A touch of spice on Kingston Riverside
As I write this on a damp, cold (ish) morning, I can’t really believe that it was so hot on that night last week when we went to Kingston for dinner on the riverside. We wanted to check out a new Indian restaurant, right beside Kingston Bridge: Chakra Riverside.
It has a sister restaurant in Kensington which has won many Asian food awards and one of its USPs is the clever way the chefs use foods from other cultures and give them a defined Asian slant. It sounded interesting, and it was.
It was a particularly warm August evening, and late night shopping to boot, so Kingston Riverside was very, very busy. We secured a prime spot for people watching with a table on the restaurant’s small terrace, and relaxed with a pre-prandial drink to peruse the menu.
To start, we chose Curry Patta Burrata (Burrata dusted with a special spice blend served with curry leaves, tempered cherry tomatoes & grilled aubergine) and Samundari Khazana (South Indian spice flavour Atlantic sea scallop, squid and fresh water prawn with passion fruit sauce). We definitely made great choices; the burrata was a great example of the way this restaurant had married two of my favourite food cultures. I admit to having been somewhat sceptical as to the marriage of burrata with Asian spices, but it worked surprisingly well and was really delicious. The fish selection was good, with a deliciously tangy sauce, but the squid rather thinly sliced and too crispy for our taste.
For mains, I chose Tandoori Monk Fish (monk fish tikka marinated with carom seed and kasundi mustard paste, served with wasabi yogurt). The fish was delicately flavoured with the spices – which gently intensify in the mouth, but weren’t too hot. Our lovely waitress, Ellie, suggested tandoori roti as accompaniment and she was absolutely right.
My husband chose a Lamb Rogan Josh (signature Kashmiri lamb cooked with ginger, chilli, saffron and whole spices). From the tiny taste I managed to steal from his plate, it was an excellent example of this classic Asian dish. His Peshawari naan accompaniment wasn’t too sweet either, as it can sometimes be. Our breads were served in deep wooden bowls that helped keep them warm.
We enjoyed a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc with our meal - a great match for the Asian flavours. The tropical notes of mango and guava cut through spiciness.
For dessert, I couldn’t resist the warm Gulab Jamun with ice cream. We also had a Mango Kulfi with mango sauce. Both were fine examples of classic Indian desserts and provided a perfect finale to a thoroughly pleasant evening.
The restaurant serves a weekend brunch – again putting its clever Asian spin on some classic brunch recipes. There is also an excellent value set lunch (Monday- Thursday only) at £11 for two courses or £15 for three. There are also specials of light snacks and thalis available at lunchtime from £9.