Tokri in Acton opened in its current form in October 2023; it was previously a restaurant called Jubraj. Tokri is owned by Ram Kishore, who started his food career by catering for a cricket team in Chandigarh before joining the Marriot ITC in Delhi, home to the famous Bhukara restaurant. He later moved to London and worked at Mela in Shaftesbury Avenue, and in 2011 started a business called Riya Foods, supplying several high-end Indian restaurants in London. Tokri is in a parade of shops and has bright, modern décor and somewhat small tables. The menu is fairly conventional North Indian. As well as Cobra beer there was a short wine list, with Bollinger champagne at £70 compared to its shop price of £55.
Popadoms were fried rather than grilled and nicely crisp, served with a mango chutney and a quite lively spicy mint chutney. Tandoori lamb chop was marinated with Greek yoghurt flavoured with Kashmiri chilli and garam masala before being cooked in the tandoor. It was served with a side salad of mooli (radish) enlivened by a little mustard. The salad was very good, the lamb chop itself having a good marinade but being overcooked and grey inside. The chop itself was also not very generous in size compared to the same dish at some other restaurants that serve the same dish (12/20). Dramatically better was stone bass tikka achari (which just means pickle) with sweet chilli and garlic chutney. Stone bass is an underrated fish and when carefully cooked, as it was here, it has a lovely almost meaty texture, enlivened in this case by the marinade. This was really precise fish cookery - genuinely classy (15/20).
My main course methi murgh was also top drawer, with fresh fenugreek and a buttery sauce with onions, tomatoes and cashew nuts in which were pieces of tender chicken. Methi murgh is one of my favourite dishes and this was one of the better versions of it that I have eaten (15/20). Nadru palak was lotus root spinach cooked with onion and garlic. The spinach was nicely cooked but the lotus root seemed almost invisible (13/20). Prawn curry featured tiger prawns in a sauce involving fennel seeds, curry leaves and coconut, which is characteristic of southern India. The prawns were properly cooked but the curry was rather bland, which was odd given that the flavours in the methi murgh were quite vibrant (12/20).
Jakhiya aloo had little potatoes cooked with curry leaves, garlic and Himalayan wild mustard. The potatoes retained their texture well and their flavour was nicely lifted by the kick of mustard and the aroma of the curry leaves (13/20). Plain naan bread was fine if a touch on the papery end of the spectrum to my taste (12/20). Dhal makhani was cooked overnight and was suitable dark and rich with a hint of smoky flavour (14/20). Both steamed and pilau rice were fine.
For dessert, gulab jaman was suitably comforting, rich and sweet, though I have versions with deeper flavour (12/20). The pista kulfi was made in house but something was awry here, it lacking enough sugar and the pistachio flavours not coming through as well as it might. To add to the issues with the dish, it was served a bit too cold so was hard to cut, but it was peculiar to find an Indian dessert lacking sweetness (barely 10/20).
Service was very friendly and the bill came to £47 per person. This was a rather erratic though enjoyable meal, with two really strikingly good dishes in amongst some others that were less so, and with one genuine dud at the dessert stage. It is early days for the kitchen so doubtless things will settle down, but I was genuinely impressed with the stone bass tikka and the methi murgh, which encourages me to want to come back and try some more dishes.