Sumptuously situated within a grade 2 listed, late Gothic revival Victorian building (it used to be a bank) with high carved ceilings, massive windows and plenty of original architectural features – a visit to Zaika is a feast for the eyes.
Dishes are as attractively presented as the setting and taste just as gorgeous. Head chef Navin Prasad’s kitchen delivers refined and delicate dishes that nonetheless check the boxes for filling and yummy. Case in point is the hearty yet dainty starter, pan-seared spiced scallops with sautéed cavolo nero and pumpkin sauce (£14.50, sauce to change seasonally).
Equally delicious, a main course of king prawns simmered in a rich coconut cream sauce flavoured with lime leaf (£19.50) proves curry prowess and gourmet subtly needn’t be mutually exclusive attributes. Stir-fried mixed greens with mustard and coconut shavings (£6.50) are a smart side and cumin baked rice (£4.50) is a nice accompaniment as well.
The wine list? Excellent and a perfectly pleasing bottle of Cote du Rhone ‘Les Ozets’ 2009 Syrah Blend (£28) seems to be a particularly good for pairing with a wide variety of dishes. Dessert? Positively charming. Chocolate Silk (pine kernel and nut brittle with a silky chocolate mouse and masala “chai’’ ice cream, £9.50) is as mmm-able as you might imaginable while the Trio of Brulee (pistachio, rosewater and melon, £9.50) is a delightfully dulcet taster.
Service is spectacularly noteworthy. Guests are made to feel so at home and at ease that dinner at Zaika might prove to be among the most accommodating meals you’re ever apt to have in London.
Recently acquired by the Tamarind Collection, Zaika is the fourth property in the fine dining Indian restaurant group and is located at 1 Kensington High Street, W8 5NP.
Find out more at zaika-restaurant.co.uk.
Written by Chris Osburn