Indian restaurants can have a difficult job to make themselves stand out. Yatri, based in a slightly odd location in the no man’s land between Euston and King’s Cross stations, overcomes this challenge by introducing diners to the cooking of the north-west regions of India, meaning that is doesn’t serve the run-of-the-mill curry house menu you can find on pretty much every London high street.
Yatri has gone for a rather minimalist look with stripped wooden tables, small flashes of exposed brickwork, a brightly lit bar down one side of the room and antique bulbs hanging from above. The look creates a relaxed ambience which is further helped by laid-back staff.
Get a plate of the miniature disco poppadoms and sauces to snack on whilst you peruse the menu and you’ll quickly discover that Yatri likes its spice. The starters have a street-foody feel to them; the bhel puri chat balanced the crunch of puffed rice with gently spiced chickpeas, and then the tang of tamarind added a little sharpness. We particularly enjoyed the tandoori prawns, which were wonderfully tender and lathered in a spicy marinade.
Whilst the main courses didn’t quite live up to the promise of the starters, the railway chicken had the pleasant addition of potatoes hiding in the coconut-based curry sauce, and the paneer butter masala was a delightfully indulgent dish. The peshwari naan must also get a mention – crisp on the outside and fluffy within, it was the ideal implement to mop up any remaining dregs of curry.
Camden Hells, served on tap and priced very reasonably for the area at £5, is the ideal accompaniment to a fiery meal. Yatri manages to keep its prices all very modest making it a great option if you want a quick, inexpensive meal near King’s Cross.