I was invited to test the menu, but all views are on my own.
For me, as a lover of Indian food – especially the Punjabi cuisine – , the vegetarian diet will be also forever linked to the love of yoga and spirituality. We were recently invited to try the latest addition to our beautiful local Thames-side promenade in Kingston-upon-Thames: Chakra. They say In Indian philosophy, Chakras are the centre of spiritual and healing power within the human body. When these are kept turning and working in harmony (a function of lifestyle and dietary balance) we experience a sense of bliss and wellbeing. So their dishes are traditional, North Indian dishes with Punjabi influences and they are focused on dishes cooked in the tandoor. But they all come with a contemporary twist.
What we picked:
My husband could not resist his all-time favourite chicken tikka massala, needless to say, but I tried a variety of vegetarian dishes in a kind of tapas style: small portions of 4-5 dishes.
Papadam Chutney – this was a selection of different poppadoms with mango, spicy tomato and minty chutney. I just loved these. I absolutely love poppadoms with chutneys. Can’t start an indian meal without them.
Rai Wale Aloo – Tempered baby potatoes with mustard, ginger, dried green mango powder. Baingan Bharta – Smoked aubergine mash cooked with burnt garlic, pounded chilli, tomatoes. Chakra Channa – Darjeeling tea infused spiced chickpeas. Pomegranate Raita – Yoghurt infused with roasted cumin and pomegranate. Garlic Naan – Garlic and coriander infused bread. Pulao Rice – Iranian saffron, whole spice infused braised long grain basmati rice.
My favourite was the aubergine and the potato, they were quite spicy but together with the pomegranate yogurt it was just a wonderful, colourful, warming combination. I did not like the chickpeas but it was interesting to taste them and I love trying new dishes.
Mango Kulfi – Alphonso mango flavoured Indian ice cream. This is absolutely delicious. It was a surprise as it’s just so good, I can’t even tell. It’s home made, and it’s a little bit like frozen mango lassi (which is itself a genius thought) but take 30% of the tanginess away and add some more sweetness to it – voila. Perfect!
What I thought
The restaurant experience was fantastic, really high standards, very friendly staff. The food was prepared freshly and the house wine was good too. I really liked the fancy but not too tatty interior too, which also had a modern twist.
As the food delivery guys were just kept coming one after the other it also told us, that Chakra already has a few fans in . the neighbourhood! We will be surely back too.