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

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Here are notes from a meal in October 2007 by way of comparison.

This was a better meal than my last one here, which was around 12/20 level. The room is attractive, with high ceilings, lots of wood panels and some imposing stonework. The place was packed on this Thursday evening with a fashionable crowd. An amuse bouche arrives of chicken and wild mushroom soup, laced with a little cumin and chilli; a little chicken pakora is a garnish. The soup is quite thick in texture and has reasonable flavour (12/20).

My starter proper was three different styles of chicken tikka. The chicken is from Goosnargh, so a higher quality of chicken than one usually encounters in indian restaurants. One piece has a coriander and basil marinade, another a pepper marinade, another a conventional malai marinade using cheese; the chicken was served with a simple salad of rocket with a basic dressing. I thought the chicken was cooked a fraction longer than optimal, though the marinade ensured the meat was not dry (13/20). Tandoori kingfish was excellent, the fish steeped in tarragon and curry leaves then cooked in the tandoor; the fish was very tender. Accompanying this was a tasty black eye bean chat (14/20).

My main course was prawn biriani prepared the proper way, in a clay pot with a pastry case lid to seal in the aroma. Hardly anyone in London makes biriani this way (Amaya is one). The prawns were cooked well and the rice had a pleasant taste from the spices it was cooked with, though the rice did have grains quite as perfectly defined as in the very best biriani (13/20). Better were large tandoori prawns, served with a little heap of seafood and red onion risotto (14/20). Til gobi had cauliflower florets tossed with sesame seeds and onion; the cauliflower florets themselves were cooked lightly and retained their texture, but in this case the dish could have done with a little more in the way of spices, as it seemed a touch bland (12/20).

Assorted vegetables (e.g. mange tout, broccoli) were lightly fried with cashew nuts, mustard seeds and a little grated coconut. This is an old Zaika dish and the version today was just a little off, the vegetables cooked a fraction longer than optimal, the dish a little watery, though still pleasant (11/20). Garlic naan had good texture, as did a "khumbi naan", which is flavoured with mushrooms and triuffle oil (13/20). A pre dessert of passion fruit granita was refreshing. Mango kulfi was smooth and had good taste, garnished with a tuile (13/20). Service was attentive.

Further reviews: 04th Dec 2014 | 13th Feb 2011 | 01st May 2009 | 01st Sep 2008

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