After trying and failing to get a table in Chaakoo back at the beginning of January, Heather and I decided to give it another go (booking in advance this time). Even on a rainy Tuesday evening this seemed to have been a good call, as it was fairly busy the whole time we were in the restaurant.
Having been a few weeks previously, Heather suggested a few dishes that she had liked, including the Tandoori Spiced Wings. Heather disputed their billing as “incredibly hot”, and she was right to. They did indeed have a reasonable level of spiciness, however they were still edible and the heat didn’t overpower the other flavours of the marinade. The wings themselves were nice and meaty, with succulent chicken soaking up the sweet and spicy Bombay sauce that coated them.
From the same section of the menu we also selected the, imaginatively named, Cauliflower. The chunks of cauliflower had been marinated in yoghurt and spices before being grilled. The marinade had imparted a nice flavour onto the cauliflower, although the blackening from the grill sometimes overpowered this. This dish was also a little on the dry side when eaten without the (unnamed) sauce that accompanied it.
For me, the best dish on the table was probably the Machali – fish pakora cooked in a coriander and chilli batter. I didn’t get any distinct flavours from the batter, but it did give way to soft, flaky fish which was tasty when dipped in the (again, unidentified) sauce served alongside it. In fact, the sauce was even better than the pakora…
From the curries section of the menu, we ordered the Chicken Chettinad. This curry should have boasted a smooth, subtle coconut flavour but I , unfortunately, didn’t get this at all. The sauce was nice and creamy, with a bit of a hidden kick, and there dish did contain some good sized chunks of chicken. Nice enough when used as a dip for the Naan which made up the rest of our order.
Drinks wise, I ordered a Mango Lassi which was nice and creamy, although I felt it could have been colder when served to me. We also finished the evening off with a pot of Chai Tea. I’d never tried chai tea before and, being a bit anti-flavoured tea, I wondered if it would be my *ahem* cup of tea. It was not. Nothing against Chaakoo for this one – I like a nice cup of sweet, milky breakfast tea and nothing else!
Tea aside, I didn’t dislike anything at Chaakoo. Everything was fine – nice even. But nothing made me say wow. Nothing made me speechless, nothing made me wish I’d only ordered that. It’s a shame really – I wanted not just to like Chaakoo but to love it. I’m obsessed with tapas-style Indian restaurants, and I wanted this one to jump to the top of it’s field. Unfortunately, it just didn’t happen and I probably won’t rush back given the number of similar restaurants popping up across the city.