37 Reviews / 39 Ratings
Amazing South Indian Thali
Lunch at Ramanayak's has always turned out to be a good experience for me. The place is a spartan, working class eatery serving home-style food at very reasonable prices and hence is immensely popular. There is always a huge queue, so it is better to arrive here in time. The place serves only set meals. There are two variants limited meal and unlimited meal, with dedicated sections of the restaurant for each. The limited meal consists of three veggies, two Phulkas, two vatis of Rice, a choice of Sweet, Papadum, Curd and Chaas. Unlimited Sambar, Rasam and Dal is available. This is priced at Rs. 80 and is extremely valuable for money. Anything extra is priced at Rs. 10 and coupons of the denomination could be bought beforehand to avoid delay between the meal. Any unused coupons are refundable. The unlimited meal is comprised of the above in unlimited quantity, the added charm being that the unlimited meal is served traditional style on banana leaves. We opted for the limited meal and were quickly escorted to our table. The meal was served in no time. A tray of various desserts available was brought out for us to make our choice. I tried the Kesari Shrikhand which was yum. It was a simple home-style nutritious meal which one can never get enough of.
Simple Wholesome Veg Food
went there last week. its simple no-frills food. had the unlimited thali 3 sabji's ( simple tasting), hot chapatis ( the best part), sambar, rasam, curd, buttermilk, rice, papad ( good ones) and ofcourse choice of dessert. the wheat payasam was not to my liking (quite a watery consistency) but the shrikhand was yummmm. One should try such food just to break the monotony coz its just so simple. My only grouse the general ambiance of the place. their kitchen might be clean ( dint really venture there) however the place per say can do with a little perking up. Also the aprons worn by the servers who I'm sure have toiled hard throughout the day need not show all the food items handled by them ( literally).
First ever Udipi Restaurant in Bombay
A lot of people will anyways talk about the Food - so let me just talk about something else
This was the first Udipi Restaurant in Bombay. A Ramanayak wanted the blue collar worker who worked in Mills in good old Bombay to be able to afford food at this place and that is the reason why the food is not over priced over here.
The owners walk in the restaurant without Chappals, You can walk into their Kitchen to see how food is cooked, I don't think anyone even calls anyone a waiter over here - that might be a derogatory term.
Its the only place that i have where there is a printout which says - if you waste sambhar or rasam you have to pay a fine of 10 rs. That is primarily because a lot of people dont get to eat food, you should not waste any food.
Now when the philosophy is so touching and the morals are so upright, how can you not love this place :)
The food is simple and yet delicious. The Thali has pretty much everything that a South Indian Thali has - Rasam, Sambhar, Curry, 2 Sabji's , Rice, Curd, Buttermilk. They have an option of limited meal and unlimited meal. The unlimited meal is for 150 Rs. They give you an option to choose the desserts. Try the Kesari Shrikand in desserts along with the Thali
If you are a person who likes iconic places which serve good food and have great stories, then this is exactly the place where you need to go :)
Well you can't get a meal here for Rs. 12 but you can get it for Rs. 55. The Thali contains two Curries, Salad, Rasam, Sambhar, another Rasam, Rice and Chapatis. Each and every dish is perfectly prepared and hey, you can go and have a look at the kitchen too where it's made. Ask them for the Mango Shrikhand. It's well worth 20 bucks. And you need to collect coupons before the meal and then they serve you.
Ok this is the rival for manis..u get to see pure veg south Indian thali almost authentic as you get in south India..do they wash the plates? I think they do..taste of the food is good..Sunday crowd is mad..madder than thane local..good family restaurant if you have patience.try it once.
My alltime Sunday lunch place
Its my family's Sunday lunch place. Almost every sunday we have lunch here.
Quality of food- Very good
Money - cheap for the good quality, variety and quantity it provides.
Service - Excellent service. Caring owners.
They serve chapattis till 12 noon after which only puris available. [for all weight watcher].
Limited thali is enough for most people. You might want to take extra coupons for vegetables and appalam [the super tasty fried South Indian papad].
The rasam is personal favorite. Its one place i enjoy eating my green veges.
Reach by 12noon or you are bound to have waiting. Its very famous! You can take home a tiffin too.
Do try the South Indian paan without it the meal is incomplete.
bon appétit !
Simple Home Food - Great Experience
This restaurant was one of the pioneers of the Udipi Restuarants in Mumbai and specifically the Thali system of lunch/dinner. The idea was to provide wholesome, cheap vegetarian meal to one and all irrespective of caste and creed, which was a big problem prevalent then when this restaurant opened shutters. The founder was a follower & firm believer of Sane Gururji, a great socialist leader of the post-Independence Maharashtra. The teachings of Sane Guruji are displayed all along the walls to the restaurant.
