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9 & 17 Nov 2023 and 12 Jan 2024: SKVP - Streets ahead


You may not realise it, but quite a few restaurants in the Tooting curry scene are part of 'chains' or at least have other locations under the same branding. More recently Chai Wala has joined the high street near the Bec end, whilst Spice Village, Mirch Masala, Royal Mahal, and Watan all have sister locations. Saravanaa Bhavan also claims to be the world's no.1 Indian vegetarian restaurant chain. So it's no surprise to see another chain open up in SW17. This time it's another Indian vegetarian outlet, but with a street food twist.  

Shree Krishna Vada Pav, or SKVP to go by its initialism, is found on the Mitcham Road opposite the end of Franciscan road. As such it provides a nice lunchtime meet up for me and Spellins. It also has several other locations across London and the Midlands so must be doing well.

Having now visited on three separate occasions, it's time to give it a proper review.


You can't really miss SKVP, especially at night; it literally has its name up in lights against a tangerine orange backdrop. And there's a sense of theatre within, not least from the curtained widescreen TV on the wall showing Bollywood movies. The on-screen dancing reflects the energy exuded by the rest of the on-wall displays including Mumbai street scenes, and an origin story of the restaurant and its two founders, all admidst splashs of bold yellow, sky blue, purple and orange. The sum is a fun, warm and welcoming eatery with a good number of covers providing adequate, leather-cushioned seating for around 20 or so patrons. Casual dining is the order of the day and at lunchtime there is often quite a busy buzz about the place as locals seek authentic chai and street food snacks. As one lady put it to me: "I don't have to go to Wembley anymore" to get good Indian street food. And, as some writing on the wall asks why "Tooting?", the answer is always for the best sub-continental fare.


Sides and starters

Vada Pav

Samosa Pav

Sabudana Vada

Samosa Plate

Across three visits you can try a good amount it turns out, even at lunchtime. With a slightly confusing but enticing menu there's certainly plenty on offer at SKVP. I'm not even going to try and decipher the structure of the menu here and, no doubt, my British ignorance would show in any case, but I know enough to say it's pretty unique for Tooting to see so many street food dishes in one place. In this respect, SKVP is true to its claim, with a host of snacks ranging from the commonly known samosa to a range of pavs, chaats, and puris, but all vegetarian.

Starting with the eponymous vada pav, this chunky deep fried potato dumpling inside a white bread roll is an Indian classic. Lined with a trio of chutneys including some firey chilli and tamarind flavours this is far from the ordinary sandwich it may appear to be. The samosa variant here packs a similar punch, albeit less neatly as the pyramidical shape struggles to fit into the sliced roll. Both are not to be missed, but the accompanying green chillies perhaps are after James likened his mouthful to a Vinnie Jones reducer. In general, the heat here is not for the faint hearted - if you can't stand it, stay out of the kitchen.

The samosa plate on its own was also a treat. These are proper samosas that come wtih a lovely chilli and coconut sprinkle, and a pool of cooling mint sauce. More unusual was the sabudana vada - three fried patties of sago (a type of starchy palm stem extract),  mashed potato and crushed peanuts, served with a yoghurt dip. Straight out of the deep fat fryer, this were molten - like a fresh McDonald's apple pie put in the microwave for 8mins - hotter than the sun! Temperature aside, they were also very chewy and stodgy and not one I'll be quick to try again, despite the yoghurt providing a little sweet relief.

In general, with the range on offer and top draw pav action, the street food 'sides' and small dishes here are not to be missed. It's therefore a very strong 8/10 for Starters and Sides.



Misal Pav

Dal Makhani

Paneer Makhanwala

Another unusual dish (for me at least), was the misal pav. Another pav (bread) accompanied dish, that came with two buttered and sliced white rolls. But, unlike the samosa and vada pav, the misal element is a spicy yellow pea curry topped with fried gram flour strands called farsan. This is akin to soup - a sort of Indian minestrone, if you will - making the bread a good vehicle for dipping in and mopping up the red sauce. A new meaning to a London 'pea souper'.

We also tried two other curries, the paneer makhanwala and daal makhani. The paneer makhanwala is a rich creamy tomato based curry containing soft paneer cubes. A little creamier than to my liking, it still had a unique flavour, and was enjoyable despite the sea of sauce slightly lacking in cheese. All curries here come with two parathas or rice, and we opted for the former. These excellent flatbreads weren't quite enough to clean up all the curry sauce, but were delicious, particularly with their superb lime pickle side.

But the pick of the curries was the dal makhani.  Not usually the biggest fan of this dish, I've finally realised why this is so popular, and no it's not becuase of the one on offer at Dishoom. Yes, you read that correctly, in my humble opinion, the black dal at dishoom is truly overrated, but it took the slow-cooked makahni at SKVP to validate this fact. This was the best of its kind that I've tried and housed a lovely warming heat to boot - far better than the often Mexican-style vibes I usually get from other imitators.

With the dal and paratha sides pushing up the scores it's another strong 8/10 for curry.



Despite appearances this is far from fast food. Yes, we weren't in any rush, but would expect a lunchtime fast-casual diner to serve relatively quickly. The staff will bring your order to the table (if seated), but expect a little wait. Likewise, don't expect all menu items to always be available as we've found out a few times now. Otherwise the dining area is kept clean and service usually comes with a smile, but the kitchen could perhaps do with one or two more employees.


Value For Money

There are various deals to take advantage of here, which do add to the confusion of the menu, but also to the value on offer from already quite cheap meals. The standard potato vada pav is very filling for its £2.50 price tag and the curries are sizeable, and include paratha, for their £7.95. Lunchtime has become very expensive in London in the last few years, but SKVP puts on a good show for VFM.



If you live in Tooting you simply have to give this place a try, not least to try something a little different from the norm. The volume of clientele highlights its popularity and co-diners with Indian roots speak to its authenticity. With the breadth of menu on offer there's always something new to try, something James and I will continue to do as we meet for lunch in the future. Working from home, can now feel like working from the streets of Mumbai with a short break at SKVP.



Address: 104 Mitcham Rd, London SW17 9NG

Cuisine: Indian Vegetarian

Status: Open​

Alcohol Policy: No-alcohol​

Price: £

Summary: Tooting's latest Indian chain serving authentic street food options

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