Over the years I have eaten at many Indian restaurants in and around London, offering varied regional cuisines such as Nepalese, Gujarati, Punjabi and Bengali food. Most of the restaurants offer a large menu and dishes are always prepared and served in a very traditional and authentic way. However at my recent visit to Chakra in Holland Street, near High st Kensington with my two friends Heidi and Manjiri, I was totally taken back at how different it was compared to other Indian Restaurants. Chakra have 15 years of experience behind them, they have used creativity and flair from artisan chefs and given Indian food a modern fine dining twist.
We nibbled over mini poppadoms and drinks whilst we browsed through the menu.
The tropical fruit mocktail was colourful and very refreshing and a perfect start to the meal.
The menu is fairly concise but each dish sounded amazing, Chakra has taken the traditional Indian dishes served in Indian restaurants and given them a very fusion twist. Being a vegetarian I opted for the vegetarian starters whilst my friends ordered the chicken. We ordered 4 starters to share, Each was beautifully presented, cooked to perfection and tasted amazing.
Sweet Potato & Pea Open Samosas & Tamarind Chutney- this starter was a twist of the pastry filled triangular samosas. It was beautifully garnished with fresh edible flowers.
The other three starters were equally nice. TheSpinach Galouti, Baby Spinach Fritters, Radish & Spinach Salad was beautifully seasoned and the spinach fritters were so moreish , I could have easily eaten a plateful.The Tandoori Paneer, Basil & Mint Chutney was ok although I felt that the flavour was a little bland as the paneer was cut in large chunks and the marinade did not reach inside.
I did not eat the Chicken Tikka, Mint & Coriander Spices & Chilli Chutney as I am vegetarian although my friends really enjoyed it.
For my main course I selected the Meloni dhal, this is urad dhal slow cooked with aromatic spices until it was rich and creamy, steamed rice rice and the purple potato and ivy gourd curry which was cooked with onions and tomatoes.We also ordered the raita and basket of partha and nan breads to share which complimented the main course beautifully.
My friends chose to have the seafood biryani, the tandoori poussin and sides of sweet potato and okra which was cooked with onions, chilli and lime. Both of them gave the thumbs up for the dishes.
After eating such lovely starters and mains we had a little break before ordering desserts. Both Heidi and I opted for the Mango Kulfi served with fresh mango and mango sauce, whilst Manjiri opted for the Gulab Jamun Caviar with pistachio toast and cardamom cream.
The mango kulfi was served in the most unusual way, small slices of kulfi balanced on shot tubes filled with mango sauce were really delectable and the fresh mango was both sweet and tart giving you a refreshing flavour in your mouth.
The Gulab jamun caviar is something I was totally mesmerised with.Traditional gulam jamuns are walnut sized round balls soaked in sugar syrup, the gulab jamun caviar has the same flavour but were a work of art and patience.They were pea sized and served in a little caviar tin.We finished our meal with masala tea, coffee and mint tea.
In all our dinner at Chakra was very pleasant.We were guests of Chakra and all opinions and photos shared are of my own experience of the meal.
Ambience - 3.5/5
Total score 11.5/15