My decision to give this place a 5-star rating stems both from my desperation for Indian food and the fact that Diwana Bhel really is just that good. The bottom line is that my meal was great and that I'm definitely coming back!
I came for dinner (the place was busy for a Tuesday) and ordered the Rava Deluxe Dosa (basically a Rava Masala Dosa), and I was very happy with it. The sambar was nice and spicy! The two chutneys tasted very fresh. I'll definitely be back for more.
One thing I don't like: you can't order any appetizers or drinks or chaat unless you've ordered them alongside a main dish. As I love to make a meal out of a few appetizers, this annoyed me. I might have ordered some chaat alongside my dosa, but the food would have been too much! A money-making scheme, to be sure. I prefer restaurants to be less in my face about the fact that they're trying to squeeze as much money out of me as possible.
Tip: They don't like to seat you unless your whole party is at the restaurant.
We only came to London for the first time in 2003. The culinary revolution was in full swing, so basically going to an Indian restaurant was no longer necessary to ensure a good meal because the indigenous restauranteurs and publicans had started treating their patrons palates with kindness and respect.
But I came to realize on this last trip that there are folks from areas of the subcontinent who aren't represented near where we live, which gave me the idea of exploring their cuisines during our week-long stay. Enter Diwana Bhel Poori House, where we had our first dinner of the vacation.
We loved everything we had, including a poori dish (but not THE poori dish they're known for that we now have to go back to London to try because it looked really good on other patrons' plates) which was great and came with sauces so delicious I considered drinking the leftovers, a dosa (but not THE dosa they're known for that we now have to go back to London to try because it looked really good on other patrons' plates) which was stuffed with spinach and cheese, and our first karahi dish (we got the paneer, though I'd love to try the mixed veg one next time) which was so good I'm working on perfecting karahi sauce at home.
I'm making progress on my karahi, but plan to come back to London as soon as I can and hitting this place when I do--you know... just to make sure I have it down right.
Reasonably prices, clean but a slightly cramped restaurant. The food is average and the service ordinary. Tried their vegetarian platter in the appetizers ...nothing great. The daily specials are OK. The food here can be a hit or miss. Since I was just visiting London ..I didn't care much as long as I got Indian food. Drummond St is a quick 5 min walk from London Euston and has many Indian restaurants apart from this one. All are at par as far as quality/taste/variety of food is concerned. No need to plan a special visit here.
This place has been on my bookmark list for a very long time and on Sunday I finally managed to cross it off that list!
I came here for lunch with a couple of friends; when we entered the place at 12:45 it was already buzzing with customers that were eagerly plundering the large buffet. Let me say this: this place to me feel like the Indian version of a German youth hostel dining area. It's all very plain, the cutlery and plates are functional and the waiting staff is very efficient, but not overly friendly nor interested in you.
All three of us went for the buffet and I liked pretty much everything. On my second helping I went for many more of the fresh salads, rather than the slightly oily curries (which were tasty nevertheless). I also ordered a sweet lassi, which was really nice and made me very happy. Last but not least, the desserts were super sweet, but really nice: I especially liked the carrot-coconut squares!
All in all, a really nice place to have a decent meal for little money.
This place is right on the street where there are two other vegetarian Indian buffets, and it will probably be the first one you come across when you walk onto the street. I've only been here for the indian buffet during lunch, from 12-2:30pm.
I have to say, in general, the bang for the buck for all the buffets on this street is pretty good, as they are all priced the same. They have an ample variety of selections, and the flavors and spices are all really different and appeal to palates of all types! Ravi Shankar, the one right next door, seems to be a bit more mild and the flavors of the dishes are more similar to one another. However, it is a bit cleaner and the service seems to be better, and the staff in general is friendlier. Diwana Bhel does taste better though, if you like stronger spices and curries and can handle cold shoulders from the waitstaff pretty well. They seem to be under the impression that if you are here for the buffet, they don't really need to treat you like a real customer. Or maybe this is just typical indifferent British hospitality.
Either way, the deal is great and the food is solid, and if you are hungry and craving a wide selection of curries, sauces, and salads, then this will certainly satisfy you without leaving your wallet starving! Oh, and if you go towards the later end of the day, they tend to run out of some things and not bother refilling it. So try to go early!
