Rasa Travancore

London, N16 0NB ·Website·Call020 7637 0222

SquareMeal Review of Rasa Travancore

Shocking-pink & maroon are Rasa’s team colours – a visually arresting signature for this ever-expanding group, which now spreads its message way beyond the confines of the capital. Founded in 1994 to open up the fascinating world of Keralan regional cuisine, this dimly lit, incense-tinged branch is still reckoned to be the pick of the bunch. Prices are low, & the meat-free options are zesty enough to convert the most diehard carnivores. Meals always begin with extraordinary homemade pickles & crunchy snacks, before pitch-perfect dosas, deep-fried plantain slices, bold but subtly spiced curries, & specialities ranging from tomato-based thakkali to beetroot cheera pachadi with yoghurt, roasted coconut & curry leaves. Finish in ceremonial style with pal payasam (rice pudding with cashews & raisins).

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £30 - £49


56 Stoke Newington Church Street, London, N16 0NB

020 7637 0222 020 7637 0222


Opening Times

Mon-Sun 6-10.45pm (Fri-Sat -11.30pm)


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2 Reviews 

Elaine M

05 January 2013  
Food & Drink 2.5
Service 2.5
Atmosphere 3
Value 2.5
Having recently moved to the area and read great reviews about Rasa, we decided to try it out. The vegetarian restaurant was full so we headed over to the meaty side of the street, which was also busy but we managed to get a seat. Being a bit of a clean freak, I was a bit put off by the random hair stuck inside my menu and by the maitre d' comstantly coughing into his hand and then serving food. We had a mixed platter of chutney, pickles and poppadom-type snacks to start followed by a lamb and chicken curry. I was a bit disappointed by the food – the chicken curry tasted very buttery but with none of the flavour I had hoped for and the lamb was way too hot despite us having asked for a medium dish. The waiter was courteous and attentive but service was too timid – there's no point in asking if the food is ok unless you can deal with a negative answer. All in all, a bit disappointing and I've had much, much better Indian food We will try the vegetarian restaurant next time though as the menu looked very interesting.

Rich M

09 October 2011  
Food & Drink 3.5
Service 3
Atmosphere 3
Value 4.5
Stoke Newington favourites for many years, I was keen to try one of the outposts of South Indian restaurant Rasa. Specialising in Keralaite cuisine and particularly that from the southern part of the region, it's traditionally vegetarian or fish based, steeped in coconut, rich spices and fruit flavours and served with plain rice or flaky, butter filled parathas. The two restaurants face each other across Stoke Newington Church Street; Rasa on one side, the more established and entirely vegetarian original and the mixed and more meaty Rasa Travancore on the other. I don't mind a vegetarian restaurant, indeed, some of my favourite restaurants are vegetarian, but given the choice, and seeing the reception that the veggie end of the Travancore menu got from my more health aware guest, we went for the meaty side of the street. Once inside the garish pink portal, you're not transported to a open air joint on the humid Kerala coast, more a generic curry house on a suburban high street. The thick faux leather menu that clumps down does its best to get you there though. First there's the pricing, and that pleasant holiday sense of surprised “how much!”. Then there's the list of food, rich in interesting difference, a world of exotic Malabar, Keralian and Travancore rarities poetically arranged in Ariel Bold. A starter of lamb puffs were slightly irrelevant. Homemade sausage rolls in perfectly fine pastry cocoons, the mince richly and appropriately spiced, but nothing that would be cause for more than a murmur appearing in a home packed picnic on nearby Clissold Park. The meat free Travancore Kayi Curry was, considering the restaurant's vegetarian roots and the fact it was labelled as signature dish, surprisingly pedestrian. Potatoes, peas and carrots in a thin mild coconut curry sauce. A student staple, though at £3.90 for a big bowl, student pricing too. Tharavu Roast Duck was a different beast altogether. A thick, technically dry curry, brought to life with a hefty whallop of black pepper, cardamom and ginger. The richness of the meat, braised and shredded, contrasted with the deep and complex sauce. Suggested with the aforementioned doughily delicious parathas, it was the sort of cooking you'd come back for again and again. I wouldn't necessarily say the same for the veggie main, but maybe that's what you cross the street for.
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