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Sagar restaurant review

Another day, another chance to indulge my vegan gluttony somewhere in London.

The lucky recipient this time was Sagar, a South Indian place that's vegetarian but does do a separate vegan menu. (It also does wheat-free, nut-free and onion and garlic free meals too.)

Stuck half way up the sort of Tottenham Court Road side street that doesn't draw a second glance, and with fairly unassuming pale yellow decor, I wasn't expecting much.

Once I got inside, I bucked up a bit - it was a busy place, and getting busier all the time, and the prices were not only cheap for London's West End, I was to later find out they were a downright bargain considering how nice the scran actually was.

Obligatory starter dispatched (despite claims of veganity, there was one dairy sauce involved. That got farmed out to my other half, but I think we both would have preferred it not to be there in the first place) me and my co-eater shared a starter of Medu Vada, dinky little lentil donuts with a coconut chutney and lentil sambar.

As the menu promised, these little bad boys were indeed crispy on the outside and soft in the middle. Big thumbs up too for a dish that requires one element to be dunked in the other - there's something about getting stuck in with your hands and trying to time the dunk-length to balance potential sogginess with maximum flavour absorption that really appeals. 

Next up, the mix utthapam, described as a "lentil pizza" in the menu. 

It's a big flat dish topped with onion, tomato and coconut. The observant among you will have spotted that the utthapam and the medu vadu are basically just the same batter done differently and served with exactly the same sides. You would not be wrong. Did that matter? Not a bit. Both were delicious.

My boyfriend opted for a channa masala (vegan) and a batura (not vegan, although dough lovers need not despair - there are a couple of vegan bread options on the menu). Channa masala is one of my go-to curries, due to its wonderous chick pea glory. Sagar's version was a departure from the usual channa masala, darker and rich with cinnamon. 

It was simple food, and it worked. What these guys don't know about doing clever things with lentil and rice batter - well, it just isn't worth knowing.

Sagar Vegetarian
17A Percy
020 7631 3319 

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