1 Kensington High Street, London, England, W8 5NP, United Kingdom

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Below are notes from a meal in May 2009.

The dining room is quite dark and formal, no flock wallpaper here.  It is a large space, but for some reason the lighting is set to "murky".  The home-made chutneys are excellent, and the naan and paratha breads have excellent texture. Many parathas are greasy, cardboard-stiff or both, but the version here is dry and light. People have criticised Zaika for straying too far away from tradition with some of the dishes, but this is how a cuisine evolves, and his technique on traditional dishes is excellent. After all, just what does traditional cooking mean from a cuisine in which the chilli was introduced from South America by the Portuguese?

The attractive if gloomily lit dining room was practically empty when we arrived at 8:15, yet was completely full by 9:30; presumably the fashionable types who dine in Kensington don’t have to be up too early in the morning.  A little amuse-bouche of lightly spiced chicken soup had very good flavour, topped with a single piece of chicken (easily 14/20). My starter of scallops feature scallops prepared in three different styles: crusted with aromatic spices, pan-fried with onion seeds, and poached in coconut milk emulsion. These were served with a chilli mash and basil naan. The scallops were of good quality, hand-dived and nicely cooked. The chilli mash could, for me, have done with a little more chilli, and I am not sure that basil is a very good flavour for the mini-naan (13/20). A chicken biriani was properly prepared in the Hyderabad style in a clay pot with a pastry case. The chicken was reasonably moist, the rice having good texture (14/20). I liked spiced cauliflower  florets (13/20) but a side dish of assorted vegetables and cashew nuts with mustard seeds suffered from overcooked vegetables (11/20). Service was reasonable if a little harried.


Further reviews: 04th Dec 2014 | 13th Feb 2011 | 01st Sep 2008 | 01st Oct 2007

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