Vegetarian Paradise, WC1N 1AP

  • WC1N 1AP

Vegetarian Paradise is a South Indian restaurant in Bloomsbury, serving absolutely fantastic food at remarkably small prices. It's quite small, but pleasant (the decor didn't make much of an impression, so was presumably inoffensive), and the service was fine. It is, unsurprisingly from the name, vegetarian, and happy to accommodate vegans as well.

The food was the best Indian I've had in this country, without doubt. I had the 3-course thali for £6.95 - dal soup and a poppadum as a starter, then 4 different curries (all excellent), pilau rice, 2 bhajis, 2 puris, and raita. I particularly liked the dal (which too often tends to be watery rather than lentily in some restaurants), and enjoyed the okra dish despite not actually liking okra! My sister said the dessert (fruit & rice - not sure what it was exactly) was good, although I'd run out of room (quantity of food was pretty large!). Main courses generally were around the £2.50-£2.95 mark, with rice I think around £1.50. They're not licensed, but may well do BYO - I didn't check.

Strongly recommended, for quality and value - I'll definitely be going back.

Now, I am utterly baffled. I (think I) went there this lunchtime (June 2003) and had the lunchtime buffet (£4.50 for all you can eat). The poori was good, but the dhal was far too salty and the cauliflower and aubergine dishes were just average, and watery. I didn't try the other vegetable dish because it looked to have been made with frozen chopped carrots, peas and beans. I tried one of the chutneys and it tasted so strongly of jar that I couldn't work out whether it was meant to be coriander or mint or both. This really doesn't sound like the same place at all. Bhel Poori vegetarian place opposite Alara?

If it is the same place, then opening hours are noon–3pm and 7pm–11pm. Takeaway boxes available for the lunchtime buffet at £2.50 for regular or £3.50 for large. Seats around 20, I'd guess. --Kake

Having eaten here twice this week I think I can explain it! On Tuesday evening 3 of us had a fantastic dinner - the dal soup, dosa, coconut chutney, okra, wholemeal chapatti and spinach bhajee especially outstanding and I couldn't wait to come back. Today I had lunch from the set buffet - what a contrast - e.g. stodgy potato and something (cabbage?) in watery/greasy/chilli gloop ... not one dish that looked tempting. If my daughter had not already started helping herself I would have walked out at the very sight of this buffet. Do they have two different chefs or what? So it IS highly recommended for evening dinner - and you can bring your own wine - but definitely to be avoided for lunch. If you're in the area get your lunch across the road at Alara. Dearer but worth every penny.

(Latitude: 51.524487 Longitude: -0.123795)
Last edited 2006-12-22 15:51:32 (version 7; diff). List all versions.