Babu Ji is not your typical Indian joint.
Jessi and Jennifer Singh, the team who created acclaimed restaurants, Babu Ji in NYC’s Alphabet City, Horn Please and Babu Ji of Melbourne, Australia (both sold 2015) and Dhaba at the Mill of Kyneton, Australia (sold in 2013), come full circle, bringing their signature creative and fun approach to Indian dining to San Francisco’s Mission District, where the duo originally met.
The Hindi term, Babu Ji is an honorific title used to offer respect to a man in India. We use it playfully, bestowing the title on unlikely and simple men, but fully deserving by our measure. Our favorite Babu Ji is that self-appointed village ambassador type who knows everyone and everything that’s happening in town. He’s a real character who always has a great story. He
may live a modest life, and lack many of the typical commodities and wealth a typical “Babu Ji” would have but that never dampens a true “Babu Ji’s” spirit, sense of pride or style.
When it comes to food, he’s equally enthusiastic. A Babu Ji unashamedly indulges in food and hospitality. He laughs loudly and revels in his meal, company and atmosphere. He absolutely loves being served.
We love this type of dining spirit and have created Babu Ji, the restaurant with this ethos in mind, hoping to provoke this gregarious, spirited dining attitude in our guests.
The food at Babu Ji is simple yet remarkable as it’s made from high quality ingredients, cooked earnestly and offered in a creatively driven and regularly changing menu that spans Indian street food, cross regional curries and tandoori specialties.
We’ve stocked the beverage fridges well too. There’s a 40+ selection of mostly small, local beers in the help yourself fridge. The interesting but
always approachable wine list was created with the help of sommelier, winemaker legend and friend, Rajat Parr. The cocktail list, gently inspired by flavors from our kitchen, was crafted Vincent Chirico of NYC’s famed Raines Law Room.
Chef Jessi Singh is the man behind the pots. As a boy in India, he fought all cultural pressures to stay out of the kitchen as it was considered a place for females. But he simply never wanted to be anywhere else. So he grew up in a humble, North Indian village kitchen where his love of cooking for others emerged. The path he followed, starting in that kitchen stretched to many ends of the globe.
America's The New York Times, WSJ, The New Yorker, New York Magazine, Time Out, Travel + Leisure, Food & Wine, San Francisco Chronicle, The Infatuation as well as Australia’s The Age Good Food Guide, Broadsheet, Cheap Eats, and The Australian have all agreed that the Singh’s comprehensive offerings across food, beverage, service and design fill a void in the Indian dining scene and have been credited for pioneering a wave of New Indian dining.
Despite the thoughtful deliberation behind this offered experience, Babu Ji first and foremost, is a good time place. Come ready to join in our fun. We hope as you pass through our doors, you will feel the hospitality spirit of our beloved India, where it is always an honor to feed a guest.
We look forward to sharing a meal with you, Jessi, Jennifer & Team Babu Ji