Last week I had the pleasure of going to dinner at Anarkali Restaurant. A lovely, relaxed but sophisticated Indian and Bangladeshi restaurant in the middle of Chiswick, West London. It was a perfect spot for us to travel too with a choice of tube stations near by and we were not disappointed.
Anarkali pride themselves on offering sophisticated food that is made with passion by their chef Rafique who has been cooking for over 30 years. Anarkali means “pomegranate blossom” and comes from a historic passionate love story. This is where Rafique says the passion comes into his cooking. I definitely felt as though we were in safe hands, with polite and friendly staff we were welcomed and left to choose from the mouth watering menu. While we eyed up what we were going to eat that evening we were given perfectly crisp poppadoms with a host of dips and chutneys. Some I had never had before including a slightly spiced coconut dip which was unusual but tasted lovely. There was a tray of sweet and a tray of savoury dishes to dip the poppadoms into which was quite a nice idea.
For starter I had my favourite, prawn puri which came in a ‘sandwich’, which was two pieces of light and fluffy puffy bread. It was a really generous portion and tasted lovely. It wasn’t spicy at all and was incredibly mild. I was impressed with the amount of prawns I had. Definitely a winner, I hate it when you only get 2 or 3 prawns in a dish, so this lived up to my expectations.
For Main, I’ pretty sure I had the Gosth Jafrani which was a mild lamb curry with tomatoes, onions and garam masala. It was mild with just a tinge of spice. Lots of flavour. I ate this with saag aloo and basmati rice. I think the plain rice worked perfectly with the curry. Although they do mushroom rice, lemon and onion rice and special fried rice just to name a few; the oil in the curry needs a basic side to keep it from being too overwhelming. It was a lovely dish, just enough to make your tummy content.
Mr C had the Lamb Biriyani which came in a pot with pastry over the top which the host cut and opened for us at the table. This was a nice touch. It was another perfect sized portion (which means it was a large portion as he can eat for England). The lamb was succulent and soft with lots of flavour. On the side we had some plain naan bread. Sometimes it’s the simple things which really make a difference and Annarkalis nann bread was amazing! It wasn’t too thick and had just the right amount of sweetness too it. Perfect with my Gosth Jafrani.
The interior of the restaurant was relaxed and casual. There was lots of space so you didn’t feel as though you were sitting with strangers and it did get quite busy so I’d recommend you booking in advance although I am sure they would accommodate you if you were passing by. They had some beautiful eye catching pieces, only a couple so it isn’t cluttered or over the top. There was a beautiful fish tank which was a nice feature and a couple of these stunning Indian statues where the detail is fantastic. Dimmed lights, lots of space and comfortable seating makes for a great evening in my eyes.
Overall, the food was delicious and the service was excellent. We were left to enjoy our meal without constant interruptions but they were instantly there when we wanted another drink. The portions were generous with lots of flavour. Although mine had slightly too much oil in the bowl it tasted amazing with the plain sides. The restaurant definitely offered sophisticated, passionate food in a relaxed and welcoming restaurant. I would recommend Anarkali if you like Indian food with a little twist and a relaxed atmosphere where you and yours fellow diners can enjoy your lovely meal in peace.
303-305 King Street London, Greater London W6 9NH
020 8748 1760