Ravi Shankar Restaurant

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 17 reviews )

133-135 Drummond St, North West London, England, NW1 2HL

Inexpensive buffet Indian dishes. 1 minute from Euston and Euston Squares stations. Open Mon-Sun 12:00pm-10:30pm.

Categories: Lacto, Indian, Buffet

17 Reviews

First Review by abbey1229

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  Contributions +13

Disappointed - Edit

After having gone to Ravi Shanker since it opened 49 years ago abd having enjoyed the warmth of service, acceptable food and reasonable prices, I was amazed at my latest visit at the rudeness of the waiters.

I dont know what has changed but if this persists the reputation of the restaurant will suffer.

Pros: Excellent chat entrees, Low cost, Tradition of friendly service

Cons: Not allowed to eat chaat during the week, Staff suddenly not as friendly and relaxed, Tense atmosphere

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best price/quality we had in london - Edit

we told the waiter we were vegan straight up and he assured us most of the dishes could be made vegan and would be made vegan for us. we thought the dosas would not be a full main course for such a low price, so we ordered multiple sides. in the end we ordered way too much for two people, but it was no problem taking the leftovers home. the food was great and when we saw the bill we could not believe that service was already included. the service was friendly and fast. very different from some of the other reviews i've read just now.

Updated from previous review on 2016-09-25

Pros: good food, low prices

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not vegan friendly any more - Edit

No soya milk and over half there previously vegan options now have dairy in with a change to non vegan ghee. Been going here 16 years and they didn't give a damn about the change. Just not a vegan friendly place anymore and you can't really trust the conflicting advice on some dishes and vegan or veggie

Pros: food used to be ok

Cons: not vegan friendly

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Cheap restaurant but good - Edit

Quite a good restaurant. Cheap food.

Pros: Cheap, Variety of food

Cons: Bit small, Decor really needs updating

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my favourite on Drummond st - Edit

been going to the veggie Indians on Drummond St for literally decades. always found this restaurant to have consistently good meals, good prices and comfortable chairs! always found staff to be professional.

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Cheap food - Edit

Cheap food but poor quality. Staff are unprofessional and caustic. Look at all other reviews on this resturant and the complaints are generic and consistent.

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Quite disappointing - Edit

I was quite disappointed when I visited here because the staff were not communicative at all and I wasn't sure what was vegan and was not. When I asked, the waiter just mumbled something in a very fast way and it was hard for me to understand the info about the vegan dishes. In the end I got the Mysore Thali and hope that it was vegan. It tasted good, although I definitely had better Indian meals. The bread was a bit dump. The place also looked a little run down and it was very cold.
All in all, I think it was good enough considering the low price, but I would not go there again considering the fantastic alternatives in London.

Pros: Good price

Cons: Unfriendly service

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Lunch Time Buffet - Edit

Having read some of the other reviews, I thought 'how bad can it be?' The answer, is 'it's actually quite good'

I tried Chutneys previously, which is on the same road, and this is a similar style. Twenty or so dishes for the lunchtime crowd, some hot and some cold, desserts and fruit.

I was on my own, but got seated quickly. I ordered a fresh orange juice, which was very good. The thing I find with all you can eat places, is that I want to try everything, and so end up eating too much. I avoided most of the cold food and stuck to the hot food, as it was a bitterly cold day.

The saag aloo was very good, rich and full of flavor. There was a baby aubergine and potato curry in a tomato sauce. That was chunky, with the baby aubergines simply cut in half. A veg pilau went well with a dal. There were dosas, mini pancakes filled with a dry curry. There were a couple of other curries, but these were the stand out ones for me.

The desserts are some sweet gulab jamin type things and a keer, rice pudding. The best was the carrot halwa, which was good an not too rich. There is fresh fruit, if you don't fancy the sugary overload of Indian sweets.

The only negative aspect, and it is a minor thing, is they they didn't seem to want payment by card. They had a machine, and charged me 50p extra for a card payment, which is common in some places, but they did ask if I had the cash.

Pros: Good food, wide range, price

Cons: 50p extra for a card payment

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Not very good - Edit

We visited the Ravi Shankar restaurant twice in 2011.

The first time was with some friends, for the buffet, which was good overall.

The second time just the two of us went, and the service was very poor and the food was average. The place was gloomy and quiet. Only one staff member smiled at us! They were clearly eager to close for the night, despite being an hour away from the advertised closing time.

On leaving, we walked a few doors down past one of the other veggie restaurants on the street to see it full and lively! Clearly we made the wrong choice, RS is the worst of the three veggie places on Drummond Street.

Pros: Near to two better places

Cons: No atmosphere, Miserable staff

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Good indian buffet for vegans also - Edit

Buffet had plenty of different vegan options, only some foods contained dairy. Dishes were very tasty and there were also fruits as dessert for the buffet price that was reasonable. Service was excellent and place seemed pretty popular during lunch hours.

Pros: Vegan buffet, Lot of choices, Fruits

Cons: None

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Great food and nice place - Edit

I must totally disagree with the previous review. I ate here on Fri 11th Sept for a late lunch (c.2:30pm) and had perfectly fine service. I opted for a Mysore thali, and asked if that was suitable for vegans. It was, although I didn't have the sweet that was included (but they didn't offer to reduce price or give fruit instead). The waiter was pleasant, although not overly friendly. He was certainly not rude or anything else. All the selections on the thali plate were fabulous and had great flavours. It is very convenient for Euston train station.

