I’ve been meaning to try Chakra for a while, it’s one of those restaurants that keeps popping up in my newsfeeds, and I was intrigued by their modern take on Indian cuisine.
It’s an impressive modern restaurant on the corner of Beaufort Street and Seventh Avenue, with tables inside and out, and gas heaters for winter. The fit out is very stylish, with low lighting and candles – lovely for a romantic dinner. We were warmly greeted by the manager who seated us by the window, and it was nice touch to have a place card set up for me.
We chose a glass of Jim Barry JB Clare Valley Riesling while we perused the electronic tablet style menu, and a very nice drop it was too wit citrus and ginger notes.
Everything can be ordered by the hand held tablet, or you can order from the wait staff. We found the tablet quite easy to use, but did have to order everything individually rather than building up a menu and just pressing the ‘order’ button once.
We were also given some crispy nibbles to start with a tamarind dip, and they were quite moreish.
The manager explained that Chakra make everything fresh and are ‘not like other Indian restaurants’, then he went on to explain the menu and pointed out some of the signature dishes. We chose a signature Pav Bhaji Fondue to start – a spicy vegetable mousse with olives, crispy bread, onion and tomato.
It was tasty, but a little gimmicky in the fondue format, and we soon ditched the fiddly fondue forks for regular forks.
Next came the main courses, including a chicken biryani which was the star of the meal. I have had a similar biryani before in a pot with a naan style dough topping, but this one was outstanding – really separate grains of rice, great curry flavour, tender melting chicken – just wonderful. When we tapped through the dough crust, the aroma was amazingly good.
It came with a raita dressed with beetroot.
We also chose a prawn madras which was a good standard curry with lots of sauce to dip our naan.
Our side dish was bhindi masala – well cooked and tasty.
All in all it was a good meal and we will definitely return for the great biryani. I like that Chakra are doing something different, and the menu is also very vegan/vegetarian friendly.