Chokhi Dhani: Indian Food That's Fit For A Raj
While the usual food suspects descend en mass on Battersea 2.0, Choki Dhani is offering something altogether different. Well-regarded in its native northern India, the first European outpost of this kingly-casual restaurant graces the waterside with a sense of occasion that's apparent from the moment you clock the bronze elephant lumbering outside.
This is not the kind of Indian you plough through, six-pints-deep into a Saturday night; khargosh (slow cooked, pulled rabbit) and bite-sized papad, served with tongue-tingling Himalayan tomato chutney, set the agenda. These are flavours you'll want to be sober to enjoy. There is an excellent booze menu, though customers might be tempted to order a Chai Walla — made with tea-infused vodka, and house-made bitters — over a cold lager.
For those venturing into cuisine from these climes of India for the first time, the Rajasthani Feast (available as a meat or veggie option) is a veritable taste chart of flavours, and probably the right choice. It includes piquant mounds of ker sangri (made with sangri beans, grown only in Rajasthan) and — maybe the highlight — a wondrous concoction of tender lamb pieces in a yoghurt sauce, spiced with cardamom, chillies and cloves.
If you're serving dishes on pewter-esque trays, then it needs to be bloody good, and Chokhi Dhani rarely falls short of the mark. A minor disappointment perhaps are the baati — dry to our palate, although authentically crafted, no doubt, and the accompanying daal helps soften them up.
Forget polishing dinner off with an Irish coffee, or one of those weird hollowed out lemons — rose-tinted brulee with dollops of petal jam ensures this Indian feast is classy throughout. Perhaps, as in our case, there'll be a palmist on hand too. Like we said; sense of occasion.
Chokhi Dhani, Riverlight Quay, 2 Nine Elms Lane, SW11 8AW
Last Updated 17 May 2018