Chakra is an up market Indian restaurant in Notting Hill with a shiny white interior and an equally sparkling menu showcasing ‘different schools of great Indian cooking’. In other words, its fancy. Fancy chairs (white leather, of course), fancy coat check lady, fancy scallops and venison on the menu and fancy chandeliers throwing fancy light around the fancy room.
We went as a group of four, an excellent number when attempting to cover a menu encompassing salads (which we ignored), meats and fish either char-grilled/griddled or cooked in a tandoor and veg/non veg curries. Char-grilled lamb chops rich in lemon and cardamom started things off nicely (eaten with the fingers like a sexy meat lollipop). Venison Kakori were perfectly judged, the rich meat yielding just enough of its power over to the spicing. Scallops had a subtle hint of chilli and garlic. The ‘Chakra classic’ Black Cod (yielding the biggest price tag) was a divine blend of lime, pepper and spot on timing. Even the ‘extras’ were brilliant, bread with just the right fluff and stretch, and a daal that (quite rightly) was more moorish than crack. And the desserts (giving Chakra one up on the Cinnamon Club) weren’t even crap.
For a Tayyabs loving girl like me, with a green salad coming in at a whopping £7.50 and some of the more extravagant mains hitting the £20 mark, Chakra is expensive. But, as a visit to the Cinnamon Club confirmed earlier in the year, gourmet Indian cooking done well deserves a matching price tag. And, whilst not quite in CC territory, Chakra is a quality joint serving well-executed dishes. Which will make it excellent value to many.