Restaurants come and go in London, with around half shutting within a year of opening. I fear Kanishka may well fall into this category. Maybe I was negatively prejudiced towards the venue, having never rated chef Atul Kochhhar’s previous Benares venture, but I have no specific desire to return to Kanishka. Sure, the concept is great. What the restaurant aims to do is take food from a lesser known region of India – the north east, where the country borders China and Nepal and so draws on these influences – and bring it to London. However, the décor in Kanishka felt brash, the vibe wrong, and the food not quite good enough to justify the inflated price tags. Located doors away from Bombay Bustle (which I would rank much more highly on all counts), Kanishka occupies the former site of 28:50. The bar area has been shrunk and the dining space correspondingly enlarged. While upstairs was fairly busy on our recent week night visit, the capacious downstairs (where the toilets are also located) was deserted. Upstairs, diners are forced to confront a garish turquoise décor which looks as if it has literally been tacked to the walls, while having to endure slightly-louder-than-necessary upbeat nightclub style music. Maybe Kanishka has a certain demographic in mind, but it didn’t work for me. Whatever the demographic, they better come with hefty wallets, since starters will set you back around £15, with mains roughly double. At this price, the food ought to be good. Having done my research, I learned that the meat staple in this region of India is yak. Sadly, it is not possible to source yak in London (as far as I know) and so diners have to make do with lamb and venison as substitutes instead. There is no shortage of culinary daring and experimentation on the menu as evidenced by, say, my starter of venison (not yak) tartare served with a quail egg. The dish in question was light yet packed full of intense chilli-dominated flavour. Alternatively, diners could go for the likes of Tibetan guinea fowl or scallops served with smoked chilli. My goat curry main did also impress, showing a wonderful earthy smokiness with the same emphasis on chilli (and, in this case, black pepper) intensity. By contrast, my comrade’s murg makhani (effectively posh chicken tikka) was bland and insipid and seemed somewhat incongruous on a menu which claims to draw on north eastern influences. The wine list is relatively brief but shows some originality, although pricing again is not for the faint-hearted. My bet: Londoners may come and try this venue for novelty, but there won’t likely be much repeat business.