South Indian restaurant where the menu draws on street snacks from regions including Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Kanataka
A south Indian restaurant that pitched up on Peckham Rye before it got posh, Ganapati has the colourful, laid-back feel of a joint inspired by a backpacking tour of the subcontinent, and it certainly looks the part, with communal tables, school-style chairs, a photo wall, and shelves decorated with gilded trinkets. The chefs – who all hail from the two regions that share India’s bottom-most tip – major in the spice-laden, home-style cuisine they grew up with, from the house vegetarian thali, with its unctuous dhal and delicious homemade pickles and breads, to lamb leg in a chilli-packed masala spiked with coriander and mint. The result is nothing like your average curry house – even the desserts are varied and authentic – and for that reason, it’s deservedly popular with locals, many of whom phone up the more recently established takeaway down the road if they can’t get a table. Drinks-wise, there’s a considered wine list (including a bottle from India), but most people plump for local Fourpure beer. On summer nights, try for a seat in the charmingly bijou conservatory.