Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Saravana Bhavan in Sunnyvale

Saravana Bhavan is a world-wide chain of South-Indian vegetarian restaurants that has become a household name with Indians everywhere. The restaurant has evolved over time, though it has maintained the same great quality and service. In its birthplace, Chennai, there are several branches, some specializing in Rajasthani food exclusively, some serving buffets all the time, and so on. Still, what Saravana Bhavan is famous for is good South-Indian fare like dosas, idlis, vadas, and full-course meals called "saappaadu".

The above logo in Tamil says "`Otel Saravana Bhavan (Uyarthara saiva uNavagam)", meaning, "Hotel Saravana Bhavan (High class vegetarian restaurant)". In India, sometimes, "hotel" is used interchangeably with "restaurant".

When the yen for dosa strikes us, we usually prefer to go to Dosai Place in Santa Clara. It is mainly because of the never-ending crowds that swarm to Saravana Bhavan no matter when you go. It is also slightly more expensive than Dosai Place. However yesterday we headed over to SB to get our dosa fix.

We ordered the "Veggie pakodas" for starters. They arrived fairly quickly and even though they were a bit soggy, they tasted pretty good with the hot sauce.

For the main meal, V ordered the "Dry Fruit Rava Masala Dosa" and I ordered the "Tomato Onion Uthappam". V's "Dry Fruit Rava Masala Dosa" arrived sans masala but the waiter quickly brought us a dish of masala. It was very nutty with a lot of cashews and raisins. My "Tomato Chili Uthappam" was just okay - not as flavorful as I thought it would be.

We finished off with a cup of hot Madras coffee which is a special kind of latte with frothy foam on top served in a stainless steel cup & saucer. Hmm... that just hit the spot!!
The bill came to around $30 with tax and tip. I would go back again despite the crowds just for the coffee!


A Virtual Vegetarian said...

I've been here a couple of times and found the food to be on the spicy side and way too crowded.

VnV said...

Virtual Vegetarian - I agree with you on the crowds! We rarely go there for that reason. also I read some unpalatable news about the owners recently which makes me never want to go there again.

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