Restaurants, Indian South Kensington
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The Shikara brand gets a makeover here on swanky Bute Street. While its West End sister is all simple, unobtrusive décor Kensington’s Shikara adds style with the use of sleek leather furnishings and state of the art lighting to appeal to the fashion-led locals. But of course a sudden interest in designer décor doesn’t mean that the Shikara crew have forgotten their roots, indeed here the same rules apply – wholesome Indian cookery using not just traditional flavours but embracing the use of herbs and spices for health purposes. Service is knowledgeable and indeed the kitchen takes every special request very seriously, cooking every dish to order to ensure the perfect dining experience for every guest.


Venue name: Shikara
Address: 21 Bute Street
Price: £25 and under
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2 / 5

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I decided to for the Non-Vegetarian Thali. This consisted of the following:

  1. Seekh Kebab -  Much like the Greek and Turkish kebabs, this came in one long piece. I'm pretty sure it was made from minced lamb that was shaped into a long tube and then cooked. It was pretty good and went well with the pineapple chutney that came on the side!
  2. Chicken Tikka - A pretty standard tandoori item, this also came in two pieces. It had that distinct red/orange exterior and a pretty juicy interior, given it was breast meat. Although done well, it lacked a bit of flavour in my opinion so I only a bite of this. 
  3. Lamb Tikka - This was a tandoori lamb, which came in two pieces. I really liked it because I could smell the fire from the tandoori when I opened the packet and because it was tender with a little chew to the texture.
  4. Lamb Bhuna - This was my favourite curry in the thali. The pieces of lamb were tender, chewy and cooked perfectly. The flavouring of the sauce was lovely but it wasn't spicy enough for my liking! I liked that it came with plenty of onions and tomatoes in the sauce. 
  5. Chicken Bhuna - My least favourite dish in the thali, this was a disappointment. Although it had a similar sauce to the lamb version, it didn't taste as nice. The pieces of chicken were pretty tasteless in my opinion and definitely not spicy enough!
  6. Pilau Rice - A typical item in the thali, this was simply a box of basmati rice. I didn't think too much of it because it's not one of my favourite forms of carbs anyway. 
  7. Plain Naan - This was another favourite of mine. It came in a huge piece and I could smell the fire from the tandoori, so I knew it was made fresh to order. It also wasn't too filling, despite its size. It had a bread-like texture in some areas and crispy edges in others, which gave it good texture overall. This also went really well with the Lamb Bhuna, to soak up the curry gravy! 
  8. Papadum - This came in its own packet and surprisingly survived the delivery without getting too crushed. It was also a pretty large piece given, and still super crisp when it arrived. 
  9. Raita - Although the menu indicates that this is meant to be mint, there was no mint in mine. It had cucumbers, tomatoes and raw onions. Regardless, it was pretty average and a nice contrast to all the spices in the curries and meats. 
  10. Pineapple Chutney - Anyone who knows me will know that I normally hate chutney, especially mango chutney. However, this pineapple version was pretty good! It wasn't too sweet and had large chunks of pineapple in it. It almost tasted like jam and went well with the Sheek Kebab, as I mentioned earlier, and with the naan. 
  11. Salad - A pretty standard salad with lettuce, cherry tomatoes, cucumber and raw red onions. It added some crunch to the meats and freshness to clear my palette as I tried the different items in the thali. 

Overall, it was definitely a value-for-money meal. There were so many items in the thali and the portion sizes were very generous. In fact, it could have definitely been enough for two meals, if I hadn't been so hungry and greedy! The tandoori meats were good though and definitely the naan, that was my favourite.

However, I probably wouldn't order the curries again because they weren't as tasty and spicy, as I like them to be. The pilau rice wasn't very flavourful either, so I didn't even make a dent in it.