“ Address: 86 Tooting High Street Tooting, London, SW17 0RN „
RADHA KRISHNA BEVAN - TOOTING, SOUTH LONDON
We had been to see 'Rock of Ages' at the theatre and my daughter had wanted us to go to somewhere in the city to eat but in typical London fashion everywhere was packed and the place she wanted to take us to didn't take bookings. We walked for miles and eventually decided to go back to Tooting as there was more choice of curry restaurants and it was on the way back to Wandsworth where my daughter lives.
We arrived in tooting and once again wandered up and down. We were looking for a place that looked a bit better than a takeaway and also somewhere that was licensed as we wanted a drink as well as a meal.
My daughter and friends had been to this place before and so when we failed to find anywhere we all agreed upon daughter phoned this place and asked if they had a table for four and could we come in five minutes. They did and we walked back speedily to take up the table.
It is a pretty small restaurant with tables pretty packed into the space. However we were welcomed and shown to our table with enthusiasm which was nice. We squeezed into our table. We were so close that the table next door could have shared our food with little trouble but still we had the table and were sitting after a day of walking.
Looking around the place you couldn't help but notice the walls are covered in a huge photograph showing a typical South Indian beach with coconut trees at sunset. In one corner you can see a lovely kathakali dance costume. On the bar/counter are small models of Radha and Krishna the stars of the Divali story. You are certainly aware of the fact you are in an Indian restaurant with the décor.
BEERS AND WINE
They served both Cobra and Kingfisher in large bottles for £3.90 a go and two of those were ordered. My daughter and I opted for white wine spritzers and they all came pretty quickly. So quickly in fact that we still hadn't chosen our food.
The menu is huge with so much choice that we struggled to choose. My husband can't eat prawns and I am not keen on lamb but we managed to agree on about four main dishes and a selection of starters and chutneys. I was assisted in my choice by chatting to the table next to us who had just got their food and they were saying what was nice and how hot things were.
WHATDID WE HAVE?
We chose a Rava Dosa which is a sort of crispy pancake mixed with ginger, green chillies and cumin seeds as we all enjoy a dosa and sharing it would not be too much. My choice was cashew nut pakoda which is cashews dipped in spicy batter and very tasty. Chicken Pakoda and Potato Bonda made up our starters to share.
We chose a rice dish and some chapattis to go with our food as well. The other dishes came from the 'mains' section of the menu and these included a delicious Kerala fish curry, a Kerala chicken curry which is cooked in pepper masala, garlic, mustard seeds, curry leaves and ginger and was so lovely and tender. Our final choice was a paneer masala. We chose three dishes as the starters were pretty big and we knew we could always order more should we need to.
WAITING FOR FOOD
Everything is cooked to order pretty much so that you do have a bit of a wait for the food. I would rather that that be served something that has been sitting being kept warm for hours. When the food came it was piping hot and obviously freshly prepared. It was served in small balti type bowls and put in the middle of the small table as we said we were sharing everything.
By this time we were on drink number two so the empties and all unnecessary things on the table had been handed to the waiter to make room for the food dishes. As everything was brought piping hot to the table we were told what each dish was and assisted in finding a spot for it to sit.
Once we had all taken a little of each dish we tucked in and enjoyed the food. We were hungry and this was just what we need, good hot and tasty food. We didn't have a lot left when we finished which is always a good sign. The food was all really good, each dish tasted different and the spices and flavours hit the spot perfectly.
We didn't rush our meal and even though it was quite late when we finished the place was still packed. People had left and other arrived so business was obviously good.
ABOUT THE RESTAURANT GENERALLY
The restaurant is open all 7 days. From Sun - Thurs from 12:00 - 3:00 and again 6:00 - 11:00 and then on Fri - Sat at 12:00 - 3:00 and again 6:00 - 12:00.
The restaurant can be found at; 86 Tooting High Street ,SW17 0RN. The nearest tube is Tooting Broadway tube. Should you want to phone and book then the telephone number is 020 8682 0969
Apparently this was the first South Indian restaurant in Tooting and has been there since 1999.The owner has thirty years experience in the restaurant business and owns about fifteen restaurants.
WHAT DID I THINK?
All in all I was pretty impressed. It was a busy crowded restaurant with friendly but efficient staff. The food was tasty and piping hot and the beers and wine both cold. The atmosphere was pleasantly busy and although there were lots of conversations going on you could still have a conversation at your table, or indeed the table next door as we did.
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