This is by far the best vegetarian Indian buffet I have ever been to. Since it's been around for over 40 years (vegetarian buffets did exist back then), they have really perfected the art of preparing thoughtfully spiced and cooked food.
Rather than it being an economical choice to prepare vegetarian food, the food they prepare is specifically made for other vegetarians and vegans who need a lot of protein-rich peas and vegetables. In terms of quality of food, it is incomparable. I have tried all the Indian vegetarian buffets on Drummond Street's Indian buffet row (including Ravi Shankar), and this one offers the best food in terms of preparation and quality of ingredients.
Three things that constitute this vegetarian buffet as being the best:
1. Less potatoes, the better.
Sometimes Indian buffet-styled foods are plagued with dishes that have too many potatoes, whereas there are hardly any potatoes here. The other buffets have a lot more potato dishes. This place really emphasizes on the spices and vegetables. Potatoes are probably the least important food a vegetarian would want to fill up on.
2. There is more emphasis on vegetables and peas.
The majority of the food offered in the buffet includes: broccoli, chickpeas, daal, cauliflower, onions, and vegetable options for biriyani, dosas, pakoras, thalis. Everything is topped with its own delicious curry, which presents an array of rich reds, oranges and yellows in this buffet.
3. At least two people I've met in London claim to have been going to this place since the 1970s.
Diwana was a cool thing back then too. Professors in London, included my thesis supervisor and an anthropologist I lived with, were part of the progressives, hippies and beatniks in the1970s who were going to Diwana. It has survived the wrath of Thatcher through the 80s and judging by the old wooden furniture and it being perpetually busy, it has left quite a legacy.
Although some may construe it as arrogance to leave a bold, laminated sign upon the return of a cheque exclaiming that TIP IS NOT INCLUDED, it may be because they're not shy to ask for (or demand) appreciation for the hard work they do. Maybe.
Opinion at end of main course:
"The restaurant is 40 years old and it shows in the level of the spice. I have had Gujrati food from Gujratis and the level of flavour was for some reason disappointingly low compared to what I have had before."
Considering this restaurant has catered London for so long it has lost some of the punch I presumed. So on the balance of it I thought - Good but not something I'd bring my friends to. 3 stars.
But that was before I had their Bhel Puri. If I was qualified enough to declare this was the "best bhel puri in london" I would. But I probably haven't tried it all yet. That 1 dish adds a star to the score. The quantity was large and the taste even larger ;) but sadly only the bhel puri.
So net-net - 4 stars and a return visit for either the lunch or the bhel puris.
The buffet is great, and ita also a cozy place to have dinner. I'd love it if they had a slightly cheaper take away menu than regular prices!
Of course they serve bhel poori but also paani poori. I tried them both and the Annapourna set. Wonderful vegetarian place.
Heard a lot of good things about this place and wanted to try it out since we were in the area and were craving a nice vegetarian meal. The location is great because it's just like a couple of minutes walk from the train station.
The interior was simple and a bit worn, but still cozy and nice with an all around wooden theme. It felt a bit like an Indian diner sitting by the booth. It's a bit narrow and crammed by the booths, so if you're very tall or wide, you might actually not be so comfortable sitting here.
It was not even noon and the place was already busy and almost all tables taken. Service was fast. We had just a light meal here, so can not speak for the full menu.
My alu gobi was OK, nothing special, it didn't have anything like an edge to it. The portion size was allright though.
I ordered chapati and puri with my meal and they were a bit of a disappointment. Both breads were tiny and the puri just fell into thin crumbs the moment you touched it. It's just a bread, so no big loss, but kind of felt like paying for nothing actually.
I don't agree with other reviews saying how cheap the prices are here. I've been to a lot of all vegetarian restaurants that are cheaper. I would not call this place over priced, but for what it is, the prices could be slightly lower. Oh well, it is London after all.
I must admit I have had better vegetarian food. But would still be willing to give this restaurant another try, because I'm still really not understing all the hype about this place.
One of the best meals I had when I was in London. The server was attentive and friendly. Had the deluxe dosa which had the perfect amount of spice. They don't serve alcohol, but you can go next door, buy a big beer and bring it into the restaurant.
