Indian YMCA, W1T 6AQ
- 020 7387 0411
- 1 Fitzroy Square, W1T 6AQ
- Mon-Fri: 7:30am-9:15am, noon-2pm, 7pm-8:30pm; Sat/Sun/Bank Hol: 8am-9:30am, 12:30pm-1:30pm, 7pm-8:30pm
Youth hostel near Tottenham Court Road, with a dining room open to non-residents for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, seven days a week.
It's definitely canteen style, with long communal Formica-topped tables, bright lighting, and large windows looking out onto the street. However, the chairs are upholstered and relatively comfortable. The food is self-service, and you're also expected to clear away after yourself once you've finished.
Both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food is served, and the options generally consist of curry, cooked veg, dal, rice, and a simple dessert (e.g. ice cream or tinned fruit).
Bec visited for lunch in February 2008. I arrived at 12:45pm, around halfway through the lunch service, as I'd been warned that the food may run out if you leave it too late. I had pilau rice for £1.50, a curried cabbage dish for £1.40, a bowl of very soupy and very tasty dal for £1, and a small plate of salad for 30p.
Kake visited for breakfast on a Monday Bank Holiday in April 2018. The dining hall was about half full when I arrived a little after 8:30am, but this was mostly due to a large school trip that departed shortly afterwards. No music was playing.
Breakfast (£5) consisted of a help-yourself bowl of rice crispies, a make-your-own-toast station (seemingly with white bread only), and a hot station with a chef serving out chapathis and a bowl of coconut chutney to go with them photo. Urns held tea and coffee, with the tea at least already mixed with milk. The chapathis were soft and fresh, and the chutney nicely savoury with just a touch of chilli heat. The tea was relatively strong, and neither spiced nor pre-sweetened.
Kake's verdict: I probably wouldn't come back for breakfast, due to the lack of choice, but I'd definitely give it a go for lunch or a quick dinner.
Accessibility: Several steps in at the front entrance, with no handrail. There is a ramp to an entrance round the side, but this entrance is to the residents-only part of the building. In any case, once you're in the dining hall, there are steps to the hand wash basin and about half the seating. Toilets are on the floor below, down a staircase with a sturdy handrail and a bend in the middle.
- Photo of the price list and lunch menu as of April 2018
- Time Out review
- London Cheap Eats review
- London Curry Addicts review from 2006
- Londonist article
- Malcolm Wilkins' review from 2006
- Skinny Bib review (scroll down)
- Tamarind And Thyme review
- Yelp comments