Rasa W1

Restaurants, Vegetarian Mayfair
Rasa W1

The flagship of Das Sreedharan’s restaurant mini-chain (which began with a vegetarian eaterie in Stoke Newington), Rasa W1 is signposted by its cochineal-pink frontage. Aficionados of homespun South Indian cooking hold the place in high regard for its moderately priced Keralan fish and seafood dishes. The kitchen makes no allowance for temperate western palates.

First up, we relished the crunchy spiced nibbles and a selection of pickles – all own-made – including chilli-flecked green mango chunks and vinegary garlic cloves. A generously portioned kappayum meenum (chunky kingfish fillet curry, simmered in silken coconut-milk masala) was tastefully sharpened with smoky kokum (similar to tamarind) and spiced with curry leaves and whole dried chillies. It made a tasty match with steamed cassava speckled with tiny mustard seeds and crunchy lentils.

The dosa is another winner: the thin lentil and rice pancake loosely wrapped around mustardy potatoes and served with delicious sambar (vegetable and lentils made tart with tamarind). Less impressive, a Keralan spin on a sausage roll was underwhelming; soggy pastry encased a starchy potato filling that had a shortfall of meaty goodness. Stick to the vegetarian, fish and seafood options. Service is well meaning, if slightly slow off the mark.



Venue name: Rasa W1
Address: 6 Dering Street
Opening hours: Lunch served noon-3pm Mon-Sat. Dinner served 6-10.30pm daily
Transport: Tube: Oxford Circus tube
Price: Main courses £6.50-£12.95. Set meal £22.50 vegetarian, £25 meat, £30 seafood
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Average User Rating

2.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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  • 4 star:3
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  • 1 star:2
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A friend and I popped into this spot the other day spontaneously and it turned out pretty good. They were closing soon but were gracious enough to allow us to have some dinner.

I was in the mood for chicken biriyani and it was very flavoursome! The portion was pretty generous also... Under £40 for two people with drinks included was pretty good if you ask me especially in mayfair.

I would happily go back to explore more of their dishes :)


There are some unusual Indian vegetarian dishes. But the tables are too close together, making it difficult to carry on a conversation. And despite the many servers, repeated requests for a jug of water were ignored.

Be warned that Rasa Samudra's service is appalling. I went with a group of 6 people, prebooked at 8.30pm on a Saturday and had to wait until 9.50pm before we got our food. I was very embarrassed as I had raved on about this restaurant. All my friends had come from out of town to sample Rasa's delights. They never want to go back. The restaurant was not full by any means. Not good enough. I, too, will not be returning.

not one complaint about the food amongst all 27 of us..... i went for the Varutharacha Meen Curry which was had a subtle tang and a beautiful coconut sauce . other praises sang were for the Bagar Baingan and the Moru Kachiathu . Prices are very reasonable too. only slight issue was that the waiter was run off his feet as the restaurant is under-staffed. could've been just that night perhaps, but either way get there and order by 8:30 at the latest perhaps. i''d never pretend to be a restaurant connoisseur , but i've eaten fish in rural Cambodia, Bolivia and the famous San Francisco Pier and the standard here at Rasa wasn't a million miles away. Enjoy .

I think that you may have been spotted by management as a restaurant critic. I have eaten twice here. The service was dreadful and the food was not much better.