Chakra (Kensington)

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.

The meal:

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.

Chakra (4 of 19)
Chicken grilled well and plated well
Chakra (11 of 19)
Clay oven cooked Black Code, Saffron, Samphire £19.95

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.

Chakra (14 of 19)
Blue Cheese Naan £2.95

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.

Chakra (16 of 19)
Hand modelled by Betty @bettypwang

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 “caviarversion 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.

Price: £££

Square Meal

Chakra (Closed)

Chakra 1 (1)
Grand interior at the heart of Notting Hill

History and Background:

Meal courtesy of Chakra. Apologies for the lack in photo quality as I was having serious issues with the camera!

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!

At the heart of Notting Hill, classic dishes with modern twists flood the menu. Probably a phrase that we hear all too often but having said that, it is worth checking out.

All of our dishes are based on the traditions of the Royal Maharajah Kitchen.

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. See more below! Adam Varma leads the kitchen with flamboyance and grace, balancing the fusion between Indian and British cuisine.

The meal:

Chakra Interior 2
An elegant interior, tables lined in superb fashion
Chakra (3 of 15)
Samosa £7.75

We were first served with poppadoms, a very generous amount in which we engulfed within minutes. Following that, our starters came, the Samosa, Chole Aur Tikki Ki Shaan and Reshmi Kebab.

Chakra (5 of 15)
Reshmi Kebab £9.95

The Reshmi Kebab was the tandoori chicken breast with fresh cream and coriander chutney.  The meat was tender and complimented well with the sauces. Usually I’m not a fan with coriander but the coriander was more subtle in taste than expected when dipped in fresh cream topped with sesame seeds. Another starter was the Samosa, the vegetable samosa consisted of aloo tikki, tea blackened chickpeas and tamarind chutney. The samosa was stuffed to the brim layered by fried flour shell, giving it a crunch texture.

Chakra (9 of 15)
Feasting like its christmas

Unfortunately, I found some of the dishes for the mains to be sub-par, notably the saag aloo, the spinach lacking in flavour and coated with oil. Nevertheless we had our fill with their heavenly naan. We had our fill of Cheese and Peshwari naan…can never go wrong with that!

Chakra (10 of 15)
When we thought we couldn’t finish anymore…
Chakra (14 of 15)
Melted Brownie

A very un-Indian like dessert but I guess this is where the fusion comes into play! Hands down, the best brownie I have ever tasted, warm, gooey and not too strong. Didn’t quite take the ice-cream to as high level of satisfaction, but this brownie definitely topped our meal.

Chakra (15 of 15)
As traditional as it gets – Gulab Jamun

This delicacy is made with khoya and dipped in very sugary syrup. I could only really have half of one before I reached out for water! Albeit my dislike – this is still a must try.

Service: Small team of waiters but nevertheless very welcoming.

Bits and bobs:

  • 2 minute walk from Notting Hill Station
  • Caters for events

Price: ££

Chakra Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Square Meal