Restaurant Name: Chakra
Restaurant Description: Chakra indian restaurant in Kensington
I cannot recommend Chakra enough. This is easily 5 out of 5 and my favourite meal of 2018 so far. The vegan scene has exploded with junk food stalls and ready meals this year, so it’s great to visit a restaurant that truly appreciates the taste of healthy and hearty plant-based food. I look forward to returning and trying more from their vegan menu.
Off a quiet turn in Kensington sits Chakra, a luxurious gem of Indian cuisine. With a warm welcome and classy interior, it was easy to feel cosy and pampered.
Impressed with their vegan menu, I couldn’t resist travelling to the other side of London to have a taste. Whilst Indian cuisine is a long-term ally of the vegan diet, it’s rare to find a menu that’s more Truffle Kulcha than Saag Aloo. Chakra works hard to pair complementing flavours whilst exciting taste buds. With an innovative and contemporary menu, this is bound to be an unparalleled dining experience.
I attended their Supperclub where they showcased a special 7-course vegan menu. I recommend keeping an eye on their website for any future special events as these are great value for money and are guaranteed to be an evening well spent.
Chakra’s 7 Course Vegan Menu
Aperatif – Pudina Jal Jera – fresh mint and cumin refresher
Amuse Bouche – Sitaphal ke sorba – pumpkin soup infused with mustard, coriander, asafoetida & pumpkin seeds with broccoli & cauliflower pakora
Starter – Soya Beans – soya mince, green peas & bean curd samosa, charcoal flavour tofu tikka, black garlic chutney, texture of bramley apple and sprouted chickpea chat
Mid-Course – Chilla Artichoke – Tandoori grilled Globe artichoke, crispy gram flour pancake, corn fritter, coconut chutney & blueberry gel
Main – Awadhi Biryani – Seasonal green mixed vegetables & soya dumpling biryani with tarragon & red onion raita
Sides – Adharkhi Bhindi – sauteed okra in onion masala, flavoured with ginger, Aloo Chole – Northern Indian ‘railway’ style potatoes & chickpea curry
Dessert – Beet Pudding & Coconut Barfi – beetroot, coconut barfi & lemon sorbet
It was great to enjoy simple delights like pakoras and dumplings with deeper flavours many wouldn’t expect from veganised alternatives. I’ve tasted tofu in many a form since turning vegan ten years ago and found the charcoal flavour tofu tikka to be one of the best variations I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating. Other highlights of the menu include the autumnal pumpkin soup which packed an enjoyable kick, and the ‘railway’ style potatoes which brought a taste of authentic Indian street food to the table.
Out of all seven courses, the only dish lacking was the dessert. With three bold flavours (beetroot, coconut and lemon) battling together, it only takes a dislike of one to spoil the dish. For me it was beetroot and for my boyfriend it was coconut.
Indian food is known for its use of spices – when used badly, the taste can be crass and overpowering. When done right, it’s a beautiful composition of sweet, sour, spice and savoury. There’s only one chance to make a first impression; starting with an aperitif of Pudina Jal Jeera was a perfect way to begin the evening. This fresh mint and cumin refresher was a fragrant, savoury drink which was best enjoyed leisurely. Unlike anything I’d ever had before, this perfectly introduced the delicate care taken into preparing meals at Chakra.
Chakra is Not Just for Vegans
It can be difficult to find a restaurant with great options for both vegans and meat-eaters – where no-one feels like they’re compromising. Chakra has an inclusive menu with both meat and vegan dishes, all created with care and passion. The vegetable dishes don’t taste like afterthoughts created to accompany meaty mains, they’re delicious and well crafted. Their Chilla Artichoke paired the meaty vegetable with corn fritters, crispy pancake, coconut chutney and blueberry gel. Not only a beautiful and delicious dish, but a showcase of how to expertly pair different plant-based flavours and textures.
Value for Money
For a meal this delicious in such a nice, central location I’d expect an expensive bill. Fortunately, the prices provide good value for money with a vegan main costing less than £10. If you’re interested in exceptional Indian cuisine, a comfortably indulgent atmosphere or high-quality vegan food all at an affordable price then please do head to Chakra.
I cannot recommend Chakra enough. This is easily 5 out of five and my favourite meal of 2018 so far. The vegan scene has exploded with junk food stalls and ready meals this year, so it’s great to visit a restaurant that truly appreciates the taste of healthy and hearty plant-based food. I look forward to returning and trying more from their vegan menu which can be found here
Chakra have restaurants in both Kensington and Kingston. Delivery-only is available in Wimbledon. Be sure to tag LDN Life in your posts and let us know what you think.