Chakra - Short Review
A new Indian restaurant on Yonge north of Eglinton, in the location of the former Mimosa and Redwood Grille. There seems to be a trend of newer, higher end Indian restaurants in the city. Some of them, such as Tabla and Amaya, have achieved some success, with menus which go beyond the standards, and winelists which extend beyond Black Tower and Kressman.
Chakra is trying to go in that direction. Very clean room, good seating plan that doesn't crowd, and linen napkins. The service is prompt and attentive, very professional, though need to familiarize themselves a little with the menu and variations on heat. The food hits the mark, with good flavours, little greasiness, and good presentation. Grilled shrimp were perfect, with a mild spice coating. Lamb kebabs in sauce were delicious, and the spinach was velvety, spicy and not at all greasy. Where some might have a concern is the pricing. Mains are in the high teens for meat and seafood dishes, and appetizers are close ot double figures. They charge for pappadums (to be fair though, you get a large plateful).
Also to be fair, they haven't been open long. I commented on the prices, and it looked like they were listening. Definitely worth a try.
On the strength of these two postings, we went to dinner at Chakra last night and were not disappointed. Suresh is correct about the space; we found it attractive and sexy. The paintings are beautiful. Service was attentive and cheerful. We ate a simple dinner just for the purpose of highlighting two of our favourite dishes, chicken tikka masala and butter chicken. We frequent Tabla and Kama Sutra and so we wanted to compare their staples with that of Chakra. We prefer the tikka masala at Chakra hands down. Fragrant, fresh sauce, flavourful, tender chicken. We loved it. In fact, it reminded us of some very nice tikka masala we had in England last summer. The butter chicken was delicious as well. A very fine dish, but the tikka masala won the day. Also, the garlic naan was much better than at either Tabla or KS. Chakra's garlic naan was fragrant, fresh and perfectly flavoured. No acrid over-garlicking here. The remarks about price are correct, but since the tasting notes, service and ambience were pitch perfect, Chakra is my new favourite in the northern corridor. We were advised to try the prawn dishes next time, and that's what I'll be doing.NB: they do take away and catering, and the owner's daughter (?) invited us downstairs to see their private dining room that can be used for parties, events, etc.
I was at the grand opening tonight.
First impressions; It's a very nice space, with a very loungy atmosphere. You're right in saying that Chakra tries to one up your generic buffet restaurants by offering more epicurean indian for the more refined palates...
The food was great, no complaints and everything was made in front of our eyes in 2 tandoor ovens.
Special exotic liquers (orchid) highlighted the lamb and chicken very well. I particularly loved the mango orchid and pomegranate.
I love the space, and the rustic indian paintings by gregory burns, will go back for dinner soon.