31st October 2010


124 Drummond St, London NW1, UK

The search for the perfect dahl may be unending, but the product at this smart vegetarian restaurant comes pretty close. The cooked lentils are accompanied by a mix of curry leaves, dried chillies, mustard seeds and garlic which give it a rich flavour without the heavy use of spices. They also do a great bhaji of shredded onion, spinach and potato, that comes with a powerful chutney.

Like other restaurants in Drummond St, Chutney’s offers a buffet for lunch.  Indian food suffers less than most cuisines do by sitting in a bain-marie, and the hot dishes, a good half dozen of them, are all tasty and satisfying, as are the cold ones (the strong tasting salad, with slices of red onion, goes beautifully with curry and the chick-peas that sit beside it .) There are fruit and milk based sweets, plenty of rice and bread, and you are welcome to all you can eat! And quite apart from the question of how much you eat, which will probably turn out to be more than you thought you would when you walked in, for this price the food is of astonishing quality.

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24th October 2010

Drummond Villa

118 Drummond St, London NW1, UK

Standing just across the street from the two vegetarian restaurants most recently reviewed, this restaurant seems to have decided to aim for a different clientele. This is not to say vegetarians can’t eat there, for they do a very respectable vegetable thali, which comprises thick dahl, mushrooms, okra and potato with spinach, along with rice, a small chapati and raita. But people after veggie food will find  themselves better catered for elsewhere in the street, so this restaurant is mentioned here for the sake of completeness.

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17th October 2010

Ravi Shankar

133-135 Dummond St, London NW1, UK

There’s far more to enjoy in this vegetarian restaurant than you might think from looking in as you stand outside. You can start with the amazingly plump samosas (you can tell a lot about an Indian restaurant by how seriously they take their samosas), then move on to a bowl of  the dahl, richly satisfying without being hot, which is based on yellow split peas with plenty of mustard seeds and coriander. Then you might incline towards the Mysore masala dosa, which comes with sambal, coconut mix, chutney, and…cutlery; I’m not sure whether the necessarily awkward use of knife and fork on a dish designed to be eaten with fingers is a good idea, but the product is fine. The same sambal and chutney appear as accompaniments to the uthpappam, a kind of spicy lentil pancake. If you find that deciding what to order is beyond you, there’s always the daily special, which offers a wide variety of dishes served on a metal tray, although as it inevitably includes dairy desserts vegatarians will appreaciate it more fully than vegans.  Behind the modest appearance of the Ravi Shankar there lurks a very serious restaurant.

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10th October 2010

Diwana Bhel Poori House

121 Drummond St, London NW1, UK

The first Indian restaurant you encounter walking along Drummond St away from Euston station, passing the vegetable shops, is this unpretentious but thoroughly enjoyable establishment. It offers a number of set meals, such as a Gujurati Thali that consists of dahl, aloo matar, pooris or chapatis, rice, and a fairly basic salad of shredded lettuce. The menu also offers daily specials; on Friday this is corn palak, a delightful, lightly spiced dish of spinach into which grains of corn have been mixed. It’s a generous serving, and is accompanied by chapatis or rice and salad. The extensive menu has many other dishes, every one of them veggie, and it would be a wonderful experience to work through them one by one. This is a deservedly popular restaurant.

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1st October 2010

Highlighted Campaign for October 2010

International Veg Week Challenge October 1 – 7

“Vegetarian as a general concept is a brilliant thing… We’ve got to stop eating so much meat. We are eating too much meat.” — Jamie Oliver

Can we encourage our non-vegie friends to save the lives of two animals in the next week by taking the challenge of being meat free for at least one week??

International Vegetarian Week celebrates a compassionate choice for a kinder world.  If all Australians went meat-free for just one week, we could spare almost 10 million animals from the horrors of factory farms.

Check out the campaign at: http://www.animalsaustralia.org/features/veg-week/ 


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