Diners travel from afar to sample Anokha’s generous portions of succulent shashlik bhuna, so I decided to hop on the Overground and go and see what all the fuss was about. The restaurant is BYOB, so you can pour while you ponder over their impressive menu, packed with all the usual tasty Indian and Bangladeshi dishes and some more unusual sizzling specialities…
Anokha meaning “unique” is Acton’s gateway to India, offering authentic Indian fare from 15 Churchfield Road. They’ve been curing curry cravings for the past four years in W3, and have earned a loyal following of locals who like to both dine in and pick up a takeaway on a Saturday night.
The focus here is definitely on the food. The restaurant itself is simply decorated - think white clothed tables and a few paintings dotted on the walls - but that only further emphasises the quality of the cooking. In fact, you can smell the alluring aromas before you even open the door.
When you step inside a traditional Indian welcome awaits you. Anokha is family run and proud, and Fatik (the father of the father and son duo) immediately rushes up from behind the bar to greet me and offer me a seat.
The menu is all about authentic Indian flavours. There’s a surprising amount of fresh fish on the menu, and for starters diners can choose king prawn puri – deliciously plump prawns wrapped in puffed puri - or fresh fish kebabs lightly spiced and fried. Carnivores can sink their teeth into succulent kebabs served on sizzlers, or perfectly cooked lamb chops marinated in fresh herbs then barbecued in a tandoori charcoal clay oven. Vegetarians will love the papdi chatt – papdi, crispy fried dough wafers seasoned with boiled potato, onion, tomato, sweet yogurt and finished with sev, coriander, tamarin and mint sauce.
For mains, as well as the all-time favourite masala dishes, jalfrezis, rogan josh dishes, and biryanis, Anokha also serves up tapali: an Indian candle lit dish that’s freshly cooked with a lip-smacking array of spices. The dish is served on Sheghedi, a copper table top food warmer with a copper serving dish, and it’s a real crowd-pleaser.
Should you require a scorcher, the Mirchwaali will not disappoint. Fatik laughs to himself as I enquire into it, and quickly turns my attention to the shashlik bhuna or lamb zaffrani – sliced lamb marinated in authentic Tandoori spices, prepared in a spicy sauce with ghee fresh onions and pepper tomatoes. He tells me it’s a little less painful but just as delicious!
But there’s something that makes the food extra tasty at Anokha: the fact you can wash it down with your own booze! The restaurant is BYOB (bring your own booze), and there’s no corkage fee. You’re free to bring as much or as little as you like - whether it’s a bottle a fizz or a four pack of beers. Cheers to that!
Enjoy 5% off food at Anokha when you dine in, or 10% on take away with Portico Places.
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