Now this one may come as a surprise to write about, but it’s a real hidden gem in the city and I’m all about finding the best tasting food no matter where I end up. So how did I end up in the Indian YMCA? Well, I was intrigued with a colleague’s lunch and he told me how his dad uses to take him to the YMCA’s around London to eat. It’s no wonder this place has been around for over 60 years old.
I must admit the exterior of the Indian YMCA building wouldn’t give much thought but the food is damn amazing. It’s North Indian home cook style food in a canteen style hall where you queue up and grab what you like. I got carried away during my first visit and had way too much food. Each item is individually priced for ridiculously dirt-cheap. Papadam for only 35p curries from £1.60. Pilau rice £2.30 is a colourful affair; fragrant from cinnamon cloves and stocked that cooked the rice. Lamb curry £3.90 was plentiful of tender chunks of meat, and for once I can actually taste the different spices used in the curry and not be numbed by spice. Chapatti is great for soaking up the curry sauce from the bottom of the bowl. Onion bhaji is a bit on the dry side, but at this point, I couldn’t finish them.
Indian YMCA is loved by many Indian students and has a cult following alike longing for tastes of that home cook meal, and it fills that void. It’s budget friendly and can fill you up for under £10. So if you’re in the Warren Street, Fitzrovia area and need a low key, low fuss place to eat I recommend the Indian YMCA. (I’ve been back to try the chicken curry and mango lassi) Both are delicious!