Restaurant Reviews by Sasikanth Paturi

Here’s a list of all the restaurant reviews! 🙂


London


Hyderabad 


RoW

Sagar – Leicester Square | Restaurant Review

Place: Sagar
Location: 37 Panton St, Leicester Square
Cuisine: Indian
Meal: Dinner (with family)
On: Saturday, 3 September 2022

After exploring the city with my brother and his partner, we decided to hog at Sagar located on Leicester Square. It was about 6:00 PM, so we were the only ones at the restaurant and settled down at a large table towards the end of the place. The ambience was alright, but the tables were placed too close to each other and made the restaurant look cramped.

After a long day, we were really hungry and ended up ordering a lot of food. We did a portion of Dahi Poori, a Gobi Manchurian, a portion of Mattar Paneer, Bhindi Bhaji, Fried Dal, a Batura, Stuffed Paratha, plain Paratha and a couple of Chapathi.

Dahi Puri - Sagar

The Dahi Poori was served in about ten minutes and tasted alright. I thought that the stuffing could have been better, and a little more tamarind chutney would have helped.

Gobi Manchurian - Sagar

The Gobi Manchurian was served next, and this was very good. The gobi was crispy, and the sauce was tangy. We were really impressed and hoping for a good meal.

The main course soon followed suit.

Mattar Paneer - Sagar

The Mutter Paneer was mild and tasted good, but I thought it was a little too tomatoey. Also, the paneer pieces were chewy.

Brinjal Bhaji - Sagar

While we had asked for Bhindi Bhaji, we were instead served Brinjal Bhajee because of some communication error. While they agreed to replace, we asked them to keep it, and this actually tasted good. The brinjal was well cooked and the masala was perfect. This turned out to be the best of the main course items.

Fried Dal - Sagar

The Fried Dal was good, nothing spectacular. 

Batura - Sagar

Stuffed Paratha - Sagar

Paratha - Sagar
Of the bread, the stuffed paratha was the best, the batura was a little too oily, and the paratha and chapati were decent. 

I was still craving more food, so ordered a portion of Chilly Paneer and Vegetable Fried rice, which were served soon.

Chilly Paneer - Sagar

Veg Fried Rice - Sagar

While the Fried rice was mild and palatable, the Chilly Paneer was a disappointment. The paneer was really chewy and the sauce too wasn’t great. Compared to the Gobi Manchurian, this was a big flop. 

Overall, a decent meal. But for the Gobi Manchurian, nothing made an impression. I also felt that the dishes were aimed more at the English audience rather than Indians, and this was one of the reasons why we didn’t relish everything. Also, while the prices seem reasonable, the 12% service charge doesn’t match the mediocre service. Given the options around, I don’t think I’ll be coming back to this place again soon.

Food: 7/10
Service: 7/10
Ambiance: 7.5/10
Meal for 6: £81.84

Verdict: 7/10

Little Italy – Leicester Square | Restaurant Review

Place: Little Italy 
Location: 6-7 Irving St, Leicester Square 
Cuisine: Italian 
Meal: Dinner (with a cousin, wifey, and our lil one) 
On: Friday, 26 August 2022

One of my cousins was in London for a day, and we decided to take her around the city. We covered Tower Bridge, Westminster, Big Ben, Trafalgar Square, and Picadilly Circus in a couple of hours, and finally decided to dine at Little Italy at Leicester Square. While you’d hope that it is the same Little Italy chain from India and the Middle East, unfortunately it isn’t.

The restaurant is located on a street full of Italian joints, most of which packed for a Friday evening. I actually wanted to try Vespa Italian restaurant next door, but these guys had better vegetarian options. We decided to sit on the street for it was a lovely evening, and were offered a table right in the front. The place was abuzz and the vibe was great. Maybe a little loud, but still fine.

We decided to do a portion of Garlic Mozzarella Bread, a Vegetarian Pizza, Ravioli in white sauce, and a Vegetarian Lasagne. I also ordered a bottle of coke for myself. 

Garlic Bread - Little Italy

The Garlic Bread was served in about ten minutes and tasted delicious. The bread was super soft, and with enough garlic and cheese, this was a great start to our meal.

Vegetarian Pizza - Little Italy

The pizza was served soon and I was mighty impressed with its size. With tomatoes, mushrooms, olives, onion and aubergine, this pizza was excellent. The crust was very good and we loved it!

