Battersea is a quite dreary space of London, dominated by skyscrapers and posh flats, however hidden amongst the concrete is Chokhi Dhani, a jewel of a restaurant serving up an expansive menu of Indian road meals with a high-quality eating aptitude.
Newly opened, that is the primary abroad enterprise for chef, hotelier and entrepreneur Kriti Vaswan, who already runs quite a lot of upmarket eating places in India. Her newest enterprise is a celebration of Indian tradition, delicacies and design, and it’s properly price a go to purely to admire the restaurant’s stunning inside.
Guests can dine in both the downstairs bar space or the extra opulently adorned upstairs, which has some beautiful views of the Thames. Both manner, we totally suggest arriving early and having a drink on the bar. The cocktails are much better than they have to be, significantly the Dhaniya: gin muddled with coriander, cucumber and lemon. It’s as refreshing as a summer season breeze.
The room itself is furnished with hand-carved chairs from Rajasthan within the shapes of lions and horses. There’s a vivid hand-painted mural alongside one wall, which provides some welcome color to the place. You might also discover the shows of conventional Indian jewelry, from dramatic gold necklaces to delicate bangles. We had been shocked (and impressed) to find that a lot of the jewelry on show is available for purchase for lower than £20.
Upstairs, the room is tastefully adorned in brown and gold, with varied bronze elephants dotted concerning the place. We spent fairly a while mulling over the menu whereas nibbling on a bowl of mini poppadoms made out of lotus, rice and different scrumptious issues. Our waiter really helpful we order the bottle of Manpot Blanc Chardonnay, which matches properly with spicy meals.
There’s a powerful number of meat and vegetarian choices all through the menu. For our Shuruwaat (starters), we selected a number of three dishes together with the Bharwaan Subz – stuffed chillies, mushroom in artichoke, and Shuturmurgh Tikka – ostrich, black pepper, yoghurt & mace from the tandoori grill. The latter had a steak-like consistency and a splendidly spicy kick. Our waiter defined that ostrich is a available in India, however trickier to acquire in London, so it was a deal with for us to strive it.
For our primary course, we had been desirous to pattern the Rajasthani thali, which consists of a spherical platter containing plenty of completely different dishes. We opted for the Maharani Thali (the vegetarian choice) and it was a beautiful hotchpotch of various flavours and textures. My private favourites had been the Tandoori Gobi – cauliflower or broccoli marinated in mustard and yoghurt, and Marwari Paneer, which was mild and well-spiced. The garlic and crimson chilli chutney will add a fiery warmth to all it touches.
Sadly we had been too full for dessert, however I believed the Rose Crème Brûlée with honey comb and rose petal relish sounded significantly engaging. As an alternative of dessert, we made our strategy to the bar and had our fortunes advised by one of many resident palmists. The restaurant arranges quite a lot of night leisure all through the week, together with a magician (we’re advised he’s great), henna tattooing and dwell music. There’s even plans to put in a shisha bar exterior.
Verdict: The service at Chokhi Dhani is outstanding and the meals fabulous. In case you wrestle with spice, be sure to ask for some suggestions as most of the dishes include a kick.
When: Chokhi Dhani is open Monday to Saturday from 12pm-11pm, and Sunday from 12pm-10:30pm.
CLICK HERE for the complete menu.
Getting there: the closest tube station is Vauxhall (Victoria Line). From right here, you may both get a 156/344/436 bus or stroll 15 minutes alongside the river to the restaurant.
OTHER INDIAN RESTAURANTS IN LONDON REVIEWED:
Bombay Palace, Connaught Village, London W2
Hankies Marble Arch, London