Chakra restaurant review, Kensington
So it was off to swanky Kensington for my latest restaurant review. I was invited to try out Chakra restaurant, which offers Indian dishes with a hint of fusion.
Chakra is a cosy and intimate restaurant, kind of like Trishna in Bloomsbury. It has a small dining area, though I have been told that they will be creating some additional space downstairs.
As far as locations go, Chakra, being a stones-throw from Kensington High Street, is pretty convenient and well-heeled to boot. It’s also a relative newbie in the area, having been around for six months.
So here’s what we had:
Starters at Chakra restaurant
Samosa chaat. There was no way I couldn’t order this. Perhaps it was my days at uni in Leicester, or perhaps I have an inner Punjabi/Gujarati, but either way, I love my tamarind sauce and my tangy-hot Indian snacks. And the Chakra take on this classic vegetarian delight, featuring delicious potato-filled samosas and delicately spiced chickpeas, didn’t disappoint.
The lamb chops were also on point. Sometimes I find that Indian restaurants overcook their lamb and it can end up too chewy. Case in point was my dining experience at another popular Indian – Tayyabs – where there was more tough and chewy fat than succulent lamb. However, Chakra’s lamb was tender, with minimal fat.
Topping off a successful trio of starter choices, the salmon tikka was another hit. A particular bonus for me is that it didn’t taste too, well, Salmon-y. Weird though that sounds, I often find salmon fillets to be a little too strong. I think the good masala marinade managed to keep the fillets in check.
Mains at Chakra restaurant
Given that we’d had a good fill of starters, we just about had room for two mains of black cod and chicken biryani.
The black cod was totally not what I’d expected. Misreading the menu, I was expecting the cod to be in a yoghurt-y buttery sauce, like a korma of sorts.
However, it totally wasn’t. It has been cooked in a yoghurt marinade, but it is totally a piece of fish alone. So if you’re expecting a curry, this won’t be the dish for you.
But if you want a meaty, mild piece of fish, then you can’t go far wrong than the black cod. It wouldn’t look out of place on a European menu.
The biryani however fulfilled my spicy requirements. As a bonus, it wasn’t too greasy either. A winner was the pomegranate topped raita (yoghurt) on the side.
Dessert at Chakra restaurant
Being a good sport, I made room for dessert, but kept it simple with a black currant sorbet and a kulfi. The sorbet evoked mixed berry gelato memories from Rome (I was obsessed with that flavour), and the kulfi, a delicious solid Indian ice cream, was the perfect end to the meal.
Oh also, if you visit, order the nimbu pawn I drink, a lemony, salty pallete cleanser which is great for washing down the flavoursome food.
Chakra restaurant in a nutshell
Halal – yes
Price – starters range from £7.50 to £19.50. Mains between £10-£15
Great if… you want a slightly more upmarket Indian dining experience, or have a more delicate palate.
Not so great if… you want traditional curry house fayre. This ain’t that.
About the Author
I’m not a makeup artist, chef, lifestyle guru or stylist. I’m just me. And like you, I’m trying to make the best of most things, only I’m sharing my warts-and-all thoughts along the way.