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Shola Karachi Kitchen (CLOSED)

Restaurants, Pakistani White City
4 out of 5 stars
Photograph: Milly Fletcher
Photograph: Milly Fletcher

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

Friendly warning! We're working hard to be accurate. But these are unusual times, so please check that venues remain open.

A lunchtime Pakistani café worth the trawl.

Shola is in the wrong place for a debut opening: at the rear end of Westfield, a short stroll from White City tube in a new development only used by daytime workers. As a result, it’s only open for four hours every weekday lunchtime. It’s the kind of site where you would normally open a third branch after the first two had knocked it out of the park. Which is a great shame, because if Shola was in Soho or Shoreditch, there would be queues around the block and plans for a second already.

A light and roomy space, there was a warm and enthusiastic welcome from chef Aida Khan from behind the counter as we arrived. A word of warning: don’t procrastinate too long, as we did; it’ll only lead to intense salivation and over-ordering. Don’t miss the crispy masala fries and the crunchy chicken pakoras, each of which were accompanied by sweet and tangy house chutney. Treat those ‘bites’ as starters and you have the excuse to explore the ‘bowls’ and ‘coals’ as mains.

The mere size of the khatti daal warrants topping up on roti and buttery parathas. While the chicken karahi was a gingery, garlicky explosion that created a fork-fight for the last piece. Highlight of the visit, though, was the Pakistani builders’ tea – my companion had hankered for a gulp since her visit to the subcontinent a few years ago, she confirmed its sweet, cardamom and clove-infused authenticity. All that Khan would reveal of the recipe was that it was ‘made with love’.

By: Dave Faulkner



Address: Unit 6, Media Works
191 Wood Lane
W12 7FP
Transport: Tube: White City
Price: Lunch for two with drinks and service: around £30.
Opening hours: Open for lunch Mon-Fri. Open for lunch and dinner Wed-Fri.
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