The Lasagne and Ravioli were served together and while I had asked for the latter in white sauce, they served it in red sauce. They immediately offered to replace it without any fuss. 

Lasagne - Little Italy

The Lasage was alright, but we thought it was too tomatoey. The updated Ravioli in white sauce needed some salt and pepper to be added, and it again tasted really good.

Overall, an excellent meal. But for the Lasagne, all the other dishes were yummy. The service was great, and no qualms about the ambience. However, the food is pricey and a meal including the service charge is heavy on the pockets; but I guess that is expected when you’re dining at Leicester Square. This is definitely a good Italian find in London.

Food: 9/10
Service: 8.5/10
Ambiance: 8.5/10
Meal for 4: £70.15

Verdict: 8.5/10

ASK Italian | Restaurant Review

Place: ASK Italian 
Location: Ground floor, O2 Peninsula Square 
Cuisine: Italian 
Meal: Dinner (with wifey, amma, and our lil one) 
On: Saturday, 6 August 2022 

After watching a movie at the O2 Arena, we decided to try Italian at one of the multiple options and picked ASK Italian. We stepped into the restaurant at about 8:30 PM, and there was no one at the entrance to tend to us. We should have taken this as a sign and gone to another restaurant, but for some reason, decided to linger around and wait until a guy walked up to us after about five minutes, and put us at a booth in the middle of the restaurant.

The seat cushions at this booth were ripped and the foam was out, so we asked for another table. But then almost all the seats at the restaurant were in the same shape, and this one if anything, was better than the rest and so we decided to stay put.

We decided to order the Mushrooms Al Forno starter, Mushroom & Truffle Calzone, and the Spinach & Ricotta Girasole pasta. Wifey wanted to have a drink, so we also planned to order a large glass of Merlot. And then began the wait.

Our waiter was nowhere to be seen on the floor and so there was no one to take our order. There were a couple of other waiters around our table but they wouldn’t attend to us cos it wasn’t their table. When we asked them to call our guy, they turned a deaf ear. Another sign for us to get out, but we still didn’t (particularly because wifey doesn’t like to walk out from a restaurant after we’ve settled in).

Anyway, after about ten minutes, our guy finally appeared and apologized for the long wait. We placed our order, and again, the wait continued. About twenty minutes went by and there was still no sign of our food or the waiter (again). I started walking around the place to find the guy but no sign of him. I however saw our mushrooms on the kitchen counter, ready to be served, already cold.

Wine - ASK Italian

After about thirty minutes, he walks to our table with the Wine. I told him off and informed him that the starters have been sitting at the counter for a while now, and I need them to be heated before being served. He walked to the kitchen and an argument broke out between him and the chef (who was equally miffed with him). All this was happening in front of the guests at the restaurant. 

Anyhow, the mushrooms were served about an hour after we entered the place. At this point, I asked for the manager who came to us apologizing for the long wait and said he will waive the dish off our bill.

As for the dish, there were 5 pieces of mushroom stuffed with mozzarella and breadcrumbs, served with garlic mayonnaise. They were flavourful and tasty. While the quantity wasn’t great, I was happy with the dish.

After another fifteen minutes, a burnt calzone and watery pasta were served. I immediately asked them to be taken back, but the manager said they would not be able to redo them (it looked like the chef quit and left) and again offered to exclude them from our bill. It was almost 10:00 PM, we were hungry, and most other places were either closing or closed, so without any option, we decided to eat whatever we could.

Calzone - ASK Italian

The burnt calzone was almost inedible, but we somehow managed to pull out some sections without any burn and eat it. While the stuffing was good, you could taste the smoky flavour in every bite. We had to discard about three fourth of the dish. 

As for the pasta, the girasole/ravioli was undercooked, and the sauce that was supposed to be creamy was watery. This was better than the calzone, but still disappointing.

Overall, a terrible experience and meal. The manager again walked up to our table and apologized profusely, but that didn’t help in any way. He charged us only for the wine and asked us to come back for a better experience the next time around, but I think we’ve had enough of ASK Italian for a lifetime. Forget the food, even the ambience was poor; who has almost every seat in the restaurant ripped apart? And the callous attitude of the waiters was pathetic. I don’t think I’ll be visiting any of their outlets even if they offer me free food on every visit.

