History and Background:
Meal courtesy of Chakra
Previous review of former Chakra found here.
Around the scene since 2011, Chakra opens up to the Indian restaurant scene to a whole new level of fine dine, with chandeliers, sleek presentation and a delicate interior. My previous visit to Chakra was a mixed one but a revamp and a relocation to Holland Street meant giving Chakra a second chance.
Highlights of regional specialties and traditional street food completes the Chakra experience. Indian cuisine in particular focuses on one important attribute, the flavour. This was the one thing I look to at Chakra was the essence of flavour.
I find that Chakra doesn’t focus so much on its authenticity but rather has a playful nature, streamlining modern influences into regional specialties.
Would like to note, the menu itself is priced at the high end, with up to £15 starters for a main, it would only appeal to certain gourmands and wealthy locals alike.
Started off with appetisers and poppadoms. Poppadoms made mini-size, thicker and with more crunch. Mixed opinions on these as I would probably have much prefered the more traditional, thin spread, pancake-like pieces. Spice Crusted Tiger Shrimp, Fresh Ginger & Garlic Yoghurt £15.50 were meaty and succulent and the spice gave it an extra kick. The Crispy Avocado Spheres, Curry Leaves, Tamarind Chutney £10.50 were just as delicious. Hot, fried avocados are definitely not something I’ve had before and thoroughly enjoyed consuming these.
Betty had a taste of their signature cocktail, spicy and a strong kick with a hint of mint. A great refresher and a cooler.
Not going to deny, the black cod was cooked well, soft, tender and just slips on to your tongue. Black code in general is an expensive dish wherever you go, though the prices are still pretty steep at Chakra. The dishes here are innovative and unique but I also question the Indian cuisine element to these, most notably the fried avocado balls.
The blue cheese naan caught my eye. Something different and again something innovative. Naan was soft and had a good balance of cheese.
Desserts became another round of pure visuals, a very modernised approach to Indian dining.
Mixed opinions on the dessert. Absolutely love the design and the plating. Mango Kulfi, Fresh Mango, Mango Sauce £5.75 was again original and had a great novelty factor it. Gulab Jamun Caviar, Pistachio Toast Cardamom Creme £5.75 – I don’t usually like Gulab Jamun as I find it too sweet, but the “caviar” version of this meant that I was able to nibble on this and dip into fresh cream or serve it with biscuits. Great idea, great design. Unfortunately not a fan of the Chocolate Soil, Chakra, needs higher quality chocolates before serving these as found it to be sub-standard.
Overall a good meal in a nice location. Suitable for locals and those with a hefty wallet but not for those who are looking for an authentic curry house.