Bronze Award
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SquareMeal Review of Shola

Bronze Award

Shola is the Urdu word for ‘spark’ and aims to ignite Londoners’ interest in Pakistani food. The chef behind it is Aida Khan, a former banker turned Leiths School of Food and Wine student who grew up in Karachi and hosted a Pakistani TV show called ‘For the Love of Food’.

She’s brought that love to the campus-like surrounds of White City Place and if the colourful canteen setting doesn’t at first sight scream passion, then a closer look reveals details such as covetable light fittings that will have you heading back to the office to track them down online.

Khan’s cooking, however, is a case of love at first bite. Shola roasts and grinds its spices on site and you can taste that freshness in a chicken tikka which offsets a red chilli marinade with the coolness of turmeric-infused yoghurt. Lamb shoulder dials down the heat but is no less delicious, while there are roti and paratha to scoop up the well-balanced dal.

Vegetable dishes include sautéed spinach with paneer, smashed tomatoes with curry leaves and okra fries; we enjoyed the textural jumble of aloo chaat contrasted with another small plate of crispy chicken pakora.

To drink, there are half a dozen wines available by the glass or bottle, though the lively spicing means a can of ginger beer or bottle of lager might be more appealing.

Most of the clientele on our lunch visit inevitably looked like they’d come from the surrounding offices of media companies, though Shola is well placed for a quick bite before a film at the new Electric Cinema nearby.

Several of the dishes are available as a wrap and all of it can be taken away, either for lunch al desko or al fresco in White City Place’s landscaped gardens. Even if you eat in, you may find yourself asking the staff to box it up to take home: low prices and alluring flavours make it easy to over-order.


Good to know

Average Price
££££ - Under £30
Fun, Lively
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Special Features
Gluten-free options, Vegan options, Vegetarian options
Child friendly, Dates

About Shola

This is the debut restaurant from chef Aida Khan, who hopes to disrupt the long-held stereotype of Pakistani food as being made up of stodgy curries with no vegetables. Found in the White City Place development, Shola is all about honouring traditional Pakistani cooking with no shortcuts involved, so expect spices to be roasted and ground on-site, and masalas made from scratch.

Dishes you’ll find on the menu include the tamatar kee chutney, which sees smashed tomatoes mixed with fragrant curry leaves, roasted onion and coriander seeds. Elsewhere, you can chow down on charcoal-grilled beef kebabs or chicken hara masala, which is marinated overnight in a fresh herb and yoghurt base.

Round off your meal with desserts such as a semolina and flour cookie, glazed and
sprinkled with freshly chopped pistachios.

Interior image: Jade Nina Sarkhel

Location for Shola

Unit 6 Media Works, 191 Wood Lane, London, London, W12 7FQ

020 8735 2822


Opening Times

Mon 11:00-15:00
Tue 11:00-15:00
Wed Closed
Thu Closed
Fri Closed
Sat Closed
Sun Closed
All day
Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed 11:00-22:00
Thu 11:00-22:00
Fri 11:00-22:00
Sat Closed
Sun Closed

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