Food: 4/10 (for the mushrooms)
Service: 3/10
Ambiance: 5/10
Meal for 3: N/A (£7.43 for the Wine)

Verdict: N/A

Ananda Bhavan | Restaurant Review

Place: Ananda Bhavan 
Location: 240 High St N, East Ham 
Cuisine: Indian 
Meal: Dinner (with amma, wifey, and our lil one) 
On: Saturday, 23 July 2022

After a visit to the East Ham temple on the first weekend that amma (mom) was here in London, we were looking for viable dinner options. There was Adyar Ananda Bhavan right next to the temple, but for some strange reason, we decided to try this Ananda Bhavan opposite the temple. Soon we realized that this was a big mistake!

The restaurant is small and spacious, and we settled down at a table for four near the entrance. The menu was quite decent and we more or less decided on what we were going to have, but no one came to take our order for a long long time. And when they finally did, they said most of the stuff was unavailable; they didn’t have Thalis, no noodles, no tandoori items. After a long hustle, we finally ordered a portion of Veg. Spring Rolls as starters, an Onion Rava dosa for amma, Poori for the lil one, Veg. Kofta and a couple of Parotta for us. 

Rava Masala Dosa - Anand Bhavan

The Dosa was served in about 10 minutes without any sambar (which was eventually served after another 5 minutes when we asked for it). The dosa was cold, and portions of it were undercooked. I wanted to call the waiter and return it but amma was so hungry that she decided to eat it the way it was.

Poori - Anand Bhavan

The Poori was served next alongside some aloo korma (no chutney). While the poori was alright, the aloo korma was very bland.

Kofta - Anand BhavanParotta - Anand Bhavan

A few moments later, the Kofta and Parotta were served. These looked palatable, but unfortunately, didn’t taste great. While the kofta balls were decent, the gravy was undercooked and this meant that we could taste the tomato. Again, we were so hungry that we decided to eat it without any complaints. Thankfully, the parotta was flaky and good.

Spring Rolls - Anand Bhavan

The Spring Rolls, which we ordered as starters, were served almost at the end of the meal, and they tasted terrible. Looks like they just bought a packet of frozen ones after we ordered for them. We couldn’t even eat a couple of them.

Biryani - Anand Bhavan

Given that the parottas didn’t fill our tummies, we decided to order a Veg. Biryani, which was served soon. This turned out to be decent with a lot of masala, but wish they added more vegetables.

Overall, a bad meal. But for the Biryani and Parotta, nothing else was worth mentioning. While the ambience was alight, the service was pathetic which made our experience even more miserable. I definitely wouldn’t recommend this place even for their South-Indian offerings.

Food: 5/10
Service: 5/10
Ambiance: 7.5/10
Meal for 4: £26.43

Verdict: 5.5/10

Desi Dhaba | Restaurant Review

Place: Desi Dhaba 
Location: Glenmore Parade, Ealing Rd, Wembley 
Cuisine: Indian 

July 2022     September 2022


Meal: Dinner (with wifey and our lil one)
On: Saturday, 9 July 2022

We were at the Shri Vallabh Nidhi Mandir located on the other end of Ealing Road at Wembley last Saturday, and came across this small joint tucked in between a row of shops. It was about 5:00 PM, and given that we weren’t really hungry, decided to come back later. After a couple of hours exploring the Indian market and eateries on the street, we dropped by at around 7:00 PM, and the restaurant, given that it was away from most of the Indian joints on street, was pretty empty with just a couple of tables occupied. We made ourselves comfortable at a table for four. The place had a nice vibe to it and reminded us of a typical Indian dhaba.

A few minutes after we settled down, we were served with some fryums alongside mint chutney, garlic & herb sauce, and sweet chilli sauce. Now, this was a welcome surprise for we were starving and the fact that we had food on our table without any “do you want papad?” question thrown at us the moment we walked in. And no, we weren’t charged for them!

The fryums were crisp and satisfied our initial hunger right away; we emptied the basket in about 5 minutes.

Now for the proper meal, we ordered Tandoori Stuffed Mushrooms, Kofta Dilruba, a Butter Naan, and three Butter Chapati. We also asked for a portion of Paneer Pilau for later.

