|Anokha Indian Restaurant|
Unique Indian food on Churchfield Road
Acton's Indian food restaurants have always been hit and miss in my opinion. We've got some good ones, and some truly awful ones. After years of discussing on the ActonW3.com forum just what sort of Indian food Actonites want, Iftekar 'Ify' Rahman has scored a hit with Anokha, on Churchfield Road.
I went along to get a takeaway one evening for the family. Eating in is also an option, with a spotlessly clean decor, and the tables were all full of people.
The Rahman family have been Acton residents for many years and this is truly a family business. When I asked about the specialties, Ify quickly summoned his father to explain the best of the menu. Originally from Bangladesh, the family own several restaurants all over the UK, but this is their first venture in Acton.
Ify's eyes light up when he explains the vivid flavours of their food. The smells and bustle of the kitchen transport me back to a trip I made once to Bangladesh, to the steamy Chittagong Hills and the 75-mile beach at Cox's Bazaar, one of the world's longest natural sea beaches.
The family at home are a little particular about their curry choices - it's pretty much standard fare at our house with not much deviation from the norm. But there were so many dishes on the menu that inspire the palate, that there was no way I could stick with a bog standard chicken korma.
We had the chicken tikka, which was tender and flavourful and not too pink that is the mark of cheaper restaurants. Mr. Rahman Senior urges me to try the Courgette Delight as a starter - an unusual combination courgette, pan fried with prawns and wrapped in a puffed puri. I could have had this as a main and been happy - as a starter it was a little heavy for me, but definitely one if you are hungry.
For a main we had the Mirchwaali - chicken cooked with fenugreek with a hint of hot pepper, Bangladeshi pickle, blended with green and red peppers and cooked on a 'high flame'. A friend of mine is always espousing the joys of scotch bonnet peppers, and her curries are fiery hot, so I was a little hesitant to serve this up to an 8 year old, even though he leans to the spicy side of things. The Mirchwaali was not as hot as I had hoped but this allowed the flavours to dance and play with each other uninhibited.
Anokha, means 'unique' and while many of the dishes on the menu can be found in most curry houses in London, Anokha of Acton has the potential to be something quite different. The flavours gently mingle, the menu is varied enough that you can go for the bog standard, or try something really different. The 'Sheghadi' menu - food served in a hot dish on the table top, is recommended to eat in the restuaurant. There's a Balti menu, Masala and jalfrezi, and the House Specials are plentiful.
22 June 2011