Chutneys on Drummond
A review of Chutneys Indian Restaurant
Earlier this week, I headed up to Drummond Street near Euston Station in London for an Indian meal with friends. This street has multiple Indian restaurants including three vegetarian; Chutneys, Diwana Bhel Puri House and Ravi Shankar. We opted for Chutneys, so read on to find out whether we made the right choice.
We received a friendly greeting and the staff gave us no hassle about my friend’s assistance dog so we were off to a good start. The menu was extensive and the staff told me most things could be made vegan, so rather than spend ages poring over the menu, I decided to just order the Thali which also included a starter and dessert for a very reasonable £11.50. We ordered some poppadoms which came with a selection of four sauces/chutneys (given the name of the restaurant, I was hoping for more!).
The poppadoms were nice and crispy but the selection of chutneys included a yoghurt sauce which I removed for the photo. I also ordered a Nimbu Pani, a home made Indian lemonade which came with almost an entire lime in it.
Although it was refreshing, it was not the best Nimbu Pani that I’ve ever had. It had a very soapy/sour taste and I wonder whether they used waxed limes or if it there was something else in the drink to give it that flavour.
My starter was a delicious dahl soup served with a wedge of lemon and topped with fresh coriander. It was creamy, perfectly flavoured and a little bit lemony and I quickly devoured every drop.
My Thali arrived with raita (containing yoghurt) so I reminded the waiter that I’d requested a vegan Thali and he took it away again, returning a couple of minutes later with a new Thali sans-raita. Most of the dishes in the Thali were decent enough and the accompanying rice and puris were particularly delicious. The red sauce in the top right of the photo didn’t have a particularly strong taste of anything so I left it alone. The dahl was very good, as was the chana masala and the brinjal curry but the others were a bit bland.
It was while eating the Thali that my friends and I started noticing the large ants crawling up the wall and straying onto our table. I’ve got nothing against ants but it was a bit of an appetite-killer to see them inside the restaurant. Nevertheless, I remembered that my Thali came with a dessert but when I asked for it, the waiter told me that the vegan dessert had already been served to me on the Thali plate (it was the tasteless red sauce in the top-right). I’m still none the wiser as to what it was.
Overall, I was not impressed with Chutneys. The food was acceptable but not outstanding and the yoghurt thing grinds my vegan gears. Next time I head to Drummond Street, I’ll try one of the other vegetarian restaurants to see how they compare. In the meantime, my favourite vegan Indian food in London is Vegetarian’s Paradise on Marchmont Street, Russell Square. Check it out if you are in the area.