Chakra on Holland Street - A new venue for a great menu

Chakra Hopll St - Tandoori Seabass-750The fine dining brand Chakra has moved from west London’s Notting Hill to Holland Street. It’s just a stone’s throw away from the shopper’s paradise that is High Street Kensington. After you’ve shopped till you’ve dropped and want to get away from the hustle and bustle, you can stroll into Chakra on Holland Street and take a break with an indulgent meal in calming cool surroundings emphasised by the decor of the grey muted walls adorned with black and white images of India.

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Global Street Food Kitchen

Have you ever had one of those evenings when you cannot decide whether to go down the road for an Indian, uptown for a burger, order a Chinese takeaway, head west for a Mexican, book a Thai table in advance or make reservations for a pizza trattoria? Well a new concept that has sprung in west London is the Global Street Food Kitchen. Located by a giant Asda superstore in west London, the restaurant has an airy, eclectic and lofthouse style feel to the premises. It can handle 120 covers at any one time.
Six different core national cuisines make up the menu – Oriental, Indian, Mexican, British, Italian and American with ingredients, which are sourced from high quality suppliers and farms. The proprietors, Akhil and Nikhil Junghare consultant chef Shailesh Deshmukh and Head Chef Sudhir Jadhav, the latter whose line of credits includes the Dorchester, Marriott, Four Seasons and Jumeirah, have ensured that the concept and the menu is not too cluttered. Global Street Food Kitchen offers a choice selection of dishes which can be updated according to the seasons and the availability of ingredients. Provenance is very much on their minds too with a focus on freshness and the use of local produce.
The menu is also inspired by popular dishes with a focus on Indian street food. Interestingly there are some dishes which are quite unique to our British palates as they are regionally authentic. In particular, certain delicacies from Mumbai.
The Misal Pav is a vegetarian dish from the state of Maharashtra in western India. It can only be described as a combination of a sprouted moong beans curry with a varied assortment of gram flour vermicelli (like Bombay mix) accompanied by soft white bread rolls. 
Another gem is the Dhaba Chicken which is a classic from northern Indian roadside eateries - a deliciously spiced gravy based curry served with rice or Tandoori rotis. They will temper the chilli heat factor according to your personal palate.
All the chicken dishes on the menu are made with free-range produce from Pilmore Farm in Yorkshire which gives the Global Street Food Kitchen the upper hand on other mainstream popular chicken based restaurants. The tomatoes are organic, the pizza flour and cheese for the pizza is imported from Italy, the Mexican ingredients are from an award-winning specialist Mexican food supplier and all the breads are made for the restaurant by artisan baker Maison Blanc.
British Fish and Chips has line-caught cod has a batter made from London Pride beer. Another popular menu choice has become Mushroom on Toast - Portobello Mushrooms with shallots, cream and parsley served on sourdough bread.
The Mexican selection offers freshly made Nachos to Roasted Corn and Pepper Quesadilla.
The pizza selection includes Peppers and Rosemary Chicken and the Artichokes and Black Olives come alongside such must-haves as the Arancinis. Penne with a Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Sauce with a hint of garlic is comfortingly indulgent on a cold day.
And for the sweet toothed, there are indulgent offerings such as Apple Crumble and even Bread & Butter Pudding.  With the restaurant having opened recently, plans are afoot to launch delivery and takeaway facilities soon so that customers can enjoy its stupendous cooking at their own leisure at home. However, I’d strongly advise a visit in person to soak up the unique flavours and atmosphere that is unrivalled.


Global Street Food Kitchen
Blenheim Centre
Prince Regent Road
Tel 020 8572 7100

Shampan 4 - Indulgent Food at a lovely location

shampan4It’s really exciting to visit an eatery that doesn’t look like an eatery from the outside. However, when you enter the Shampan restaurant, one is met with deep darkwood decor in lofty surroundings which includes a lounge with a welcoming fireplace. Extremely apt for those cold and wintry evenings where you fancy indulgent food in a plush backdrop with plenty of spice. And Shampan doesn’t disappoint.

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Benares - Atul’s All-Day Sunday Brunch

benares-7580-1f you’ve become awash with tea and cake recently and would like to try something a little more left-field at the weekend, there’s another spicier way to spend your Sunday. Benares has come up with a delectable menu of tapas style plates of Indian dishes for those who fancy a lazy hazy afternoon of chilling out. Set in the heart of London, Benares still evokes a feeling of being far far away from the hustle and bustle of Sunday shoppers.