I just love the vegetarian lunch buffet here. It's the real deal.
I'm not a vegetarian but love good vegetarian food.
Multiple tasty salads, chapattis and pappadoms, several different hot dishes with paneer, daal, veg curries, crunchy, battered pakoras, spicy chick peas, cooling raita. All excellent and delicious and while probably quite sinful if you ate every day, it's definitely not too oily or salty.
Whatever combination you add to your plate, it's always good and works together. I especially like the combination of flavours and textures that makes for a great meal. Each dish has it's own distinct flavours and spices. Wonderful.
Afterwards, you can sample some great Indian deserts. Gulab jamun and little squares of other tasty Indian sweets and fruits. What a treat.
Great value at £6.95 for an excellent and filling lunch.
They have plenty of good menu items too for the evening, especially the behl poori / chaat snack disches with puffed rice, yoghurt and tamarind sauces.
The interior is quite basic and cramped but it's the food you go for here.
Quick tip: The Ravi Shankar restaurant about 2 doors down is equally as good. I alternate between the two...
It has to be 5 stars for me for the combination of excellent food and great value lunch.
Insanely busy during the lunch hour!
Been here 3 times, and I've only been in London for a month. So good, and surprisingly, I love meat (give me some of that chicken tikka masala...lamb roggan josh, why not?), but this place does perfectly fine with just veggies and tofu. AYCE for less than £7? Nothing to complain. Tucked away in a row of Indian restaurants, I found that this place had the biggest selection, and their kheer (rice pudding) had the perfect amount of sweetness.
Not sure what's in that red broccoli/cauliflower dish, but that dish is pretty addicting...
"Hi Andrew, I'm in London for the day. Feel like trying some awesome Indian food?" Well that's a rhetorical question right? Of course I want to go!
I got this text from a friend while I was eating brunch up in Stoke Newington (check the map...it actually is in London...I had to look twice to make sure) at a cute little french patisserie that has perhaps the best almond croissant I have had to date (including those in Paris...).
A couple of hours later I was standing outside this restaurant, shivering in the cold or perhaps with longing at the multitude of platters I could see through the large front windows. The windows that did nothing to block the mouth watering aromas coming from within. To set the stage for this meal, I've got to note two things. First, I love meat. I prefer to have meat in everything and have the idea that a salad is something that adds color to my burger. Second, this place is fully veggie and no meat to be seen. So while the sights and smells were good, I was a bit doubtful at this place's ability to...well keep me satisfied.
I was wrong...oh so so wrong...but in the best way possible. I'm not sure what it is that pushed me over the edge into admitting it, perhaps the curried mushrooms that were fresh and spicy, the light fluffi breads, the crunchy chick peas, or the sauteed potatoes and onions. Or maybe it was the assortment of dishes I couldn't even name that melded together in an wave of vegetable heaven. I even sort of felt healthy eating two heaped plates of the stuff...before I started on dessert that is. Dessert was two sugar syrup soaked gulab jamun, a piece of cococut sweet, and what I think was a form of fruitcake. Great stuff and spiked my blood sugar level to all new highs.
I'm definitely going back to this place. It's got great food and the buffet is only £7! From what I hear, the dosas are on a whole different level so that's next on the eating list!
I'm surprised more Yelpers haven't been here. I was treated to the bargainous £6.95 all-you-can-eat lunch buffet and the food was delicious. There were loads of veggie dishes on offer on a long table in the window, decorated with carved fruit and veg. You take a big tin plate and load up.
It's an odd looking place, clad wall to ceiling in very dated varnished pine, but it was absolutely heaving when I went midweek, and there was a continual turnaround of tables as more punters flocked in.
I gather from work colleagues and from what I've read online that this place has been considered a dear secret to many people for years now, and that the buffet lunch is something of an institution.
A great find, a short walk from Euston station.
This review is mostly for Indians starved of authentic Indian food that has a kick to it. If you aren't one of those, definitely go to this place.
Right! For the desis-
I might be a little too critical for someone who stuffed her face at this joint, but the food was disappointingly bland. That said the quality of the food was good.