Pros: great flavour, good range

Cons: non vegan dessert

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Rudest wait staff I ever met - Edit

This is the only restaurant where the wait staff actually made me cry. The food was all right, but the service was abusive and intimidating and I am sad but not surprised to hear that others have had the same experience. The staff were rude and I don't much remember the food as they had upset me so much by the time that it arrived that I struggled to eat it (all because I had the audacity to ask whether it would be possible to offer a vegan version of the thali - what was I thinking?!). I wouldn't come back here even if I were desperate - I would eat a dry bread roll from a supermarket before I would set foot in this place again. Avoid like the plague. I think their good reputation must have gone to their heads. My previous experiences had involved less rudeness but the service was so rushed and the dining space was so small that neither I nor they could wait for me to leave. Never again.) I would give a rating of 1 if I could.

Pros: Food was ok

Cons: Horrible wait staff, Cramped and rushed, Nightmare experience

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Ravi Shankar, London - Edit

The last time that I ate here I asked the waitor what was vegan veggie. I can't put my finger on it but there was something about his manner that just didn't inspire any confidence on the authenticity. Chutney's just up the street is a much better choice for vegan veggies.

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Great place to catch up with friends - Edit

The restaurant is decorated in bright/primary colours, with the wooden tables and chairs painted too. I went on a weeknight and every seat was taken. The staff had to get me another chair which I used to squeeze on to the table of the group I was with. Loud conversation was going on and we had to be loud to hear ourselves. Mostly groups of people although a single diner was present too.

I had the Mysore thali. It was good and filling including the gulab jamun. There are a few thalis as well as a wide range of other Indian dishes. There is also a special available which may not be Indian necessarily. Beverages include beer. I had a juice, there are just a few of these.

I came a bit late to join people already there and I didn't receive the dhal starter the others received due to this but the service was very welcoming and quite prompt especially considering it was so busy.

Value is fair.

Most everything was pretty good so it's a five.

Pros: Tasty food, location - convenient to Euston station , informal, friendly

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Indifferent food; Appalling service! - Edit

I went to this restaurant last week with my family and on arriving we told the waiter that we we short of time and he told us that we had enough time (45 minutes). Each of us ordered a different dish and my sister's meal was cold when it arrived. We pointed it out to the waiter who said that it would take 10 minutes to make a fresh one. As she had to get a train she decided not to change it. A few minutes later, the waiter returned and removed her plate with half her meal still in it. When she protested that she was still eating and that the very least he should have done was to ask before her simply took it, he said sorry, I thought you had to get a train. Having just stacked it with other dirty/used dishes, he then offered the plate back! The bill swiftly followed and we said that we did not feel that dish should be charged because first, it arrived cold, and then it was taken away while she was still eating! Three staff then appeared, circled the table and said we could not leave the premises until the bill was paid in full - service charge included! The child in the group began to cry, the front door was locked, and the staff became aggressive and threatening. So we called the police, and because of the train time, we had to pay in full to get out of there. (The police could not arrive in time).
I would NEVER recommend that anyone eats there - and if you do, do not expect to be treated with respect or reasonably. They are bullies. The police officer I spoke to told me that they have had complaints from there previously. Locking us in the restaurant is a crime! We eat in Drummond St regularly, and the food and service is much better in Diwana's and Chutneys. You have been warned!

Cons: poor value, indifferent food, terrible service

2 Responses
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JohnnySensible 25 Oct 2007 - Get a life - this is a pack of lies!  

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baratron 22 Feb 2013 - I can believe it. I've been to all three of the Drummond Street vegetarian Indian restaurants on multiple occasions, and I've found that both Ravi Shankar and Diwana's have several rude members of staff who will take a disliking to a party for no apparent reason. As a result the service is extremely hit and miss, depending on if whoever is serving that day likes the look of your face. When I have been there as a woman alone, I have felt threatened and intimidated by the all-male waiting staff - and I'm NOT the sort of person who gets intimidated!  

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Excellent time after time! - Edit

One of my favorite restaurants in one of my favorite parts of London. Excellent South Indian selection - much of which is vegan. Superb chutneys & pickles. Many of the other dishes can be prepared without using milk products also. Indian friends visiting London have often enthusiastically thanked & complimented the staff with comments about the food being very close to their "home cooking". The cooks have long experience of cooking special requests. I always visit there with friends & 50% of the time I meet other old friends there. For the great location & the food that you receive the prices are just fine. Whenever I visit the British Museum or the British Library I "complete" my day with a meal in Ravi Shankar. When I ran a veggie restaurant in Soho in the early 80's I would often come to eat in Ravi Shankar for relaxation / inspiration / chats with the owner & the staff. If you like low salt / low oil content dishes please sure to mention this when you order. All that is missing for me is "masala chai made with soya milk" - perhaps if I remember to take some soya milk with me next time they will oblige me.

Pros: Consistently good food, Great atmosphere, A relaxing place

Cons: Can be very busy, mid-evening especially, Friday & Saturday.

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great bhel puri - Edit

Never had a bad meal here, the indian street snacks are great and we have always had excellent and prompt service and the waiters and owner are very friendly and always have a laugh and joke with us, like making 'chilli pepper tea' for my boyfriend and making a line in the bhel puri so we dont fight over who got the bigger half! a whole bhel puri tends to fill you up so have to share or else not manage anything else!

Pros: nice staff, good food, cheap

Cons: toilet

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