Stuffed Mushrooms | Desi Dhaba

The mushrooms were served in about 10 minutes and they looked scrumptious. The description on the menu read succulent mushrooms marinated in authentic aromatic spices, stuffed with paneer and cheese, cooked in tandoor, and boy, they were yum! Unlike another place we were at in the recent past, the quantity was great; we had about 7-8 mushrooms on our plate. Great start to our meal!

Kofta Dilruba | Desi Dhaba

The main course was served soon, and I was excited for the Kofta for it was listed as Chef’s special. With paneer dumplings in a creamy tomato gravy, unfortunately, this turned out to be just alright (against my anticipation of awesome). The Kofta balls were a little too dry and the gravy was a bit grainy. It also could have done with a little more salt to get the flavours right. Again, this wasn’t a bad dish, it just didn’t match up to my expectations.

Desi Dhaba Desi Dhaba

The Naan was soft and perfect. Our lil one who usually doesn’t prefer Naan, loved it. The Chapatis were huge and super soft. We kinda over-ordered as we couldn’t even finish the second one.

Paneer Pilau | Desi Dhaba

The Pilau was served after we were done with our bread and looked flavour packed. This was again a Chef’s special and tasted great; the paneer was fresh, and the rice was perfectly cooked. However, as with most Indian restaurants in London, it needed salt to suit our palate.

At about the time the Pilau was served, we realized that we needed another side for us to do justice to the meal, so we asked for Dal Makhani.

Dal Makhni | Desi Dhaba

And we were glad that we did for it turned out to be another winner. The dal was creamy, the spices were right, and it was lip-smacking delicious.

Mango Lassi | Desi Dhaba

To finish our meal, we ordered a Mango Lassi that turned out to be thick and perfect, the best lassi I’ve had in a while.

Overall, this turned out to be the best meal we’ve had in London thus far (Shayona was at the top of our list until we visited this place; will review it soon). We were a bit apprehensive when walking in but were totally impressed by the food and service. Our waiter, Bhumi, was super friendly and ensured that we had everything we need on the table at the right time. This is one restaurant I’d definitely recommend to anyone looking for a good Indian restaurant in town. And it is pocket-friendly. I will be back for sure, often!

Food: 9/10
Service: 9.5/10
Ambiance: 9/10
Meal for 3: £39.49


Meal: Dinner (with wifey and our lil one)
On: Friday, 2 September 2022

Given that Desi Dhaba was the best find in London thus far, it was our first choice when my brother and his partner visited us from the US. We walked in at about 8:00 PM and settled down in the centre of the restaurant. Right away, some papad and fryums were served on the table. 

I wanted to try almost everything from our last visit for they tasted yum, and I also wanted to check consistency. Therefore, in addition to what we ordered last time, we ordered Paneer Popcorn and a Veg. Platter as starters, and a Paneer Makhani with some Butter Roti and Jeera Rice for the main course.

The Paneer Popcorn was served first in about 10 minutes. Balls of paneer bhurji rolled in crumbs and deep fried, these were crunchy, yes, but I thought needed some more flavour.  

While we thought that the platter will just have a couple if pieces of everything, the portions were humongous and came in two plates. The first one had the samosa, hara bhara kabab, some cutlets, mirchi bhajji, and loads of onion and potato pakoras/chips. Everything tasted good with the chips being the stand-out dish.

The other part of the platter was a sizzling plate with some stuffed mushrooms and paneer tikka. The mushrooms were yum like the last time, and the paneer was good as well. 

The Malai Kofta and Dal Makhani turned out to be as good as the last visit, but again, needed additional salt to make them palatable. The additional Paneer Makhani was a decent dish; the makhani gravy could have been better.

The Jeera rice was a disappointing dish for the rice was uncooked and had no flavour.

Overall, a very good meal again. Barring the Jeera rice, everything was delicious. Most dishes needed salt, and that was the only downside. The service was good and the portion sizes were amazing. While we were not as elated with the food as the last time, I thought it still was a great meal.