It is so centrally located that you just cannot miss it. Walk out of Matunga Railway Station on the East side, lift your head up and look at the left side extreme corner, on the 1st floor is located A Ramanayaks Udipi Shri Krishna Boarding.
There are 2 sections in this restaurant, Limited & Unlimited.
In the Limited section, food is served in steel plates with many katoris. The Thali generally consists of 2 Vegetable preparations, 1 Sambar, 1 Rasam / Kadhi, 2 Chapatis, 2 mounds of Rice, 1 Sweet Dish, 1 glass of butter milk & 1 Appalam [Rice papad]. Needless to say the portion is restricted to what is served in your plate once except the Sambar. Try this Limited Thali if you dont have much appetite.
In the Unlimited section, the food is served on a green banana leaf but the menu is the same except that the helpings are unlimited as much as you can eat.
The food is cooked in a clean kitchen; there is a notice inviting patrons to visit the kitchen if they wish to. Wholesome and Tasty, it has a lot of coconut in most of the dishes since the cuisine is from Coastal Karnataka.
It is an experience in itself to eat simple, homely food in this world where restaurants are scrambling to dish out new recipes to its customers every week/month. No wonder the queue outside this restaurant ever ceases to end.
All this at not very expensive Price tag.
Totally Love this Place
The thali is served on a banana leaf in the unlimited section. It's so charming and great to go with friends to eat such freshly prepared food together. I have been many times. I always want to come back just a day or two later, which I think really recommends a restaurant.
Simple but delicious
While the walk up to A. Ramanayak seems a lil like entering a seedy back alley poker place, the whole atmosphere changes the minute you get to the first floor. Around lunch time, there usually is a line of people waiting to enter. The process is simple really, buy a ticket and sit down wherever there is space.
While I didnt have the appetite for the unlimted thali, the limited one also seemed like more than I could handle. Light, slightly sour buttermilk, empty thalis and a choice of dessert is what appeared first.
What I liked: The simple food, the truly fuss free atmosphere, the no-nonsense waiters
What I didnt: Most of the vegetable dishes that were prepared and served that day seemed to be root vegetables. The entry to the place isn't the easiest to find. The washing up area is wet and you need to have your own tissues for your hands.
It is prob difficult to find a better VFM deal that this one. The food is plenty and the service super fast. What was nice also was the jovial atmosphere while eating amongst a bunch of strangers. Never saw that coming.
What you should try here: The papads, chas, rasgullas and delicious but spice laden rasam (I had to force myself to stop gulping down bowl fulls).
This is my favourite adda for lunch whenever I go to Mumbai. Its a complete package of meals resembling the one from Dakshin Kannada starting from the quality of food to the higenity of the place. The food is not too heavy also if you do not opt for extra coupons :-) All that takes in 15 minuted for each for finishing the food plate means. So waiting time is also relatively less. Overall, its a best buy.
Used to be Great VFM - Not so Much now
In March 2011 per plate Unlimited Thali was for around 80 or 90 If I Recall correctly. These days its 140 ( Lats I visited) Steep increase in price has happened, but the quality etc is the same, somewhat gone down a bit as well.
Very rarely do you find unlimited Thali places in Mumbai. This one is a winner if you are on an empty stomach and want to eat your heart out ;)
Coming to the dishes served in the Unlimited Thali :
The Sambhar is excellent and Rasam is very good. But the sabjis and curries are a bit bland for my liking. The Pooris are very oily, Chapatis are good. Rice is Okay. Curd is perfect.
The service at times is slow and they take a while to respond to your need.
The Location is also very convenient as is just outside Matunga Station ( On Central Main Line)
Now since I am half Kannada my family has been visiting this place since my childhood. Since then I love the food here and the quality and quantity thali has not changed at all over the years.
The place is very simple place with an outer waiting area and the inner huge dining area where you have tables in rows like a typical setup and you just go there, have food and leave. No lingering around the tables coz there is usually a lot of people waiting.
The food is a typical thali which consists of the regular fare that any kannada/south indian thali might have. Just that the taste is awesome and you just can't get enough of it. Especially love their saar and the papads!
Service is quick and no-nonsense types. They serve you and that's it. Very less communication, but it is hardly required since they do everything right.
