Tamarind Collection’s Executive Chef Karunesh Khanna, one of London’s most recognised Indian Chefs, has created a brand-new menu for Zaika of Kensington, one of London’s best-loved Indian restaurants, which overlooks Kensington Park, and is located on the historical site of The London County Bank, the city’s first high street bank and was recently renovated in 2020.
The majestic Victorian open plan dining room features original Gothic architectural features that have been skillfully elevated and subtly remodelled with the addition of brilliantly corniced ceilings, pale timber panelled walls, rich materials and warm colours fused with decorative Indian patterns and design, bespoke chandeliers, and both traditional and contemporary Indian artwork. The ideal spot for a romantic date night, family dinner or a catch-up with friends.
Raj Kachori, Wheat Puri loaded with sweets and chutneys, Griddled Scottish Scallops, chilli-spiked pineapple broth, coconut and beetroot chutney, and Baked Vegetable Samosa, homemade pastry stuffed with spicy and tangy potatoes, onion, and green peas are among the highlights of Karunesh’s new menu. Elsewhere on the grill section, must order dishes include, wild Madagascan Tiger Prawn with green marination of coriander, mint, and chilli, Tandoori Lamb Chop with chilli, nutmeg, and garam masala with a punchy Bengali mustard sauce, or Roast Portobello Mushroom with lime and garlic filled with buttery ginger-spiced potatoes topped with golden crumbs.
Slow-cooked dishes not to be missed include the Hyderabadi Lamb Shank, which is simmered overnight in aromatic stock scented with smoky black cumin and finished with rose petals – served table side, Goan Prawn Curry, which is cooked with fragrant spices, dried chilli, and coconut milk in a garlic masala sharpened with tamarind, and a standout Kerela Chicken Biryani, fragrant aged basmati rice slow cooked “Dum” with curry leaf and pepper chicken. A side of either the delightfully delicate Pineapple Curry (fresh pineapple chunks mellowed in coconut milk) or the Southern Spiced Crispy Baby Potatoes (double-fried crispy potatoes with mustard seeds, curry leaf, and pickling spices) complete the dinner perfectly.
If you’re looking for something sweet, Chestnut Brulee with coffee foam and almond biscotti or Chocolate Rasmalai Pie, Valhrona 70% dark chocolate tart with rasmalai and handcrafted rabri ice cream are not to be missed.
The main dining room has exquisite white marble-topped tables with deep walnut accents, combined with warm coral, cream, pink, and soft peach leather upholstered seats. Brass table and wall lights create a warm glow, whilst the sleek diamond-patterned cloth and blue leather banquettes contribute to the ingenious overall design motif of successfully blending contemporary elements with the building’s historical past.
The restaurant’s long bar has a vivid blue leather roll top bar topped with white marble, as well as a decorative marble façade set into dark-stained oak and the vintage bar’s top lighting add a welcoming warmth to the room.