Food: 8.5/10
Service: 9/10
Ambiance: 9/10
Meal for 6: £68.91


Verdict: 9/10

Dhaba 49 | Restaurant Review

Place: Dhaba 49 
Location: 49 Chippenham Rd
Cuisine: Indian 
Meal: Take-away
On: Tuesday, 28 June 2022

Dhaba 49 happens to be the closest Indian restaurant to our place, but we never, for whatever reason had the opportunity to dine in here over the last four months we’ve lived in London. However, come last Tuesday, utilizing Just Eat’s Cheeky Tuesday offer, we ordered a Paneer Butter Masala, a couple of Butter Naan, and a Pilau Rice.

Though the place is about 500 meters away from our house, it took about an hour for the order to be delivered. (I actually cancelled an order a while ago cos it said the estimated delivery time was about 90 minutes).

Dhaba 49 Naan

The Paneer Butter masala (PBM) had too much ginger and was a little too tomatoey for my liking. The paneer however was fresh, so we managed to empty the box. The Butter Naan could have done with some more butter.

Dhaba 49 PilauThe Pilau rice was decent, but again, like with almost every Indian restaurant in London, bland. I wish people added a little more salt while cooking the rice, or at last after. The rice, also, was too oily.

Overall, a mediocre meal. I read good reviews about this place online but maybe because of my expectations, was disappointed. PBM is the basic Indian dish for any vegetarian, and according to me, it tells you how good or bad a restaurant is; if you can’t get your PBM right, you can’t get anything right! While Dhaba 49’s PBM wasn’t totally bad, there is room for improvement. Also, the hour waiting time is a bit too much especially when they are so close by.

I’d definitely dine at this place sometime soon, once my extended family comes by. Until then…

Food: 7/10
Service: N/A
Ambiance: N/A
Meal for 2: £16.50 (offer)

Verdict: 7/10

Portobello Health Foods | Restaurant Review

Place: Portobello Health Foods  
Location:  269A Portobello Rd 
Cuisine: Fast-food 
Meal: Take-away
On: Saturday, 25 June 2022

Looking for Vegetarian food options near my place on Google, stumbled across this small Vegetarian/Vegan joint on Portobello Road. Given that this was a Saturday, headed out to try this place as well as to experience the Portobello Road Market.

We walked in at about 3:00 PM and saw this large spread of offerings from different cuisines. It is an order-your-meal kinda place where you pick anything you want from the offerings, in either small, medium, or large boxes. There is a small seating area in the store but that would cost you extra 60 pence.

Portobello Health Foods

We opted for the large box as we wanted to try a bit of everything, and this gave us more scope to do that. We asked for some lasagne, grilled mushrooms, beans, rice, vegetables, broccoli, a couple of other things I don’t remember, and loads of potato wedges.

The overall meal tasted good, but some of the items were a little too bland. I wish they had some kinda condiments and sauces to make things wild. The large box cost us about 10 quid, the medium is £8.95, and the small is for £7.2. I am not sure if these prices are justifiable, but for the variety, maybe it deserves a try once in a while.

Food: 8/10
Service: N/A
Ambiance: N/A
Meal for 1: £9.95

Verdict: 7.5/10

Apna Adda | Restaurant Review

Place: Apna Adda
Location: Leicester Square
Cuisine: Indian

June 2022     July 2022


Meal: Take-away
On: Thursday, 2 June 2022

After a fruitful day of celebrating Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, we were looking for a place to quench our hunger. Felt like eating Indian (again), and decided to drop in at Saravana Bhavan at Leicester Square. There was waiting, and while we did that, I looked at their menu and realized that everything was overpriced (as we just dined at SB at East Ham a few days ago which wasn’t expensive at all). So looked for alternates in the area and found this small Indian eatery right around the corner.

Apna Adda

A couple of blocks away from Empire Cinemas (Cineworld), located right next to Bella Italia, you’d probably miss this unless you look closely. Apna Adda is a small shop with just a couple of tables. Having realized that dining in will not be possible, we decided to do a take-away, and ordered a portion of Veg. Spring Rolls, Veg. Hakka Noodles, Kaju Curry, and a couple of Naan. I was told it would take about 30 minutes for the order to be ready.

We explored the Piccadilly Circus area for a while, picked up the food, and hopped on a bus home. Our lil one was hungry, so we opened the Spring Rolls on our way. 7 small rolls were served along with some sweet chilli sauce, and they tasted alright. They probably were frozen ones you get at a supermarket, which justifies the size and more or less bland taste.

