Chris G’s Best Yelp Reviews: Diwana Bhel Poori House – 5/5 Stars

Diwana Bhel Poori House
£ Indian
121-123 Drummond Street
London NW1 2HL
United Kingdom

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 the 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

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