Contributed by Anna Scott:
I may not belong to a family of vegetarians, far from it, in fact – all of us love a good steak or roast chicken as much as the next carnivore. Which is why it might come as a surprise to hear, that in our favourite local restaurant, you might encounter a bit of difficulty when searching the menu for a medium rare steak. If the thought of vegetarian food sends you running to the nearest burger joint, then please hear me out – this is vegetarian food, but not as we know it. Sagar, on King Street in Hammersmith, specialises in cuisine from the region of Western Ghats in Southern India, and believe me, all memories of meat will be banished once you tuck into one of their superb lentil pancakes.
I’ve visited on many occasions, when my children were very tiny and, more recently, not-so-tiny, and the staff are always friendly, courteous and clearly used to having kids around. But let’s talk about the food – the soft and delicious Idli (steamed rice dumplings) are a particular favourite with my four year-old, served with a coconut chutney and rather fiery lentil samber (although this might be more for the adults to enjoy). My pick has to be the delicious Mysore Masala Dosa, a rice and lentil pancake filled with delicately and expertly spiced onion, potatoes and carrots. Absolutely mouth-watering. And who can say no to a mango lassi or pistachio Kulfi ice-cream? Certainly not my children. A family meal here is exceptionally good value for money, with most starters under £4 and mains under £8, all the more reason to indulge in those little extras – a special shout-out has to go to the Batura, a temptingly aerated, fluffy fried bread that is always the perfect accompaniment to our meals.
And as much as I usually enjoy my meaty treats, I have to admit, every time we visit Sagar, I never dwell on its absence. This is a restaurant for food lovers, not just vegetarians.
Sagar is located at: 157 King St, London W6 9JT
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