The Covent Garden branch of this mini-chain celebrates South Indian vegetarian specialities from the state of Karnataka. Furnishings are a restrained mix of blond wood, occasional southern Indian ornaments, and wipe-clean tables; chefs seem to prefer to let their cooking do the talking.
Dosais (rice and lentil pancakes) are some of the best in town, and star on the menu. For dramatic value, order a masala paper dosai, shaped into a gigantic hollow cone (almost 30cm at its widest point) and served with tart tamarind lentils (sambar), crushed potato and diced carrot masala mixed with fried curry leaves and mustard seeds, plus an astringent dollop of coconut and green chilli chutney.
Beside southern specialities – like the spongy, steamed rice dumplings (idlis) – Sagar also covers Mumbai beach foods. We’ve found pani poori (crisp pastry globes filled with tamarind water) impressive, but bhel poori (a puffed rice snack cloaked in tamarind chutney) too soggy to recommend. However, prices are easy on the pocket and it’s no surprise that Sagar is a hit with students.