London, SE15 5DF ·Website ·Call020 7277 2928

SquareMeal Review of Ganapati

Be prepared to share a table at this small, colourful south Indian restaurant, whose reputation for superb Keralan cooking draws visitors from across London. Backed by a tiny courtyard garden surrounded by banana trees, Ganapati is a surprising oasis on a residential street in Peckham. Everything is made from scratch, including chutneys that zing with the flavours of fresh lime, mango & tomato, & the most buttery of warm parathas. For a tropical treat, try the aromatic crab thoran, stir-fried with ginger, coconut, onion & spices. Also popular are the thalis: small dishes of curries, pickled vegetables, rice & other accompaniments served in metal bowls & presented on a banana leaf. The decent drinks list includes chilli-friendly wines (several from India), beers, & palate-cleansing lassis.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £30 - £49
Alfresco And Views
Outside seating
Food Hygiene Rating

Ganapati is featured in

Location for Ganapati

38 Holly Grove, London, SE15 5DF

020 7277 2928


Opening Times

Tues-Fri 12N-2.45pm 6-10.30pm Sat-Sun 12N-10.30pm (Sun -10pm)

Reviews of Ganapati

Share your thoughts with other diners

Write a review

1 Review 

Helen L

31 August 2015  
Food & Drink 3
Service 3.5
Atmosphere 4
Value 4
Cheap and cheerful, but do the cult curries live up to the hype?
Reviewers go bananas for Ganapati, so we were over-excited about visiting. We immediately liked the look of the place; the interior is decked out in vibrant colour and a vast banana tree looms over the conservatory, while a sea of thali dishes spreads as far as the eye could see. We squeezed onto a tiny table beneath a row of brass elephants and a picture of Ganesh, soaking up the nu-hippy vibes (so much so that I regretted changing out of my yoga pants). Our waitress was infectiously zen, even when a glass went flying; the poor culprits were a couple shoehorning themselves into the minuscule space beside us. Admittedly I wasn’t convinced by the cocktails - the signature Ganapati Elixir was eyewateringly heavy on the ginger - but the wine list was on the money for spicy cuisine. The Woollaton Riesling (£28) admirably tackled the occasional sources of heat, with a winning combination of floral elegance and low ABV. The menu sidesteps traditional curry house classics - no bhajis or bhunas here! - in favour of more authentic fayre and cleaner cooking. The homemade pickles delivered a refreshing jolt to the tastebuds, and the parathas were certainly something to shout about; like vast, crumbly cinnamon whirls of joy. So imagine our surprise when the curries didn’t stand out as special, and lacked the awe-inspiring dimensions of flavour we’d come to expect. Though tempted by several intriguing vegan dishes, I plumped for peas paneer masala; it was alright, but I’ve enjoyed better on nearby Lordship Lane. Iddukki curry with tender chunks of lamb was hot (as billed) and proved the favourite, but was also a bit… well, ordinary. The condiments were far more interesting, as little pots of thoran (Keralan dry curry) and carrot pickle combined to gorgeous effect. Ganapati has been showered with such praise that we briefly wondered whether we’d chosen unwisely… but clearly said dishes shouldn’t have made the menu if that’s the case. Given the inconsistent impression our mains left, I’d order street snacks or a thali next time.
Book a table

Call Ganapati to make a booking on:

Visit their website

Other restaurants we like near Ganapati



Frank's Café

Frank's Café

Mike's Peckham

Mike's Peckham



Check availability
Back to restaurant
Complete your booking

Book Ganapati for people on at .

Select a special offer

These offers are optional, and there's no commitment.

Error adding booking details, please try later.

First Name is required field
Last Name is required field
Email Address is required field
Phone Number is required field
Diner First Name is required field
Diner Last Name is required field

By clicking 'complete booking' you agree to the SquareMeal User Agreement