Review: Chakra, Kensington

Review: Chakra, Kensington

By Triggerfish

With a love of Indian food and a curiosity to try new flavours, Triggerfish's Josie headed to Kensington to try out 'refined Indian dining experience' Chakra...

I love a good takeaway and Indian food has got to be my favourite. Despite not being the most adventurous with spice, I love the variety of flavours and ingredients on offer; though am often guilty (as we all are) of falling into the repeat-order habits that come with a favourite restaurant’s menu!


Review: Chakra, Kensington

That’s why Chakra caught my eye. From one visit to the website I could see this wouldn’t be my typical Indian food experience – the vibrant colours and styled dishes showed a higher-end take on the cuisine, for a start – so I ventured to their Kensington restaurant to see for myself.

We chose a Friday night and were lucky enough that it was one of the last warm summer evenings, with just a hint of an autumn chill, so opted to sit on the intimate outdoor terrace for our meal under the warmth of a heater. Edged with greenery, it was a cosy setting with a small family dinner on one side of us and a date-night on the other and was perfectly suited to both occasions!

We began by ordering our favourite poppadums, which came with a variety of delicious dips; mango chutney, mixed pickle and onion. Rather than the giant versions we were used to in our take-away bag, these were tiny, almost bite-sized shapes perfect for scooping piles of the mouth-watering chutneys which disappeared all too quickly in their moreishness.

Luckily we weren’t left without for long, as our next course arrived almost instantly; samosas and crispy fried tilapia fillet. Again, we were pleasantly surprised by Chakra’s serving of our weekly favourite as the samosa that arrived was a world away from the oil-on-fingers indulgence we’re used to. With a light casing and coated in crispy black chickpeas and tamarind sauce, the flavour experience was unlike anything we’d tasted – seriously delicious and all very new. The tilapia fillet was equally moreish with a curry tartar dipping sauce, adding a surprising twist to another take-away taste we know all too well.

Once again, our plates were barely cleared when a waiter arrived to whisk them away and place down our main course. We ventured outside of our normal ordering and selected the tandoori cooked lamb chop which had been coated in a special Chakra rub of spices and served with a mixed herb chutney. With thoughtful foil ‘handles’ placed over the end of the chops for convenience, we devoured the lamb and could easily have had more, but luckily our greed matched our appetite and we’d ordered another dish alongside! Jalandhar chicken with tomato and cream masala, pilau rice and thin, crispy garlic naan was a real nod to our usual ordering habits and was such a treat.

For once, we were left extremely satisfied but not painfully full; a real revelation and a testament to the careful use of ingredients that the dishes comprised. A reasonable bill, delicious wine and the striking surroundings were the final flourishes to a seriously enjoyable dinner and one I would definitely do again. And I wouldn’t even have to sacrifice the take-away convenience, as we’re based within delivery range of Chakra Wimbledon…

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