A perfect spot for a colourful, beautiful and tasty vegan meal on a warm summer’s day in Kensington. Chakra is a treat for the tastebuds as dishes come with an explosion of flavours from the variety of spices. Expects top-notch service, swift but yet warm and relaxed.
What is the vegan food like?
Although Chakra is not a purely vegan nor vegetarian restaurant, there are sufficient vegan dishes on offer for a delightful meal. Colourful, beautiful and tasty. Order a variety of street food like the crispy pani puri, tangy & spicy samosa chaat coupled with some small bites like the gorgeous crunchy Avocado ke Gole (avacado arancini). Soak it up with a healthy portion of dried fruits, coconut and nuts stuffed peshwari naan or a Sharbati atta roti. Unfortunately, there isn’t a vegan tandoor grilled dish nor vegan dessert on the menu yet.
How is the drinks selection?
How about a green chilli, honey and lime juice cocktail with some Bourbon whiskey? Or a mocktail of orange, cranberry, mango puree, ginger and chilli? If you want something simpler, why not have a glass of nimbu paani (popular street food fresh lemonade). There is also a good selection of wines from Old and New World with the Chateau Batailley 2011 Pauillac from Bordeaux topping the price list at £125. And being in Kensington, there is also a Louis Roederer Cristal on hand for £250.
What is the place like?
Tucked away on a quiet street off High Street Kensington, Chakra is the ideal detox after a day of shopping or for a great meal with friends before heading for a night out in Londontown. It is a small, relaxed and intimate restaurant. The alfresco seating on the front terrace is perfect on a warm sunny day in London. The white table cloth, the lush potted plants, the wooden woven chairs create a soft and calm space to unwind.
The space indoor is classy and plush with plenty of colour – teal walls, gold cocktail bar with blue and pink soft furnishing.
Who are the patrons?
Fashionable West Londoners. The high standard of food and its marginally hidden location makes it popular with the locals. Expect to be in the company of family lunches or young adults celebrating being alive.
How was the service?
Top-notch. The waiter was knowledgeable about the menu and confident in making recommendations based on our dietary requirements. Service was swift but yet warm and relaxed.
Is it child friendly?
Marginal. Children are welcome, but there isn’t a children menu nor baby changing area in the washroom. Space will be a challenge for a push chair indoor, but is fine for outdoor.
Is it dog friendly?
Yes, at terraced outdoor seating.
Great value. Generous starter portions. Vegan dishes are all less than £10. The restaurant do charge a discretionary 12.5% service charge.
See below for what my dining companions and I indulged in for this review (prices quoted include VAT):
Avocado ke Gole
A Mexican-inspired vegan alternative to Italian arancini balls. These crunchy breadcrumb coated avocado balls are amazing. Served with pickled beetroot puree and kewpie mustard topped with a pomegranate seed. £7.50
Calcutta’s Panni Puri
Potato, onion, chickpea spiced mix housed in a crunchy semolina puff. Infuse with tamarind, mint and spiced water before popping it into your mouth for an explosion of flavours. £6.75
Vegetable Spring Rolls
Crispy thin pastry stuffed with vegetables served with sweet chilli sauce. £6.50
Lucknowi Samosa Chaat
Tangy and spicy – samosa and spiced chickpeas topped with a healthy portion of mint and tamarind sauce and sev (crispy noodle-like snack). £7.50
Baingan Ka Bhartha
Smoked aubergine mash braised with garlic, chilli and tomatoes. £8.95
Sweet Potato Okra
Gently deep friend sweet potatoes chunks with crunchy okras beautifully spiced and seasoned. £9.95