Jhol: The More, the Merrier

Eric E. Surbano

23 Sep 2022

The Indian fine dining restaurant doesn't skimp on quality but also doesn't forget that Indian cuisine is all about sharing

Indian cuisine is far from lacking in the City of Angels. Take a walk down a soi, and you’ll probably see a restaurant or food stall serving Indian food. Even when it comes to Indian fine dining, there are a number of restaurants to choose from. But Jhol seems to have carved out a little niche for itself, sitting between fine dining and a classic family meal.

Tucked in Sukhumvit Soi 18, Jhol’s minimalist aesthetic, both in its exterior and interior, exudes a quiet and confident elegance. The decor is a blend of old and new; a good example is an old map of India in one alcove hanging above a green faux leather seat with a sturdy and pristine wooden table. It’s this mix of modern and traditional that’s also evident in the dishes that I had the pleasure of enjoying.

The first thing I clock upon glancing at the menu is the price (the sign of a true Asian). Jhol’s price points are not as high as other fine dining establishments of its caliber, especially considering that most dishes stay below the 1,000 baht mark and aren’t meant for just one diner to enjoy. In true Indian fashion, the meal is a gathering, and Jhol takes that to heart. Chef Hari Nayak sought to challenge the perception of Indian cuisine, hence the name “Jhol”, which is used colloquially in Mumbai to mean “mischief”. The coastal Indian dishes chef Hari concocts will be familiar to those who know Indian cuisine but come with enough twists to delightfully surprise.

To begin, my friends and I were served a number of small plates, but the one that continues to linger in my mind and taste buds is the simple yet incomparable Masala Maska Bun—soft bread served hot with a mouth-watering pav baji butter on the side. This was something I could eat over and over again, but I had to control myself since we had a slew of other dishes coming. The Jackfruit Kofta, a delectable combo of crumbled paneer and tomato masala, was a wonderful vegan delight that even I, a notorious carnivore, enjoyed.

Seafood lovers shouldn’t miss the Prawn Koliwada, a creamy dish with sumptuous and generous pieces of prawn. However, it’s no surprise that the Biryani and Mutton Roast were the two dishes where I had multiple helpings. Then again, it wasn’t like I could finish all of it by myself. Each of these two meat dishes could have easily fed four people.

To finish, their sublime Mango Khulfi is a refreshing bookend, being just the right amount of sweet with contrasting textures of crunchy and smooth.

It would be a mistake to not mention that Jhol also has a gorgeous bar serving up a number of great cocktails and mocktails, whichever you prefer. Drinks range from fruity and deceptively easy-to-drink to ones with a noticeable kick for after a long week. 

7/2 Sukhumvit Soi 18
Open daily noon-2:30pm, 5:30-10pm

jholrestaurant.com, 02-004-7174