Known as Atul’s All-Day Sunday Brunch, Benares has opened it’s doors on Sunday for this Indian style feast presented from midday through till ten o’clock at night.

First off, pick from either a vegetarian or traditional brunch menu. Then you begin with a veritable selection of lipsmacking starters ranging from Masala Omelette to Tempered Dhokla - a steamed savoury cake to a Chicken Tikka Caesar Salad and Amritsari Sea Bass. The tapas dishes are served in beautiful tableware which gives an air of fresh and alfresco eating - perfect for the summer months ahead. The Tandoori Broccoli was melt in the mouth marvelous as were the Lamb Seekh Kebabs.



After the opening courses, cute little saucepans arrived with coconut laced Mangalorean Chicken Curry, a Malabar Fish Curry and a hearty Sweet Corn and Spinach Stew amongst other flavoursome curry based dishes; all accompanied by a selection of Tandoori Bread, spiced Pulao Rice and a northern Indian Boondi Raita - a yogurt salad. The food was seasonal yet indulgent, a theme which carried on into the mini desserts. My favourite was the almost deconstructed Black Forest Gateau and the Pineapple and Coconut Sorbet. Or for further extravagance opt for the nutty and creamy Pista Kulfi. Both equally good, but you have to choose (why Atul why?).




It’s a well balanced brunch with subtly spiced dishes that you could eat all afternoon and, for just for a few hours in a hectic life, forget about everything and regroup.


The price of Sunday Brunch at opulent Benares is a reasonable £45 per person that includes either a thick and rich Lassi - an Indian yogurt drink or Atul’s Signature Sauvignon Blanc which is well worth a try. The sommelier Vincenzo explained the notes which had hints of pineapple. It was crisp, fresh and smooth. The flavour was not too overpowering and you were left with a relaxing and comforting warmth to your palate. I’d say it was a spot-on match with the food. 




A brunch is a combination of breakfast and lunch eaten usually during the late morning so I’d advise to skip both those meals before you head to Benares to savour the flavours and decadent atmosphere of Atul’s All-Day Sunday Brunch. So go on, spoil yourself.










12A Berkeley Square




Tel: 020 7629 8886













Chakra, Notting Hill, London

Chakra 1Andy and Arjun Varma have tweaked the A la Carte menu at Chakra most recently with some lipsmacking additions to their spicy fare.
The Malai Kebab ke Dande - skewers of chicken breast marinated in cream, yogurt and northern Indian spices have a freshly baked tandoori feel and are light enough as a starter dish. While the Kamal Kakdi ki Chaat. This authentic Indian vegetable known as lotus root that’s been tossed with red onions and coriander leaves and drizzled with a tangy tamarind chutney and green relish is well worth the experience. However, if you fancy more of an indulgence, the Patiala Chops - English lamb chops cured in a blend of warming garam masala and cardamom are extremely popular with regular diners.

In terms of the main menu, the Adraki Gosht - a rich lamb curry in fresh ginger is a must for the doyens of traditional northern Indian fare. A side of south Indian Asparagus Poriyal which is seasonal baby asparagus mixed with green beans sauteed in Indian herbs and cooked al dente complement the Adraki Gosht favourably. Another vegetarian delight is the Navratan Korma that’s fabulous with Tandoori Rotis. The creamy and lightly spiced medley of mixed vegetables combined with fresh pomegranate and black grape makes the use of seasonal fare in an innovative and tasty way.
The selection of biryanis is awesome and can be eaten without any other accompanying dishes besides a raita (an Indian yogurt salad). There’s a rich sauce that comes with the rice dish.
A celebration of Punjabi cooking comes in the form of the Chakra style of Butter Chicken that’s synonymous with the hearty Indian state. Lean chicken is cooked in a rich buttery based tomato gravy garnished with boiled egg. The Chakra Black Cod that’s roasted in a tandoor (clay oven) after being marinated in lime and cracked black pepper remains on the menu and rightly so for its uniqueness and flavour.
The homemade refreshing Mango Kulfi with lime curd rounds off the spiced cuisine nicely. take-awayAlthough my favourite still has to be the Apple Sponge Pudding seasoned with nutmeg and cinnamon and served with an elderflower mousse. The chocoholics amongst us can opt for the Gooey Chocolate Melt with cardamom ice cream. But if you’re indecisive, just get all three!

The menu is laid out in a simple and straightforward way and the staff are there to assist you with your choices. There’s something for everyone and if you cannot eat everything you wanted in one session, then you’ll just have to return for a second helping.

157-159 Notting Hill Gate
W11 3LF