Saturday, 24 September 2016

London: Chakra - Contemporary Indian Dining

I was invited to review Chakra's second restaurant which is on Holland Street near High Street Kensington (Their original restaurant is in Notting Hill).
The restaurant is a short walk from High Street Kensington underground station.  Outside they have about four tables to sit and eat at however this time of the year it was a bit too chilly but I could imagine sitting out there on a warm evening enjoying superb food and a few drinks with family and friends!

The food is based on the traditions of the Royal Maharaja Kitchen with traditional recipes from Punjab and the Northwest Frontier of India with some specialties from the Indian sub-continent.

What I love about Indian cuisine is the marriage of spices and flavours to create a sensual and mindful experience of the places the dishes come from.  What I do not like is food that is too hot and spicy that you cannot taste anything but fire!  Chakra comes from the first point - a really enjoyable foodie experience.

Individual portions of mini papads and a lovely dipping sauce greeted us as we sat down to browse through the menu with a list of dishes I had certainly never heard of before.
We picked a selection of starters so we could share between three - Manjiri, Nayna and myself.
Sweet Potato & Pea Open Samosas & Tamarind Chutney
Spinach Galouti, Baby Spinach Fritters, Radish & Spinach Salad
Tandoori Paneer, Basil & Mint Chutney
Chicken Tikka, Mint & Coriander Spices & Chilli Chutney
We were really taken with the presentation of the starters and the tastes were delicious, fresh and innovative.

After a lot of photo taking of our starters and actually eating them our main courses arrived.  Although we had each picked one we shared (Nayna is vegetarian so was unable to taste what Manjiri and I had ordered but she was more than full with her main course:-
Purple Potato, Ivy Gourd, Red Onions and Baby Tomatoes (We all also shared Basmati Rice and Meloni Daal)
I ordered the Seafood Biryani, Shrimp, Squid, Clams, Octopodi with a side of Sweet Potato with Mustard Seed). It was really full of flavours, the sweet potato was little cubes of crispyness.
A platter of Peshwari Naan and Paratha for the table
Manjiri ordered the Tandoori Poussin with Red Onion and Lemon.  As with many of the other dishes it was adorned with a beautiful edible flower!
Another side dish of Okra, Red Onions, Chilli & Lime.  I have often found okra to be a bit slimy or starchy for me however these were little pieces of savory crispiness!
Even though we were all full and satisfied we did find room for pudding - well it would be rude not to!!
The Mango Kulfi, Fresh mango, Mango Sauce was really not what I was expecting. Usually you get a sort of cone of ice cream, this was like a plate of crafts, each essential part of the whole.
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Manjiri had Gulab Jamun Caviar, Pistachio Toast & Cardamom Creme:- really tiny little crunchy and sticky sweet balls in a cute caviar tin
Finishing with a coffee we left feeling full and satisfied, talking about the meal all the way to the underground station where we went our separate ways. I would be up for a re-visit anytime!

I was a guest of Chakra London but was not expected to write a positive review.  As usual all opinions and photos are my own.

Click here to see what Nayna thought of the experience too.

8 comments:

  1. It was indeed a wonderful dinning experience and all the dishes looked spectacular.

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    1. I loved the presentation of all the foods!

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  2. All of that food looks extremely good. I love fine dining experiences.

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    1. If you are ever in the area you should definitely eat here!

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  3. I LOVE the presentation of the food! Indian cuisine is my absolute favourite!

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    1. This was Indian food with a contemporary difference

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  4. Love Indian cuisine, so full of flavor from all the spices especially when its spicy hot too! Excellent food presentation.

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    1. The spices and flavours in this menu was amazing, so different from any other Indian restaurant I have been to!

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