I love a good Indian. I used to hate any sort of spice but since I got into it, I've been in love. I was invited down to try out Zaika of Kensington* during National Vegetarian Week and I just couldn't turn it down. I don't eat meat so this was perfect alongside my love of great Indian food and so excitement was probably putting it lightly.
The restaurant is beautiful. So luxurious making eating and drinking there a total experience and I loved it. We started with some poppadoms alongside a tomato chutney and a beetroot chutney. You can't have an Indian without these right? They were great and the chutney flavours made a nice change from the usual lime pickle and mango chutney and tasted incredible.
The first course was Papdi Chaat - spiced chickpeas, wheat crisps, yoghurt, blueberries and tamarind chutney, Broccoli - tandoor cooked spice crusted broccoli and Aloo Tikki - potato cake with coriander, served with tamarind chutney. This was incredible and can be seen in the first picture. It looks beautiful and tasted even better. I always worry that although I like a bit of spice, it might be too hot for me but this wasn't the case at all, not for any of the courses and it was heaven. Served with a Sauvignon Blanc, Marloborough, New Zealand White Wine, my favourite of the evening and it really did match the dish perfectly.
Next up was Mix Sprout & Potato Sheek - mixed sprouts and potato skewers served with mint and dry-ginger chutney, Paneer - Grilled Paneer with pickeled marinade served with a Cannonball Chardonnay, Sonoma County, California White Wine. This was incredible. The Paneer was the best I've ever tasted and it's got me completely sold and totally obsessed. I could eat this dish again and again.
Onto the main and we had the Palak Paneer - Paneer with onion-tomato masala, cumin and garlic tempered pureed spinach, Aloo Gobi - Baby potatos and cauliflower tossed with onion, tomato and chaat masala served with Dal Makhni - slow cooked black lentils, Zaffrani Pulao and Truffle Naan and a glass of Malbec, Humberto Canoloe Estate Patagonia, Argentina Red Wine. These were all served in gorgeous copper pots and all tasted incredible. I love trying a bit of everything and so I think that's one of the reasons I fell in love with this meal.
For desert we had Mango Kulfi and a Chocolate Brownie served with a Tokaji Late Harvest Ferment Desert Wine. This was a lovely way to finish off the meal and we were so full.
This honestly was one of the most incredible meals I've had in a long time. It tops off all of my favourite Indian restaurants (as mentioned here) and I couldn't recommend it enough. You won't miss the meat or seafood, trust me!