Diwana Bhel Poori House is one of the cheapest eating out options in London, let alone Zone 1. This was my regular student lunch place/ BYO dinner option in 2008 and every now and again, I have dreams of coconut chutney… just me, and coconut chutney, and no-one and nothing else for miles around….
Also BYO (neighbouring off license), with a £6 lunch buffet, they have been feeding students and academics for decades. It’s easily possible to eat for £10 per person, even including mango lassis for hangover fuel.
But beware, when I say decades, I mean this literally. Which includes the decor. Classic pine ridged panels line the interior, which make me reminisce for the 80s (my childhood kitchen), so if you’re one of these sticklers for chandeliers, granite, marble, or daylight… this may not be the place for you. Similarly, the service is not exactly silver, but it’s decent, so, you’ve been told….
The house speciality is, obviously, Bhel poori, a popular savoury Indian street food snack. Including puffed rice amongst numerous other ingredients, crispy, with a hint of sweetness, sour-tang from tamarind…
(All Asians have the appetites of stoners, discuss…)
So, of course, starters were **drum roll** bhel poori, obviously, and mixed Bhajis…. and, of course, a mango lassi… These were all really good. Bhel poori is made (compiled? chucked together?) to order, so crispy, crunchy, zingy flavours were all abounding.
The bhajis were light, not greasy, although, if I’m brutally honest, my primal instinct urges me to order 2 plates of bhel poori, just for me….
Main courses were a sag aloo dosa, and mixed thali. The dosa was light and crispy, filled with lightly spiced sag aloo, accompanied by coconut chutney (yes!) a small pot of dahl and some other chilli, which was nice, but, hey, coconut chutney. What I tasted of the thali was great however, as “my” main was better, I was kinda distracted (full) so do not have a detailed run down to give at this point.
nb. if you, hungover, hungrily, over-order, you can get a doggy bag to take away. Coconut chutney tastes damn good at 2am… (I really gotta learn to make this for myself…)