Behind its plain plate-glass frontage, Hammersmith’s Sagar (there are two other branches) is almost Scandinavian in its use of blond wood, with tables, flooring, chairs, ceiling and wall-panelling in similar materials. The effect of entering a box is tempered by red fairy lights and display alcoves of Hindu deities.
A multicultural bunch of diners are tended by smart, softly spoken waiters keen to offer advice. The menu bigs-up the Udupi cooking of Karnataka, from where the chefs originate, but the lengthy list consists of generic South Indian food ranging from dosas and uthappams, to bhel poori beach snacks. Kancheepuram idli rice cakes were heavier than expected, studded with cashew nuts and served with decent sambar and two coconut-based chutneys.
We also sampled mulaga podi: a lentil and spice powder mixed with liquid ghee at table and smeared on the idli. It was appetisingly nutty, yet gritty – and, as with all the food, genuine South Indian chilli heat was absent. Udupi thali, a tray of half a dozen dishes, with two puffy poori, popadoms and chutneys, was similarly restrained in flavour (little pepperiness in the rasam; hardly any citrus zest; fresh coriander the most vibrant tang), and textures were too similar, with potatoes dominating and green vegetables virtually absent. Best was suki bhaji, where nutty fresh coconut leavened the root-veg mix. A nice atmosphere, then, but workmanlike cooking.
157 King Street
|Opening hours:||Lunch served noon-3pm, dinner served 5.30-10.45pm Mon-Thur. Meals served noon-11.30pm Fri, Sat; noon-10.45pm Sun|
|Price:||Main courses £4.25-£13. Thalis £12.25-£14.95. Set menu (noon-3pm Mon-Fri) £5.95 3 courses|
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Average User Rating
3.5 / 5
- 5 star:1
- 4 star:2
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:1
Bland food made for english people. Highhly rated by people who do not know or understand food from India.
Went for their £3.50 lunch box and really enjoyed the variety. Daal was a bit watery, overall good food at a great price!
Excellent service and lovely freshly cooked food and I tried the South Indian thali which was full Of different flavours to my usual choice of a mix of north and south Indian food. Very nice to try some different flavours like the coconut dish and all the dishes had different flavours and different levels of spiciness and heat (in terms of chillies). Delicious desert and salty lassi. Could not finish everything as too full. Very good value too. Only one star less than perfect as felt it needed something but can't quite put my finger on It. Maybe lacked something in terms of colour or taste as felt a bit heavy in terms of carbohydrate content and ca bit limited in terms of colour and vegetable variety. But overall I would still recommend this restaurant as I have always done since first visiting in 2007,