Out of India, but with a number of branches firmly established in London, the Woodlands chain is a trusted purveyor of home-cooked, south Indian vegetarian food. Simple, pleasant decor fits with an uncomplicated ethos that favours health without getting too virtuous: most of the wines are organic or biodynamic, & vegan/Jain eaters have stacks of options. Start with idli (steamed rice & lentil ‘pillows’) with sambar & coconut chutney or a poori crackling with puffed rice, before sampling the famous dosas (rolled lentil & rice pancakes) & uttappams (lentil ‘pizzas’) with gloriously spiced fillings. All manner of veggie curries find their way onto the thalis, & puffy bhatura bread makes an impressive accompaniment. The introduction of a tandoor oven & more northerly dishes (including paneer & mushroom tikka) has been warmly received.
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