Guest Blogger Lizzie heads to the new Chokhi Dhani restaurant in Battersea to sample their classic Rajasthani street food dishes with a contemporary twist.
Living near Battersea Power Station, I’ve been keeping a watchful eye as the area grows and begins to bring some exciting new eateries to the area. So, when I heard that Choki Dhani – a traditional Indian restaurant serving high end Rajasthani cuisine - was bringing its first UK-based eatery to the development, I was the first in line.
Walking through the doors, smooth Indian beats welcomed us into a beautiful lounge area – moments later I was sinking into one of the dark mahogany wooden chairs with half a Kingfisher in hand, it was a Sunday lunchtime after all. The restaurant itself is on the first floor, so this pre-drink gave us a moment to soak up our surroundings, from a huge wall painting of a traditional Indian parade to hundreds of pompoms, beads, birds and camels decorating the stairwell.
As I perused the menu, the feast began – mini poppadums and a detailed entourage of accompaniments, which looked relatively standard at first glance, but was soon tickling each taste bud one by one. Now, what to choose next…. From shuruwaat or tandoor grill, to the classic signature dishes, each dish invited us in to try delicacies and flavours of Rajasthan.
For me there were some stand out dishes, which if it had been appropriate I would have considered ordering for dessert as well (can you imagine – a course where you can just try your favourite things again…. *mind blown*) The Prawn Kempu Bezule – succulent and crispy, there were five perfect prawns served with a garnish of wonder (I actually am not sure what it was, but it tasted magnificent). I had the Rajasthani Laal Maas for main, but for me what really made it was how it was complemented by the Baingan Bhartha – roasted aubergine ash with cumin and green chilli. The smokiness of the dish was so unexpected, but just worked so well as I took my naan on a journey from dish to dish.
The desserts were beautifully displayed, but truthfully, as a northern lass I’m more of a hearty dessert type so it didn’t quite tick my box. Having said that, I didn’t actually have any room by this point, so the fresh subtle flavours in small bites did the job.
Overall, it was a wonderful experience and a big yes from me. Arguably Choki Dhani is a bit of a penny pincher, but the service was perfect and each interaction with the staff was timed so well, and the memory of that aubergine ash won’t be fading for many meals to come, so well worth spending up for this one.
Image Sources: Bloggers Own
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