“ Address: 31 Catherine Street / Covent Garden / London, WC2B 5JS / United Kingdom & / 17A Percy Street / London / W1T 1DU „
PLEASE NOTE: I VISITED THE PERCY STREET BRANCH, NOT CATHERINE STREET - ALTHOUGH I REQUESTED PERCY ST BRANCH TO BE ADDED, DOOYOO SENT ME THIS LINK - ADDRESS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE REVIEW.
Sagar is a South Indian restaurant in central London. It is based on Percy Street which comes straight off of Tottenham Court Road and is a three minute walk from Tottenham Court Road tube station (Northern & Central line), and a little bit further from Goodge Street (Northern line). It is a simple restaurant, with contemporary décor and uncluttered. Tables are down either side of the room in a pale wood colour. Lavatories are downstairs, and I am not aware of any lifts. The restaurant also seems to be very clean and staff helpful.
I dined here one Sunday lunchtime with some friends. The restaurant is completely vegetarian and they have a separate vegan menu and are sensitive to those with nut allergies and gluten intolerances, as well as those who follow a full Buddhist diet and avoid onion and garlic. It took a while for the entire group to assemble so we ordered some drinks fist of all. Although they sell alcoholic drinks (mainly beer and wine), I plumped for a mango lassi (like a yoghurt drink) which was £3.25. They also do fruit juices from £1.95, and the usual soft drinks like colas and lemonade.
For my starter, I went for Kancheepuram Idli, which was something new to me. They are rice and lentil dumplings with dips such as tamarind chutney, riatha and something I could not quite identify. There were about three dumplings and they were quite filling. Without the dips I think they would have been a bit too bland and stodgy, the mixed flavours and spices from the dips, helped make this dish. At £5.45 it was one of the more expensive starters. Other starters sampled included the spicy Rasam soup (£3.50) which I am so having should I come here again, as those that had it thought it lovely. Potato Bonda (£3.65) which are spicy battered potatoes also got the thumbs up, but again were rather filling.
I had been recommended the dosas here, so I decided on the Mysore Masala Dosa for £7.25 as my main course, as this had been the favourite of some of my companions. If you have not had a dosa before it is basically a loosely folded pancake stuffed full of yummy foods: in this case, a mix of potatoes with onions and carrots. I was disappointed not to have more carrots in it, as otherwise it was a bit too similar to my starter as it also had two of the same dips. You don't need rice or breads with this meal as it is filling enough on its own. Other people had Paneer Dosa, which is Indian style cottage cheese with vegetables, (£6.95) which was popular and given the thumbs up generally. It is not that spicy, so you may want to request a few extra chillies if you like your heat. Someone else had a saag paneer (cottage cheese with spinach) for £5.95 and he added naan style bread to it. That was tasty and filling too. In addition they do classic curries like kormas and masalas, and lentil pizzas. I am not sure what the latter is as no one ordered it, but as the menu is so wide I do hope to return and experience some other dishes at another time. If you are a Thali fan (a platter of various dishes starting at £14.95) then there are 3-4 to choose from. Neither of the volunteers in our group managed to finish it all.
We didn't have desserts because we were all so full. To be honest, I am not a fan of desserts in Indian restaurants anyway. Sagar's selection included the usual assortment of strange milk based desserts alongside ice creams and sorbets. Prices were from £2.75.
Whilst I enjoyed my meal, neither course would rank amongst the best Indian meals I had eaten, but I am prepared to accept that, faced with so much choice, I may have ordered wrong. I cannot realistically expect my dosa to be as nice as the one I had in Delhi five years ago, against which all subsequent dosas have been measured, but it was still very nice.
My share of the lunch bill for two courses, a lassi and a coke came to about £20 by the time I had added a service charge. Whilst not the cheapest lunch I have ever had, I was ordering based on most unusual sounding dishes and recommendations, but I think it is possible to get two courses and a drink for about £12-15. As the menu is fully vegetarian (as I am), I am happy to eat here again and try one of the many other dishes on offer should the opportunity present itself. The broad menu should satisfy most appetites and tastes. We did book as we were a party of ten but the restaurant was not that busy, so I think it is probably worth turning up on spec if there are just two-four of you. I believe they also have branches in Covent Garden and Hammersmith.
They are open daily from noon, but close mid afternoon in the week, re-opening at 5.30pm until 10.45pm (10pm on Sundays)
17A Percy Street
London W1T 1DU
0207 631 3319