We were the only Indians here at lunch time & it was packed (that set off the first alarm). They had decent 'patra' or 'aloochi wadi' & also had 'aloo kadi'. Both these things are a little hard to come by in buffets. The 'kheer' & 'chana chaat' were good & so was the 'aloo palak' & 'gobhi manchurian'. The 'chapatis' were dry & there were about 5 different kinds of salads with avocado in them (huh?)
Definitely worth a try to see if this is up your alley.
Couldn't see the kitchen, didn't use the bathroom.
The staff were polite but not Masala Zone friendly.
Great value Indian vegetarian food in pleasant if basic surroundings. Ideal for a quick meal and convenently located near Euston Station.
Delxue Dosa is a must.
Ganapati on Saturday, Bhel Poori House on Sunday. I have some serious Southern Indian craving. Whilst Bhel Poori is the slightly less glamourous of the two (the restaurant front looks somewhat 70s and the interior hasn't been updated that recently), it's not in an awkward location and it's pretty cheap. It also managed to be pretty full on a Sunday evening. Impressive.
My generous portion of bhel poori starter (£4) arrived very promptly (service is very efficient, albeit not exuding a whole lot of love and affection) - I'd only had it once before at the Brick Lane market, but this was really good. Sweet-but-slightly-tangy sauce, potato, and the crunch of the noodly bits and crispy fried bready things (excuse my techical language). This was followed up by a long dosa (£7), filled with a potato mix and served with coconut chutney (cocochutney?), and a couple of other curry sauces. Whilst decent - especially with the sauces - I thought the filling was a bit on the bland side. Still, it was filling, and I did like the accompaniments.
This is a great place for a quick-and-cheap-and-easy-and-filling lunch/dinner (I'd be tempted to do it for breakfast. How I miss roti canai...). Sure, it's not a world-beater, but it's a lot more interesting than your standard curry house and worth going for the bhel poori alone. I'm usually fairly sceptical of buffets too, but this one could tempt me to the dark side...
Really amazing Indian food that is both delicious and filling! I really enjoyed this meal, even though I am not a vegetarian I didn't even miss meat the food was so great.
The wait for a table was a bit long, because we were told not to book...
Really good variety of food although there should be a better description for some of the dishes as I might have missed out on a good dish...
Great location for locals and everyone living in and around London, with Euston Station just a stone's throw away!
Starters are both cheap and delicious with good quality ingredients! I would recommend talking to the waiter if you are unsure with what to order as it can be a bit tricky and vague...
Dosas and Thalis are the main attraction, with many of the clientele ordering these with a few starters!
The prices are very reasonable and you can feed a group of five with a few starters, lassis, main courses and maybe a coke or two for under £50! Very good value, definitely going again!
Price reasonably cheap, about 7£ but all protein & meat eaters be aware that in the price is just the veggie menu, that's not pretty clear so that you'd wish taste chicken, beef or lamb dishes you gonna pay more than 7£... It was good but thought better, nothing special.
Price reasonably cheap, about 7£ but all protein & meat eaters be aware that in the price is just the veggie menu, that's not pretty clear so that you'd wish taste chicken, beef or lamb dishes you gonna pay more than 7£... It was good but thought better, nothing special.
Yes, I am a fan of this Indian Veggie restaurant, it is Indian Street food at it's best!
Authentic, cheap, great value for money, tasty & BYO drinks.
Decor is not fancy - it's all about the food!
Dosa's and Thali's are authentic and satisfying.
There is absolutely nothing I do not like about this place.
Conveniently located behind Euston Station.
If you like what I have described, get yourself down there.
Quick, tasty Indian vegetarian food, in simple surroundings.
I had Dahi Vada as a starter (small savoury cakes with yogurt, chutneys and spices on top) followed by Paneer Dosa (large pancake made with fermented batter folded over potatoes, cubes of soft cheese, onions and spices, served with coconut chutneys and sambha - a kind of vegetable curry sauce).
The service was quick, and the food was absolutely delicious. I've eaten a lot of Indian food around London, and I rate this pretty highly.
Are there no Brits reviewing this place other than me?
I'll keep it brief. This place has been in existence since the '60's and it shows. While it may be a little run down and worse for wear, it still serves some of the best South Indian veggie food in the Western Hemisphere. No booze but the best Thali's around.
