The Saffron family starts a completely different new business through Magazine Street | Where do you eat Nola?

The family that introduced New Orleans to contemporary Indian cuisine at Saffron NOLA has a second restaurant project in the pipeline. It would be just a stone’s throw from Saffron NOLA, but a separate world conceptually.

Kingsway is located at 4201 Magazine St. , the former home of Vietnamese restaurant Magasin, which closed earlier this year.

Magasin Vietnamese Restaurant in Uptown New Orleans is part of a group of local restaurants on Magazine Street.

Chef Ashwin Filco said it would be a modern, upscale American restaurant, with elements of East Asian and French cuisine. He said the idea is based on the flavors his family knew while growing up in the States

“What is American food? It could be anything you go through through your memories and experiences of being here.”

Review: Wild about Saffron NOLA on Street_lowres

Saffron NOLA’s owner, Ashwin Filko, serves up the grilled oyster dish.

The Kingsway is a family endeavor that will largely be led by the next generation, by Ashwin and his sister Pranita.

The opening is still far away. With a major revamp coming up, Felco expects to make a debut sometime in 2023.


Advocacy photo by Ryan Hodgson-Rigsby – The Philco Family (from left) Ashwin, Arvinder, Pardeep and Pranetta, debuted at their new restaurant Saffron NOLA on Magazine Street.

The chef’s mother and father, Pardeep and Arvinder Philko, moved from New Delhi to the United States when Ashwin was just six months old.

His mother developed a career as a psychiatrist, while Arvinder devoted his life to hospitality. He has been the longtime manager of Pickwick Club, one of the city’s old social clubs.

Saffron NOLA explores Indian food with a contemporary focus

Arvinder “Dickey” Filko cooks tamarind shrimp at Saffron Nola, an Indian catering company now opening as a Fridays restaurant in Gretna, Los Angeles, photo taken Monday, November 26, 2012. (Photo by Matthew Hinton, Times Picayune)

Back in the ’90s, after a successful experience cooking for a friend’s wedding, he and Bardeep created a catering spin-off called Saffron Caterers. This evolved into a one-night-a-week restaurant called Saffron, which attracted loyal followers to its Gretna Strip mall to sample new ideas about Indian cuisine, with strong Louisiana influences.

Saffron NOLA explores Indian food with a contemporary focus

Arvinder “Dickey” Vilkhu, left, and Pardeep Vilkhu are the husband-and-wife team behind Saffron Nola, an Indian catering company now opening as a Friday restaurant in Gretna, La. Photo taken on Monday, November 26, 2012. (Photo by Matthew Hinton, Times-Picayune)

In Filco’s kitchen, coriander, cumin, fenugreek, turmeric, lentil flour and yogurt sauces can be mixed with pulled pork, pompano, crab and roast duck.

Every Thursday we give you the scoop on NOLA’s Dinner. Register today.

Saffron NOLA evolved into a full-fledged Uptown restaurant in 2017.


Lawyer Photo by Ryan Hodgson-Rigsbee Arvinder Vilkhu and his family started Saffron NOLA as a once-a-week restaurant serving modern Indian food before developing their full restaurant in New Orleans.

The upcoming restaurant takes its name from Gretna Street where the family once lived, Kingsway Drive East.

“The catering company got its start in the garage,” Ashwin Felco said. “It was a very humble home, but because of my father and his training, and my mother’s ideas about hospitality, it was always full of food and they were always entertaining. We learned a lot about the hospitality that grew up there.”

While the Kingsway menu is still in development, Vilkhu gave one hint as to what large-scale style it would take.

Kimson 43262

Tina Dew of Kim Son serves a plate of salt-baked shrimp.

“We’re bringing back the 100% salt-baked shrimp from Kim Sun,” he said, a cult favorite of fried shrimp from a beloved but now closed Vietnamese restaurant in our neighborhood.

“We ate there our whole lives, we were crushed when it closed,” said Felco. “We are not going to be an Asian restaurant, but a dish like this is part of our experience and the memories we will draw from here.”


4201 Magazine Street

Expected opening in 2023

So much can happen in a few months that we’ve all had amazing, sometimes horrific, sometimes uplifting opportunities to see life through…

Aaron Merrill has made beer all over the world, albeit mostly for himself. Through a career spanning nearly three decades in the U.S. Army,…

A dosa begins with a dollop of fermented rice and lentil paste, which is transformed by a hot tray into a crepe-like dish. alternating l…

Purchases made via links on our website may earn us an affiliate commission


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.