14 Reviews / 14 Ratings
This place has its own class the dosas and the sambhar vada is soo good . The prices are peaky but they provide quality food so one doesnt bother much about it . The place is at times crowded and we have to wait for quite a long time . Parking is available .
Pocket friendly Buffet
I am a die hard fan of the Saravana Bhavan Buffet. I go there specifically for the Sambar Rice! It is possibly the best I have had anywhere..
I used to frequent HSB T.Ngr for their buffets, until one fine day my friend said I should check out the Gopalpuram brancht. Thinking there is not gonna be much difference, I anyway decided to go there just for my friend.
The Gopalpuram place is much more spacious than its T.Ngr(Pondy Bazaar) sister. Also, i was suprised to see they had a slightly larger number of items on their buffet for the SAME price (330).
Here they also serve Dosas at your table ( dont know if they do that at the other place)
they have more than one variety of Tandoori bread- one plain and one stuffed. And more side dishes for the same.
one not so happy incident at the T.ngr outlet was when i asked for another ice cream and the waiter gave me this "oh yo are a glutton" look and said only one ice cream! I thought whats the purpose of a buffet then? Just one teeny tiny scoop of ice cream??!!!?? But he came back later and gave me one.
Bottom line is , for 330 bucks, its totally worth going here for the Yummiest Sambar rice and delicious curd rice (trust me, curd rice also is Delicious here)! :)
ps- we went on a Sunday, and after 12.30 there were so many ppl waiting that there was not place for ppl to wait outside, they just walked in and started eating desserts off the displays, STANDING and looking at you in a devilish manner.. So, get there soon if it is a weekend, yo can happily sit and give them back an evil contemptuous grin with a full stomach ;)
If Saravana Bhavan's trademark masala parotta (the awesome minced parotta tossed with masala) costs about 90 bucks in their A/c Mylapore restaurant, the same costs 114 bucks here (I'm sure there were other dishes with an equivalent or disproportionate difference). Why? No idea. Was it the faux silver plates and cutlery?
I will unconditionally admit that Saravana Bhavan is brilliant in their consistency of flavour across branches. They have an excellent variety of food and their service is quick. The Peters Road Ac restaurant is clearly their 'star' offering. But it's the same food that costs much lesser downstairs in the 'kaiyendhi' section or at other, less expensive branches.
We had mainly dosas - they come with about 5 varieties of chutney (the white one being the least interesting) and 1 cup of sambar. Served hot and crisp.
The sambar idly was good, although requesting for extra cups to share the dish was met with "How many cups do you need?" This was not said in a derogatory way, but hey, it's a table for four and the least you could do is bring four cups as a matter of courtesy when the sambar idli came in a serving dish. Some of us do observe the 'yechai/jhootha' concept and don't freely dip our spoons in a common dish.
The coffee came sloshed on the saucer - why not make it tumbler-davara instead of the ceramic teacup with saucer? The rest room was appalling. And the washbasin had a bucket of water with a finger bowl to be used if one dared to wash their hands. This was one place I regretted not having a hand sanitizer obsession.
Verdict: The above star rating is completely for the food and the air conditioning because the differentiator of service and ambience was totally not worth the extra money.
I'd rather go to the ground floor non-ac place, stand in the cacophony and humidity along with many others, and pay much lesser for the exact same dish served in stainless steel or plastic serving plates. Or I'll stay home and eat humble curd rice.
Though HSB thinks itself as custodian of South Indian food, in reality it is really crap. They do not not know what is south Indian cuisine. They simply charge heavily and cash on customer's sentiments. Their strategy has changed from INR rates to USD rates, So that is why that huge difference in bill. But they do not bother since gullible Indians are meant for cheating and that is the business mantra from them.
Delicious Buffet but not for Dieters
Well, One afternoon when I visited this place, it was too crowded and the manager suggested that we go one floor up and the buffet may not be crowded. yes, we did manage to grab seats.
Alas! I was taken a back for the variety and believe me it took us nearly two hours to eat because of the spread. I will give full marks for the taste and may be four stars for the service. The drawbacks about this place is the parking and ofcourse it is expensive and lacks variety other than south-india. So for once in a while having south indian, this place has no competition!
pocket empty :(
All the saravana bhavan outlets charge heavily. I had two sambar vadais and one medhu vadai in the Spencer's branch. do you know how much the bill was ? it was Rs 70.. guys, i really dont know why they charge this much heavy. the Government should surely act on this and make the prices low....
ithu thaan dosa/chutney
The only problem, i have, if any, is what to choose. I am at HSB, for their dosas, idlies, poori, and the likes. So, back to the choice, amongst this long list of south-indian stuff. Its always a tough choice, and i end up with some kind of dosa or dosai. Rava, Masala, Butter or some newer variant. If it is not Rava Dosai, then my instruction will include, soft dosai, not crisp like pappad.....
HSB has started speciality restaurants, and the one i am writing about specifically here is the one on Peters Road, Royapettah, called Swathi. Small place, but it can easily crowded..... With all the restaurants in the city, a lot of them seem to want to wander here......
Dosa for Paisa. Lots of it
This is possibly the only Saravana Bhavan I would rate 4/5. The rest are all 5/5. The food here is classic HSB, but my problem with this place is the price. It's a small, claustrophobic place that charges 90 bucks for a dosa and that is ridiculous.
This restaurant is HSB's attempt to create an upmarket restaurant that serves Idli with Ambience and Dosa with Decor, but with 300 sq foot of space (it looked like that) one cannot create ambience.
Taking South Indian food to the world
Saravana Bhavan is probably the most widely known South Indian restaurant with branches across India and abroad. Naturally, you can expect some great food here (Mixed Parota, Idli Sambar and Vada Sambar) being my favorites thus far. However, the extravagant price is what prevents me from giving it 5/5 - per head bill being Rs. 200.