RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The owner of two popular Indian restaurants in Washington, D.C., is preparing to open a third location in Richmond this fall.
Sachin Mahajan is the founder and owner of both “Karma Modern Indian” and “Kismet Modern Indian.” With plans to expand, Mahajan is taking the next step in Richmond; an area where he has personal roots.
“I actually lived in Richmond when I first moved to the U.S. in 2002 until 2010,” Mahajan told 8News. “My wife is from Richmond. So we visit quite regularly.”
Mahajan’s first restaurant, Karma, was opened in D.C. in 2017. Mahajan opened the restaurant with his Executive Chef Ajay Kumar.
“We have the same core philosophy,” Mahajan said.
When asked what inspired him to open his own Indian restaurant, Mahajan emphasized that he wanted to craft a unique experience for patrons.
“Everywhere I went I saw there was an evolution of cuisines,” he said. “For Indian, I never saw that evolution… I was passionate about it. My goal was to elevate the cuisine and the experience.”
In the very first year of being open, Karma was included in the Michelin Guide. And a couple of years later, in 2021, they were awarded their first Bib Gourmand award, bringing them one step closer to a Michelin Star.
“We have always focused on food quality and consistency,” Mahajan said.
In the late fall of 2021, Mahajan’s team, including Kumar, opened a sister restaurant in Old Town Alexandria. Kismet Modern Indian has remained a popular dining destination for families and visitors since.
The new Richmond location will share the moniker of “Kismet Modern Indian” and will offer a unique Indian dining experience. The restaurant will include an indoor courtyard, a private dining room and a full-service cocktail bar with counter seating and views of the kitchen.
“We’ll offer different experiences,” Mahajan said. “[We’ll] provide high elevated service to our guests… as well as small bites at the bar.”
Mahajan and Kumar, a New Delhi native, say they are passionate about serving food with interesting ingredient combinations and unique flavors, that is unforgettably delicious.
“We want guests to leave with a new appreciation of what Indian cuisine can be,” said Kumar. “Whether that’s Lobster Masala with Beetroot Poriyal, Pan-Seared Scallops with Sesame Seeds and Red Pepper Sauce, or Lamb Chops with Cumin Potatoes, the menu is intended to enhance your culinary experience and spark your curiosity to return and try every dish on the menu.”
“You will see a lot of dishes that you won’t find anywhere else,” Mahajan said.
The new restaurant will be located at 2918 West Broad Street in the space formerly held by Perch in Scott’s Addition.
“I hope we can do justice to the space,” Mahajan said.
Mahajan said they will be assembling a local team to be trained weeks in advance of the restaurant’s opening planned for late October to early November.
“I’ll be there for the early days to make sure it runs smoothly,” he said.