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London - Good Pakistani lunch options at Raavi Kebab, Euston

klyeoh May 18, 2013 03:58 PM

This unassuming little Pakistani restaurant serves up some of the best kebabs in London. Located on Drummond Street near Euston station, it's got better ambience than Lahori Nihari, Needoo Grill and those other Pakistani spots out in East London.

Lunch today consisted of:

- Seekh kebab (charcoal-grilled minced lamb), served with yoghurt-mint sauce and fresh-cut onions and cucumbers. The kebab consisted of roughly-chopped lamb with onions and spices - Raavi's rendition was excellent, though it still did not match up to Lahori Nihari's.

- Chicken tikka (grilled marinated boneless chicken): pretty average, not particularly outstanding.

- Nihari (lamb shank stew): tongue-searingly spicy. Probably the most tender lamb shank I'd ever had for a long time - the lamb pieces fell apart at the merest touch of my fork. In Pakistan, nihari stews are customarily left to simmer over low heat overnight, or about 8 hours, and would be ready in time for breakfast. The version here is predictably less oily than the super-rich version in Pakistan - gladly so, since I'd found the overly-greasy version I encountered in Karachi almost umpalatable. Raavi's rendition is good, though I wished they'd made it more gingery and aromatic (cardamom?) as the versions in Tayyab or Needoo Grill.

- Peshawari naan: topped with chopped nuts and slightly sweet - a perfect foil for the nihari.

Raavi has (much) more personable service than Tayyab, Needoo Grill or Lahori Nihari - we're made to feel very welcome from the start.

Address details
Raavi Kebab Halaal
123 Drummond Street
London NW1 2HL
Tel: +44207388 1780

  1. h
    Harters Jun 24, 2013 10:23 AM

    Well, the Raavi was open this lunchtime. However, we were a bit pushed for time so opted for a quick grab at the veggie buffet at the next door Diwani. Fairly decent for buffet.

    Also eating there was the 1990s Secretary of State for Health, Frank Dobson. Not really even a one-pointer sleb spot.

    1. zuriga1 May 21, 2013 05:23 AM

      You have been talking so much about Indian street food, that I may try this place tomorrow for lunch after a trip to the British Museum.


      1 Reply
      1. re: zuriga1
        klyeoh May 21, 2013 07:02 AM

        Do post back your experience, June.

      2. zuriga1 May 21, 2013 04:47 AM

        I'm keeping this place in mind for when we need to have a follow-up visit at hospital for my husband. It's nearby! I live vicariously through all your dinners and lunches out when you're in London.

        1. k
          Kalivs May 21, 2013 01:08 AM

          Sounds like you had a great meal! The pictures make me jealous

          1 Reply
          1. re: Kalivs
            klyeoh May 21, 2013 03:09 AM

            Really good food, Kalivs - for any better, you'll need to do Lahori Nihari. But Raavi has got infinitely better ambience.

          2. h
            Harters May 20, 2013 09:13 AM

            I've tried, at least twice, to lunch here (on howler's recc about the kebabs) and both times it's been shut. Which has pissed me off as, both times, I'd been looking forward to it, all the way down the West Coast Mainline.

            Both times, I've then ended up at the veggie buffet place a bit further down Drummond Street. Which actually isnt too bad - for a buffet. Name escapes me just me.

            6 Replies
            1. re: Harters
              Kavey May 20, 2013 09:41 AM

              Aah, someone else booked last time I went, as we had a group. Were they meant to be open according to their open times then? That always pees me off.

              1. re: Harters
                howler May 20, 2013 09:55 AM

                looks like they've refurbished the place - its now air-conditioned (!) or so says the front - come try it next time you are in the area.

                incidentally, you ought to go pick up some frozen parathas and some frozen dishes at pataks, a few doors down. these are getting to be remarkably acceptable .. certainly you'll make yourself a much tastier meal than any curry house in a few minutes at a fraction of the cost. fwiw, my son is addicted to the chilli parathas.

                1. re: Harters
                  klyeoh May 20, 2013 10:55 PM

                  Harters, were you referring to Chutneys? I walked past it after my lunch at Raavi.

                  Anyhow, try calling ahead before you journey down again - Raavi's supposed to be open 7 days a week.

                  I loved their kebabs, but they did not have the shami kebab - which I think is more Pakistani, whereas Raavi (from its name, at least) seems Indian-Punjabi-owned.

                  1. re: klyeoh
                    howler May 21, 2013 12:50 AM

                    no, he means raavi. it was closed for refurbishment for a while.

                    raavi is pakistani allright - its the name of one of the five rivers that punjab is named for (land of the five rivers). and shammi kebabs are as much indian as pakistani.

                    1. re: howler
                      klyeoh May 21, 2013 01:48 AM

                      howler - I was referring to the vegetarian buffet place at Drummond Street which Harters ended up in both times when he couldn't get into Raavi.

                      BTW, there's a sign at Chutneys which said bhel-puri is offered there - street snacks!

                      1. re: klyeoh
                        Harters May 21, 2013 04:39 AM

                        Chutneys! That's the place.

                2. Kavey May 20, 2013 09:11 AM

                  Oh, I remember a tasty meal here last year, no wait, probably year before. Ought to head back, thanks for reminder.

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