Zaika of Kensington

Restaurants, Indian Kensington
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 out of 5 stars
(7user reviews)
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Zaika (© Luana Failla)
© Luana Failla
Zaika (© Luana Failla)
© Luana Failla
Zaika (© Luana Failla)
© Luana Failla
Zaika (© Luana Failla)
© Luana Failla
Zaika (© Luana Failla)
© Luana Failla
Zaika (© Luana Failla)
© Luana Failla

Relaunched with a new chef, this fine dining Indian restaurant and bar serves classic dishes in an imposing former bank building.

It’s been a magic carpet ride for Zaika, which over 15 years has changed location, lost its star chef, changed owners, then disappeared completely. But it’s back once again in the imposing and high-ceilinged former bank building where it once won plaudits. The owners, Tamarind Collection, has rekindled Zaika to specialise in north Indian cooking with unflashy, carefully honed recipes inspired by Mughal palace kitchens.

Sanjay Gour is Zaika’s new chef, and he does a great job of updating culinary traditions without losing the plot. Yakhni, a traditional lamb broth, is fragrant with smoky brown cardamom and black cumin, and is simmered to full-bodied meatiness before it is poured around shredded slow-cooked lamb. More homely in nature but no less satisfying, a main course of juicy king prawns, tossed in a vibrant tomato and ginger masala, is enriched by the warmth of cracked black peppercorns. 

Dumplings are an everyday staple in India, but koftas are not. The mushroom koftas served here are similar to mum’s own dumplings, as both are lightly bound with toasted gram flour. These koftas are simmered in a smoothly whipped yogurt sauce, blended with nutty melon seeds and spiked with a hint of mild chillies.

Gour’s background as a patisserie chef is clear with the likes of babas steeped in fabulous Old Monk rum from India, or a reworked cassata topped with a tricolour of mango, raspberry and pistachio ice cream.

At a time when London’s Indian restaurants chase novelty and dilute dishes with ‘fusion’ touches, it’s reassuring to find such expertly executed classic Indian dishes. Dining here isn’t cheap, but the service is slick, the room attractive, and the cooking considered, confident and creative – perfect for a special occasion or just as a way to celebrate India’s rich culinary heritage.

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Zaika of Kensington says
Zaika is the sister restaurant to Michelin-starred Tamarind Of Mayfair.

True to its name, Zaika of Kensington offers the authentic flavours of the subcontinent with an emphasis on refined, creative and contemporary cuisine from the Awadhi traditions of northern India.
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By: Roopa Gulati


Venue name: Zaika of Kensington
Address: 1 Kensington High Street
W8 5NP
Opening hours: Lunch served noon-2.30pm, Tues-Sun; dinner served 5.30pm-10.30pm Mon-Sat; 5.30pm-10pm Sun.
Transport: Tube: High Street Kensington
Price: Meal for two with drinks and service: around £130.
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Average User Rating

4.9 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:6
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
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Reena P

Zaika of Kensington (member of the Tamarind Collection restaurant family) was one of the first Indian restaurants in London to receive a Michelin star and this is truly deserved. We had a fabulous dinner here to celebrate my sisters 30th birthday. You can really feel the Mughal palace influence with the authentic décor which includes wood paneling and a collection of old photos.

Being a large party we opted for the group menu which was great in terms of variety, quantity and most importantly North Indian flavour. I had the vegetarian menu.

Starter plate: Outstanding flavours and a great selection which enabled us to try lots of the kitchen’s specialties. 

Main meal (sharing dishes): Delicious food! The spices really came through in each dish and were a delight for my palate. I mean this in terms of flavour not just chilli (I don’t like very hot food but I LOVE rich and popping flavours). I always enjoy a good creamy daal at Indian restaurants and this was probably my favourite dish from the main meal – so so tasty. The meal was one big feast and there is more than enough food to go around. We actually had a lot of food left over!

Dessert: Dark chocolate cashew nut brownie and vanilla ice cream. Divine!

Overall a lovely dinner at Zaika of Kensington which was just as fancy as the name sounds. Good service (an annoying 2 hour table time slot, but this is the done thing at restaurants in London these days – I will never understand it but time is money), exquisite food and a fun atmosphere. I enjoyed the meal so much that I kept eating and eating and eating eventually feeling like I had to be rolled out of Zaika. I’m sure that’s how the people of Kensington always do it.

Bea V

The food was outstanding. The spices came through in all the meals as sublime, not over or under done and the curries were fantastic. There were eight of us so we were able to taste many things from the menu. The setting is chic and done in great taste. And even though the service left something to be desired, I give it five stars for the butter chicken


I would highly recomment it to anyone. We had a lovely warm welcome and enjoyed the most delicious cocktails before we decide to stay and eat. The service was excellent and prompt with the food arriving only about 5 mins after ordering. Everything looked amazing so we went for a broard selection to share. Indian tapas if you like... Truly scrumptious. With excellent service and great value too, what more could you want. Very impressed

What to Try: The dal makhani, especially if you want to indulge your taste buds in something rich. The dal is infused with flavour, as it’s kept simmering for 48 hours! and butter chicken was mouth waterring


Zaika is the sister restaurant to Michelin-starred and a favourite of mine Tamarind, this meant I had high expectations when I visited. Recently revamped and refurbished, Zaika is located in a wood panelled former bank. Adorned in silk drapes and antiques Zaika certainly is an impressive restaurant, to the extent that the high ceiling and dark furnishings give it almost a stern imposing feel. 

Zaika isn’t a Indian restaurant that is chasing fads or trends, instead its focus on north Indian Mughal cuisine is its stand out factor. The service here is also  impressive and slick, but  a part of me still prefers Zaika’s sister restaurant Tamarind.