Chakra scoop coveted restaurant award at Asian Business Awards
Posted on 7th May 2014
Celebrating the UK's great Asian success story at the recent Asian Business Awards 2014, one of London's finest upmarket Indian restaurants Chakra, won the coveted Restaurant Award category, beating off stiff competition from a number of other high profile London Indian restaurants.
Owned by celebrity Chef Andy Varma and his brother Arjun - the siblings owned and ran what is still regarded as one of the all-time best Indian restaurants in the capital Vama, on the King's Road, in Chelsea before selling it and moving on - Chakra became an instant hit when it was launched at the end of 2011. The restaurant has been a magnet for lovers of well-made, sophisticated Indian cooking, the jet-set and celebrities alike. Regulars amongst the latter have included such names as actor and comedian Rowan Atkinson, rocker Alice Cooper, footballer Gary Lineker and famed screenwriter and director of such films as Four Weddings and a Funeral, and appropriately, Notting Hill, Richard Curtis.
Unmissable vegetarian starters include Yam Chaat (roasted cumin and lemon flavoured sweet potato chaat drizzled with tamarind chutney); Curry Patta Burrata (burrata dusted with a special spice blend served with curry leaves, tempered cherry tomatoes and grilled aubergine); and Butternut Squash Galouti (yellow chilli masala and black pepper flavoured butternut squash mince kebab).
The name Chakra is derived after the energy points of the body according to Hindu and Buddhist tradition. Similarly, with Chef Andy steering the kitchen, he brings energy and distinction to his cooking, which takes its cue from the royal palaces of India yet triumphantly, puts his own interpretation on many of the dishes.
Notable non-vegetarian starters feature the likes of Murgabi Tandoori (smoked Gressingham duck breast tenderised with papaya and marinated with robust spices, and grilled in the tandoor); Ajwaini Machli (roasted garlic and carom seeds, ginger and coriander flavoured tilapia white fish served with mint and coriander chutney); and Garlic Scallops (roasted carom and garlic chilli oil marinated king scallops seared on the griddle).
For mains, a fine choice includes Roasted Quail (crushed chickpea flour coated quail marinated in a chilli and onion paste, smoked in the tandoor); Jalandhar Chicken (house version of the Punjabi classic of tandoor grilled chicken simmered in a tomato and cream masala); Dahi Gosht Masala (onion and ginger flavoured English baby lamb curry with fresh bottle gourd delicately cooked in a yoghurt based sauce); and Chakra Black Cod (a house classic of black cod marinated with lime juice and a cracked black pepper marinade, roasted in the tandoor).
Sautéed Greens; the house Daal and Rye Wale Aloo (baby potatoes tossed with curry leaves, mustard seeds, ginger and chilli), are just some of the standout vegetarian mains. Fine wines, exquisitely made cocktails and desserts, which offer just the right combination of subtle East and West flavours, round off a wonderfully rendered menu.
Ever since it opened, Chakra has also become a name synonymous with event catering and Chef Andy and his team have cooked for the crème de la crème of London society, even being called upon to cater for weddings in European countries as far wide as France and Italy amongst others. Closer to home, Chakra has successfully launched its delivery arm of the business with ‘Chakra to Go’, where locals can order all the divinely delicious items of the restaurant menu.
Intimate yet with a certain buzz in the air, Chakra offers a plush interior, which matches glitz with relaxing comfort. Hues of cream and brown dominate the padded walls, leather banquettes, art-deco armchairs and elaborate chandeliers - all an absolute joy, as is the dining experience here.