Review: Sagar, Covent Garden, London

Sagar is a small chain of three South Indian vegetarian restaurants located in London. The Sagar restaurants are located in Covent Garden, Hammersmith and the West End.  We visited the Covent Garden branch, which is directly opposite the Theatre Royal Drury Lane which is currently hosting the musical ‘Oliver!’. Situated just around the corner from the shops and markets of Covent Garden, this restaurant is very conveniently located, yet it’s easy to miss if you don’t know it’s there. We have visited Covent Garden many times over the years, but only recently discovered this restaurant by chance, when walking down Catherine Street.

Inside, the restaurant is very clean and well-presented. We arrived on a Sunday afternoon at about 2pm, and the downstairs was about half-full. There was a sign indicating further seating upstairs, but we didn’t go up so didn’t see this area. When we received the menu, we were impressed by the wide selection of items available, but we didn’t know what many of the dishes were, so wished we had done some research first! After much indecision, I opted for a Vegetable Kurma, Ben chose the Masala Dosa, and we shared Poppadoms to start, and vegetable rice, a Batura and onion bhajias as side orders. To drink, Ben had a Mango Lassi and I had a Pineapple juice.

The Poppadoms were served with a selected of four dips/chutneys. My favourite was the mango chutney! When the main courses arrived we were surprised by the appearance of the Batura bread, since we didn’t know what to expect from the description on the menu: ‘large fluffy fried bread’. It was puffed out like a football, but went flat when I punctured it. It was something we had never tried before, but we both thought it tasted delicious! I was a little disappointed by the Kurma since it was hotter/spicier than I had expected (based on takeaway and other versions). However I really loved Ben’s Masala Dosa, so we ended up swapping most of our main meal. The Masala Dosa was a rice and lentil pancake rolled up to encase potatoes, onion and carrot. I am not fond of really hot spicy food, so I liked the fact that this was only very mildly spicy. Our portion of onion bahjias was so big that we didn’t manage to eat them all, but I think we were able to finish everything else.

Unfortunately we were too full to order dessert, although Ben was very tempted by the Gulab Jammun (homemade condensed milk rolled into balls, deep fried and soaked in sugar syrup). Maybe he will get to try it next time! Altogether our bill came to £27.90, including drinks. Overall we were very impressed by the food, and hope to visit again sometime.


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