Diwana has been a Drummond Street fixture for time out of mind, drawing families from across the capital with its upbeat atmosphere and menu of south Indian vegetarian street food.
The bright interior is functional at best – its wooden panelling, pine tables and dog-eared, laminated menus more reminiscent of a mountain-top canteen than a reputable urban restaurant – but that only further emphasises the quality of the cooking. Bhel poori is the big draw, small plates of savoury snacks (including puffed pooris, samosas, dhals and chutneys), suitable as starters or, ordered in large enough quantities, a meal in themselves.
Those seeking more substantial feeding can opt for a crispy filled dosa or a vegetarian thali mixing rice with a variety of vegetable curries; there’s also a hearty lunch buffet for those less easily satisfied. Staff aren’t exactly renowned for dispensing pleasantries, but service is usually efficient enough.