If you're over 6ft tall, though, beware. The tables are "cramped" to put it mildly and it does get hot, sweaty and humid when it's busy and the weather starts to warm up around Euston. And if you have to visit the loos, mind your head as you descend to the depths on shiney, well-worn brick tiled stairs.
All in all, you won't be disappointed with the food. I only wish there there was something half as good in Seattle. And that's a constant gripe for me...
This is a firm favourite with me! The old fashioned surroundings make it endearing. The food is delicious, nutritious and unusual. I'm a big fan of South Indian cuisine but there are things on this menu I've found nowhere else.
This place has been here yonks. Yes, it shows, but I like that.
Staff is friendly, food delicious and good value.
Great Restaurant, But rude and slow service, I had a much better experience down at the Diwana In Brick Lane, A Beautiful Sonnet I would describe, was welcomed by enthusiastic staff and a sunny but simple atmosphere, the food was just as great at the Euston Diwana, however Diwana in Brick Lane was by far one of my greatest visit.
The original dosa place for me. I've been eating here since I first lived in London in 2002. Unfortunately I'm on the other side of the Atlantic stuck with inferior dosa but I never go to London without making a point to eat here.
And in case you were wondering, no, I didn't come here because I'm a septic and don't know any better. I've been brought here on several occasions by two separate groups of British friends. Coincidence? Or simply the best?
Dosas are tasty and nicely priced. Seating can be tough in the evenings because the place gets back.
BYOB but there's an off license just a couple of doors away.
Due to a confusing set of circumstances involving sickboyedd, beer, a zoo, some bees and Evil Norwich, I found myself in the Euston area on Friday evening with some time to kill. Diwana Bhel Poori House on Drummond Street turned out to be the worst possible place to do this. This was not due to the food, which was fine; or the atmosphere, which was bustling.
It was, quite simply, the speediest indian meal I think I have ever had. Within seconds of arriving I had been seated, within minutes I was eating a poppadum and in under half an hour later I was full of veggie curry, getting the bill and leaving. Congratulations to the waiters - they run a restaurant which is faster than Usain Bolt.
Judging by the average age of the clientele when I was there, it's popular with students from University College London. This is probably due to the cheap-and-cheerful pricing - Thali platters, featuring a mix of dishes, chapattis, rice and dessert, are 6 or 7 quid.
So, they can do curry-in-a-hurry. Any negatives? Well - the menu is simple, the decor's nothing special and the curries, whilst good, aren't exceptional. The restaurant also appears to be unlicensed, so either bring your own or slurp up a thick yoghurty Mango Lassi.
On the whole, though, despite Diwana totally thwarting my attempts to kill some time, I'd recommend it to anyone who prefers their fast-food Indian.
Having discovered the delights of South Indian vegetarian food some years ago, a friend suggested this place to me.
Our first trip was to the buffet on a Saturday lunchtime, which was an eye opener. All you can eat, all veggie, all great and under a tenner! Since then I've also been there in the evenings, when the a la carte menu is available - it is a bit more expensive, but overall you'll still eat for under £15.
The decor is basic - it is more of a cafe than a restaurant - and old fashioned at that. Cutlery is also basic (cheap metal implements) and water comes in metal beakers too. Service is also a bit haphazard, and the main downer is that on one trip there it took rather long to get (and pay) the bill, which always upsets my other half.
But the big plus is the food - very authentic, very spicy, and lots of it.
As you might guess, it is not a well kept secret, and you may have to queue when they are busy, and it is usually packed inside.
Diwana's lunchtime buffet is the perfect way to write off a Friday afternoon, you'll be sat snoozy and contented at your desk, full of the curry goodness. Or maybe that's just the slacker in me talking...
I used to work nearby to Drummond Street, so it was only natural that I tried out a few curry restuarants. I will admit that, in my younger years, I was a little curry mad, think along the lines of the occaisional curry for breakfast and you're getting there (Malaysian style curry, I might add, I liked a little sweetness on a morning). All this previous experience was based on meat curries though, it never really occurred to me that vegetarian options could be anything other than side dishes that enhanced the main course.
