It’s funny how I was just thinking of hitting up Shola one Saturday but couldn’t go as they only open on weekdays. Then on the very following Monday, I received an invitation from London Halal Food Festival for a supper club event at Shola White City! Of course, I said yes. For the night, they have closed down the restaurant to host the event. I absolutely loved the candle-lit setting – it’s very cosy and gives out an intimate vibe.
Shola is founded by chef Aida Khan, who is looking to bring the flavours of Karachi, Pakistan to London. But it’s not going to be your regular curry house. It’s about serving the vibrancy of traditional Pakistani cuisine in a modern way. In addition, it also emphasises on quality. By that, it means all their spices are roasted and grounded in-house, as well as producing their own paneer (more on that later).
Here are the dishes we had:
To start with, we were served with some Vegetable Pakora, which had been the most perfect nibble while waiting for everyone to start settling in.
They’re so crispy on the outside and packed with flavours on the inside. I feel like I could munch on them all day long!
Aloo Chana Chaat
I decided to not post a picture of this because the quality was bad from the dimmed lighting.
The Aloo Chana Chaat carries a lovely piquant flavour and was refreshing to kick-start the meal with. I loved the crispy kale on top, which added a nice crunch as well as an overall contemporary touch to the dish. I normally am not a huge fan of Chaat but I finished every bit of this one!
One of the main highlights of this dish is that their paneer is produced in-house and that really makes a difference! Additionally, the spinach curry just compliments it very well. It was creamy in consistency but still light to taste.
Palak Paneer never strikes me as an outstanding dish but this one was actually exceptional and was even more remarkable than some meat dishes we had for the night.
Karahi Chicken & Chicken Biryani
The Karahi Chicken is basically a stir-fried chicken curry simmered with lots of ginger, garlic, fresh tomatoes and spices. The dish was aromatic, with moderately subtle hints of spices. It was decent in overall though not necessarily an outstanding dish.
The Chicken Biryani was very fragrant and fluffy. For myself personally, I wanted a little bit more robust touch in flavours. Nonetheless, I still enjoyed it, particularly how light it tasted.
BBQ Lamb Shoulder
Here’s to the MVP of the night – the BBQ Lamb Shoulder!
The Lamb Shoulder was marinated for two whole days before being slow-cooked for at least 6 hours and at last, finished over the charcoal.
The flavours were absolutely phenomenal. Its texture was sensational too as if it’s melting in your mouth. I can still feel the alluring flavours tingling on my taste buds as I write this!
I was thoroughly surprised that there’s no cream at all used in this Daal. It’s just well-spiced and slow-cooked till it gets its consistency. I didn’t expect myself to enjoy the daal so much. It paired particularly well with their sourdough naan/paratha.
Sourdough Naans & Paratha
Last but not least, before desserts, it’s definitely worth mentioning the sourdough naan and paratha (not pictured).
The sourdough naan was incredibly fluffy, whereas the paratha was wonderfully buttery. I particularly enjoyed pairing the paratha with that lip-smacking daal!
Desserts: Meetha Paratha & Naan Khatai & Doodpathi Chai
The Meetha Paratha was just straight-up addictive. Their regular paratha was already delicious, and these sweet ones were just as good if not better.
The Naan Khatai was absolutely delightful too. It’s particularly good if you give it a little dip into that delicious chai! The chai was served piping hot, really silky to taste, well-spiced and just sends this warming sensation down your body. It was just the perfect finishing touch to the meal.
…I absolutely loved this supper club meal at Shola. Food was exceptional and simply full of love. It’s definitely not just another Indian/Pakistani restaurant in town. At first, I had doubts about the whole serving traditional food in modern way concept. However, Shola really surprised me by being able to deliver that so perfectly without compromising any hint of authenticity and flavours. Bottom line of all this, do give Shola a visit and try this out yourself!
P.S. please note Shola is currently only open during weekdays and only available for dinner on Thursdays and Fridays.
Everything at Shola is halal.
Nearest station: White City