We were really excited to try the noodles and didn’t waste any time dug in the moment we reached home (without clicking any pictures). Unfortunately, they turned out bleh. With excessive soy sauce, they had a strong taste which I did not enjoy.

The Kaju Curry however was yummy. Loaded with cashew nuts (Kaju), the tomato gravy was perfect. I would have maybe preferred it a little spicier though. The Naan was decent, but the corners were a little too thick.

Overall, an okay meal. Our Indo-Chinese experience was mediocre while Indian food turned out to be good. Reasonably priced, they have quite an extensive menu. I’d definitely try this place again, hopefully soon!

Food: 7.5/10
Service: N/A
Ambiance: N/A
Meal for 3: £22.46


Meal: Dinner (Take 2)
On: Thursday, 7 July 2022

Dropped in here last week for dinner before a movie, and ordered a Vegetable Biryani. I then settled at a table on the street where there were quite a few entertaining performances to keep me engaged while the food was being prepared. 

Biryani

In about 10 minutes, the Biryani was served alongside some raita. This was dum-style Biryani with the curry at the bottom and rice on top, garnished with some coriander and fried onions. While the rice was perfect, I thought the curry was a bit on the spicy side, which made me sweat at the end of my meal. It may not be the best Biryani, but wasn’t bad either.

Food: 8/10
Service: 8/10
Ambiance: 8/10
Meal for 1: £6.95


Verdict: 8/10

Aladin | Restaurant Review

Place: Aladin Indian Restuarant  
Location:  Brick Ln, London 
Cuisine: Indian 
Meal: Dinner (with wifey and our lil one)
On: Sunday, 26 June 2022

On a lazy Saturday afternoon, we were in the neighbourhood to get our Indian groceries but were hungry as well, so we decided to hog first. Brick Lane is a street full of Indian and Bangladeshi food joints, with people calling out to you while walking on the street to try their restaurants. This was pretty late in the day for lunch (around 4:00 PM), so most of these eateries were empty. Not wanting to be the only patrons, we decided to walk into a restaurant that had at least a few tables occupied, and this turned out to be Aladin.

Located right opposite Brick Lane’s Food market (Upmarket) which houses some international food stalls, Aladin is a sizeable joint spread across two shops and is pretty much on the busy street so can be loud at times. We were led to a table of 6 where 2 seats on either side were already occupied by a couple of girls, and we were like, what? Then the guy separated the table to make it a 4+2 seater with little gap between them. We settled down uncomfortably, for I felt that we were intruding into their space. Almost all the tables were similarly placed, cramped next to each other. On the bright side, the place was brightly lit and looked spacious, thanks to the mirrors on the walls.

The entire staff seemed to be in a hurry which gave it an impression of a fast-food joint rather than a dining restaurant. One of the many guys came with the menus, and without even giving us any breathing space. asked if we wanted papad. I said no without thought, and he removed the pre-set plates from the table. We eventually asked for the papad while placing our order, and he got the plates back along with some condiments

Papad

For the main course, we ordered Paneer Pasanda/Korma, a Butter Naan, a couple of chapathis, and a Vegetable Biryani.

Paneer Korma

The food was served all at once in about 15 minutes. While the Paneer Korma was decent; the gravy was little on the sweet side and could have been more refined. Naan

The Naan was full of butter, soft, and tasted good.

Biryani

Vegetable Korma

The Biryani was served alongside some Mixed Vegetable Korma. The Biryani, while good, could have had more vegetables and little more masala (and salt) for it tasted bland without the korma, which in itself was alright.

Still hungry, for the portions weren’t that great, wifey decided to get a portion of Garlic Rice which was served in a few minutes. This had a lot of garlic, yes, but was dripping in oil. Again, needed salt.

Overall, an average meal. The food was decent but the experience wasn’t great. The hustle around us was getting too much to handle. To add to this, a scribbled note was presented to us as the bill for a whopping 40 quid, which I later, after stepping out of the restaurant, realized was at least 7 or 8 quid more than what we should have been charged for what we ordered (and if I read the scribble right, we were charged £2.5 for the papad!). This place is apparently voted as “One of the World’s Best Curry Houses'” in London, but I highly doubt they can be anything with this pathetic service.

Food: 7.5/10
Service: 4/10
Ambiance: 6/10
Meal for 3: £39.75

Verdict: 6/10

Aladin Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato