A dressy local for Notting Hill’s smart set, Chakra presents its dishes with a modern flourish and a hefty price tag. Droplet chandeliers, dimpled banquettes and a stylish cream colour scheme add to the sense of occasion. The cooking styles of Indian royal courts are emphasised on the menu, along with the occasional nod to street food. Well-priced lunchtime and pre-theatre deals are worth checking out.
Meals can be memorable, yet we noticed a dip in standards for a couple of the regional specialities. Good news first: patiala lamb chops (a signature dish) were supremely tender and owed much to an astringent lime and yoghurt marination spiked with garlic and ginger, and to just-so chargrilling. Chakra also produces an outstanding okra dish. This much maligned vegetable is sliced into slivers and dusted in chilli-spiced gram-flour before being fried: a crunchy, flavoursome treat, and a great match with pomegranate raita.
The rest of the meal was disappointing. Blandly spiced bengali fish curry was let down by a lack of mustardy bite and a cloyingly sweet coconut masala; and service fell short of expectation, with staff needing to be a sight more familiar with their menu.