Having sampled the food at Chakra over two years ago, I was quite excited to see how the menu had evolved after it’s relaunch at Holland Street in upmarket Kensington.
After sipping on fruity mocktails and cocktails with mini poppadums on the side, we got stuck into the starters. The deconstructed version of samosa came in the form of flat mini pastry spheres topped with a sweet potato & pea mixture finished off with swirls of tamarind chutney.
We also sampled the tandoori paneer, basil and mint Chutney – a good dish done really well and the soft and perfectly done chicken tikkas served with a chutney.
The baby spinach Fritters,we agreed unanimously, were the best starter from our selection. Served with a Spinach Galouti ( which was received with mixed emotions) and a dainty little blob of radish and spinach salad – this is definite winner.
No Indian meal is comeplete without some comforting daal-chaawal so Meloni dhal was a must with some simple steamed basmati – lovely long grains cooked to perfection.
While Heidi savoured seafood biryani with a side of sweet potato, Nayna relished an unusual but tasty vegetable dish featuring purple potato and ivy gourd. The star on the table though was the fabulous tandoori poussin – a magnificent dish of meat and spices cooked in a hot tandoor until the meat is ready to simpl fall off the bone with a gentle prod with a fork ummm. I also sample a sides okra which was scooped up in greedy portions with the buttery naans.
Never one to say no when presented with a dessert menu, I picked the Gulab Jamun Caviar ( what?! )- with pistachio toast and cardamom cream was undoubtedly the showstopper of the evening. Worthy of winning the title for the best fusion version of a very traditional but extremely loved Indian sweet, this one truly took my breath away.
The Mango Kulfi does a playful twist on the bog standard Indian forzen dessert. Moresih and creamy mango kulfi cubes resembling mini slabs of butter sat atop glass tubes filled with mango juice ( which I found overtly sweet) while freshl mango bits were chilled and served on the side in a generous portion. Like the Gulab jamnun caviar this dish was welcomed to our table with much glee.
Head Chef Tai Khan’s new menu takes fusion cuisine and bold combinations to new heights. Amongst the many new items on the menu, the most notable starters are Tandoori tiger prawns,
Mains not be missed out on are : Tandoori Poussin, Tandoori Gressingham Duck Breast, Figs; and Clay Oven Cooked Black Cod, Saffron, Samphire.
But undoubtedly the desserts here ‘take the cake’ with the Gulab jamun caviar taking home the crown for the most tastefully presented and creatively conceived treat for all senses.
Perched on a pretty cobbled street, it’s cosy welcoming interiors done in grey and large framed photos depicting scenes from rural India, this restaurant also has an alfresco dining area.
*With thanks to Humayun Hussain and Chakra on Holland Street for an invite. All opinions expressed are as always my own. No monetary compensation was provided for a positive review.