Diwana's has helped to change my perception, I'm pleased to say. The lunchtime buffet is £6.50, and consists of 3-4 vegetable curries (usually a sweet potato/pumpkin/squash, a saag with paneer, a daal and then a mixed veg curry), rice, chapati, pakora, loads of fresh and nice salads and chutneys/sauces, popadoms and a few other nibbles thrown in. There's also dessert; fresh fruit, coconut cakey stuff, jelly and my favourite, the spiced rice pudding (kheer). It's a fantastic range, really tasty, with real variety. The only unfortunate thing is that I am always wanting to try a bit of it all, leading me to gobble a little too much, hence my writing off the afternoon to snooziness.
It's a great place, it does get busy though, but if you're flexible with your time then you'll be fine. Just make sure you have a hammock or something for afterwards.
I started coming here many years before moving to London. It was my dad's "secret restaurant", tucked away behind Euston station, and he'd take me every time we traveled through London. I've kept going back ever since - it's very relaxed, with good food at reasonable prices.
Now I live in San Francisco, and there are two dosa places - but neither of them do dosas as well as Diwana. I can't wait for the next time I'm passing through London - I'll make a detour for Diwana!
Great food. Felt like I was in India. Paneer dosa was fab! Would definitely recommend if you're looking for great food.
It's was from Yelp that I know about this place. And yes we tried it out when we were in London. It was just walking distance from our hotel.
Good foods, good service and good price. The place was packed when we walked in the door.... small place, very homey and friendly. The waiter was really cute and attentive the moment he found out we were from States. Gosh, can't get over the accent... so cute!
We ordered one of the platters, forgot the name now, but it has all the dosas and curry dips to go with. It was really Good. We were pleasantly surprised! There was this yellow coconut dip that was exceptionally nice. It was buttery and so tasty.
It's one of the places that I really like during my stay in London!
My family has been eating here practially since it opened many many years ago! Don't go for the decor or the service, go for the food! It has the best bhelpoori, chaats and dosas in London! Ignore the buffet at the weekends - the other food is just so much better!
£4.50 eat-all-you-like buffet? What am I supposed to write other than that this place is brilliant and as it's cheaper than eating at home I'm here all the time. Of course for a veggie like me it's heaven.
Pretty darn good dosas for a fair price.
lunch buffet has a new (albeit long) name!
great for our office lunches, the buffet sports all sorts of veggie salads and dishes, amongst which you will also find greek salad. All fresh really good and tasty food, with rice pancakes, naan (meh) and papadums galore.
note: one plate per person, as in you cannot finish, and grab a clean plate, so plan strategically. For desserts however, smaller porcelain plates were provided. desserts included mango jello, strawberry jello, ghulab jamun, coconut delight.. which was amazingly sweet and rich, and exotic fruit, such as watermelon, cantaloup, jackfruit (oh yeah... never thought i'd find it here!!!), lychees and even papaya!!!
get the fresh juices, at about 2.50-3:50 a piece
def worth going back for.
One of the times that I love being a vegetarian is when I can get amazing food like what I had at Diwana. I got the Thali with a mix of pakoras and naan bread. Everything that I had was just delicious. The service was also really quick and it was quite inexpensive. My meal which included a selection of curries in the Thali and a mango lassi was less than 20 quid. Not too bad for a meal in central London.
Looking for a quick bite at night, we stood outside Diwana, weighing up the many options available in Drummond Street. But our minds were soon made up for us by some passers by who told us we'd love it. Thanks passers by, you weren't wrong! We each opted for Thali meals, which were great value for money and offering several little taster dishes in the traditional south Indian style. Each vegetarian option was packed with flavour and contrasted beautifully, using ingredients including chili, rice and chick peas. A great waiter explained to us how dishes changed daily, meaning you would always be trying something new! There is no alcohol licence, but bring your own is allowed.
Diwana is a modestly decorated restaurant, where the food is the undoubted star. Clearly loved by its regulars, the atmosphere was both intimate and vibrant. And I'd cross continents to eat again the eye-rollingly wonderful mango cream dessert we were served!
Diwani is quite close to where I work although I don't eat there very often each time I visit I always say I should visit more often.
The surroundings are basic and service is not the best, but the food delicious, tasty and very affordable. I recently took a friend there, she loved it so much, she insisted we visit the following week.
The lunch time buffet is varied, I highly recommend it.
Really excellent Gujarati thali, dosas, all fresh and well done. You really should try this place.
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