In conversation with Slurrp, Manav and Madhav revealed that though both of them are foodies, they started their restaurant quite by accident. “We both used to travel a lot for our jobs and we realised that there was this gap in the market where vegetarians weren’t getting high-end dining options at premium restaurants, especially with a wide range of choices,” says Manav. “When we started out, we didn’t have any Dal Makhani or these typical Indian dishes in the menu, but we also realised that while it started as a passion project for both of us, you have to have a practical outlook. We are now cuisine-agnostic, so we have vegetarian food across different global cuisines.” 

“Our core concept is soul food, where we are focusing on clean eating,” Madhav says. “Clean food for us starts with selecting what type of ingredients we want to use, then sourcing them ethically, then focusing on how those ingredients are treated or cooked in the kitchen, and finally presenting it in a fine-dining format. The vegetables we use and many of our herbs come from our own farms.”  

“With Indian food, there’s this idea that the food is always on the heavier side. So, we’ve tried to cut down on the amount of fat which goes into the food. For example, we make our Makhani Gravy with just one teaspoon each of white butter and cream. So, we’re not saying healthy food, but clean food as in probably how you’d cook at home keeping everyone’s preferences and health in mind,” Manav explains. “It’s just about being mindful of what we’re using and how, plus we’re also trying to celebrate all Indian traditional grains like barley, millets and black rice. We’re also switching all the white foods, so sugar is being replaced by khand, table salt is being replaced by rock salt.” 

Clean Food In India: Kiara’s Long Journey 

The fact that the Windlass brothers are true to their words and intentions is proved by how they source their ingredients. Even the quinoa used at their restaurant is organic and is sourced from Rajasthan, while the black rice comes from Manipur. Even the sushi they make is based around the short-grained, sticky Indrayani rice from Maharashtra. With their Soul Cafe, the duo is now experimenting with organic barley and millets sourced from around the nation. 

“We’re not 100% organic in terms of all our ingredients yet, but that’s where we want our journey to take us,” says Madhav. “We’re not trying to compromise on taste, but we’re making sure everything is minimally processed.” “Being an all-vegetarian place, Kiara offers comfort to a lot of families coming in,” Madhav says. “As vegetarians ourselves, we are very particular about making sure that nothing goes in that family diners will have a problem with, especially during festivals like Navratras.” 

“But even beyond families, our objective is to cater to the next generation of conscious eaters as well,” Manav says. “We want all four generations of a family to feel equally comfortable and well-catered when they eat here. There is something for everybody here.” During the time this author spent at their GK 2 restaurant, one could easily see how approachable and amiable the brothers are when handling customers. “This is also something we’ve learnt over a period of time,” says Madhav. “We feel that this is the hospitality industry at the end of the day, so you must be friendly and approachable with the customers.”