The hidden gem of Euston.
Chutneys Indian Vegetarian restaurant first opened its doors in 1987. A little more modest capacity than now with only 40 covers at that time. 1994 saw an increase to 80 and 2009 sees Chutneys with 120 seats. If they continue in this fashion they will be renaming Drummond Street “Chutney Alley”. There are 2 floors with the basement and party room that can accommodate 60 guests.
The atmosphere is cosy with walls of green and ochre. The waiters are attentive but unobtrusive. Used plates are removed in a timely fashion although you never feel that you are being rushed. Many of the customers are evidently regulars and some are sufficiently enamoured by Chutneys that they use it as a meeting place.
The chef here has a talent for presentation. A strategically placed bloom here, an artfully arranged salad there helps to make a mouth-watering display for the lunch buffet. The dishes are both contemporary and traditional with several recipes being those of the chef’s grandmother. The food has the light feel of real Indian home cooking rather than the heavier, more calorific version that we have come to expect from many main-stream restaurants.
Yes, this is a vegetarian restaurant but even card-carrying carnivores will find the dishes both delicious and satisfying. You can choose from dry-fried vegetables, vegetables in gravy (a better term than curry, a word most Europeans use to describe Indian food in general), salads, rice, beans, breads, bhajis, dhals, popadoms and, yes, you guessed it, chutneys. The buffet sports about 30 dishes which change each day.
This is an Eat as Much as You Like buffet and the prospect of that often fills me with fear. It conjures visions of canteen lunch counters offering heavy, oily, catering pack meals. Chutneys, on the other hand, has a classy selection of very tempting savoury delights that will encourage you to just have another small portion. My advice would be to pace yourself. Munch a popadom or two and order a drink. This will put you in the sufficiently relaxed frame of mind to start grazing on the main course… or courses! Save a little space for a light dessert of, perhaps, halva or creamy rice with almonds, or some fresh fruit salad.
I have a passion for Indian food but I am so often disappointed by restaurants which have little regard for the health or financial welfare of their clients. Chutneys offers some of the best vegetarian food in central London and at a very reasonable price. The location couldn’t be more convenient for travellers who are just a couple of minutes walk from Euston or Warren Street stations. Chutneys has a loyal following which has just increased. I will return!
Chutneys Indian Vegetarian Restaurant is open 7 days a week.
Monday – Friday buffet hours are from 12 noon – 2.30pm
Saturday buffet 12 Noon – 5pm
Sunday buffet 12 Noon – 10.30pm
Restaurant review: Chutneys
124 Drummond Street
London NW1 2PA
phone: 020 7388 0604
Restaurant review by Chrissie Walker © 2018