The best part about this place is that it is dirt cheap! For the kind of food you eat, you might end up paying a lot more elsewhere. However, at Rama Nayak's it's not the same. So anyone and everyone can come for a good wholesome meal here. That's what I love about this place :)
JUST GO THERE
Pardon me for the caps in the review title. If you want to try authentic veg Udipi/Kannada food, there is literally no other choice in Mumbai. The staff may seem rude but in reality, they are just frank and genuine.
When we went there, the manager/owner asked us whether we are coming for the first time. When we said yes, he said, "Do not even look at the other section. Just proceed to the thali section". And he was right. They serve unlimited thali with great food. We weren't able to get up after we finished.
Rude and arrogant staff ... avoid it !
We landed up around 2:30 pm in the Matunga area and Cafe Madras was overfull ... as usual. Our sheer bad luck that they were not even taking names for waiting :-( Rather than travel anywhere else, we decided to try the joints in the area and landed up at Udipi. The staff at the entrance told us that we have to wait as the place was full which was okay ...
After 5 mins when I checked "how long will it take", the person just rudely told me "No Lunch" ... when I politely asked what he meant, he just very rudely said "no lunch now, only snacks available" wthout even bothering to look at us. When I told him that I asked him how long will it take, the same irritated response that 10-15 mins.
We decided to leave rather than visit this joint where people don't even have the basic decency of how to speak with customers. Just avoid it and go to Cafe Madras or even Cafe Mysore / Anand Bhawan.
sorry state of this famus hotel
I had heard so much about this place but it is in a sorry state. the owner is indeed very plain faced . the place smells arrogance.
I went with my family at 9.30 pm . after waiting for 15 min got a seat and the service was pathetic. soon we realised that some dishes were not served to us- the waiter said it is finished. to top it up the waiter had the guts to say " ap ke nasib me hai ki rasam to mil rahi hai" you are lucky to get atleast Rasam.
soory Ramakrishna - it is not my Nasib - I am paying what so ever your charges are !!!!!!!!
believe me you success if it has to be sustained cant sustain on Nasib but work cultre and honesty.
have been frequent this place ever since I was like a 5 year old kid. I have seen prices of unlimited thali go up from like Rs.40 to Rs. 100 but the one thing that has remained constant is the quality and taste of food.
Just visited the place last tuesday and I run out of words to describe this place. The food is brilliant. Everything from the pickle to sambar and rasam is great. An unlimited meal will give you unlimited portions of 3 veg curries, Sambar, Rasam, buttermilk, chapatti and rice. You also get a small bowl of Curd and a sweet dish. Eat to your heart's content! If you feel comfortable have it on the plantain leaf and you are transported to another world.
Everytime I visit this place, a silent prayer goes out to the founder of this eatery. God Bless Him !
Best Udipi style rasam in Mumbai
I am a South Indian, no wonder I love and adore South-Indian food and what better place to enjoy some authentic South-Indian food than Ramanayak's Udipi. I have been visiting this place for a little over three years now and the quality of the food has never changed. Its top notch. The place is neat and clean and the hygiene is very well maintained. What I like best is the tomato rasam that they serve with rice on banana leaves on Sundays, its awesome. Yes, the tomato rasam is prepared only on Sundays, on other days you will find other variants of rasam prepared. The Rs. 95 unlimited thali is a steal of a deal and is immensely filling.
Watch out for their feasts, the days on which they prepare an elaborate feast(literally).
Their next feast, Founder's Day feast is on April 10, and for sure you will find me there.
Once upon a time, I entered what was hailed as the Mecca for South Indian food in Matunga. I stepped into the hallowed cave, to be welcomed by the smiling cave-keeper. He ushered us into snug sitting areas, where one could comfortably rub shoulders with one's companion and not be vilified for PDA.
The food arrived soon, steaming and aromatic.
Said my companion - One must be fair,
Tis yummy, this fare!
Said I - Veggies succulent with spice,
And the fluffiest, whitest rice,
His recipes must I poach,
Especially the sambhar with the ROACH!?
I squealed as I saw the creature, long since dead (the sambhar was too hot to survive through) The cave-keeper walked up.
Said he - Tis indeed very unfortunate
That used to be my favorite pet!
Well, he didn't say that, of course. (I just put it in coz it rhymed) But we returned, no refund, not even an apology (unless a regretful head-shake counts). It's not so much the food but the chap's arrogance that has put me off going back there. I'd recommend Mani's Lunch Home as a pretty good alternative, though!
Great Food # Value for Money
Yes, You will feel the place to be very awckward for a Eatery. You dont have a Table for 4 if U must sit together. This place is an absolute no frills Fill Ur Stomach with Healthy Food & yes it is one of the cleanest as well. U are also allowed to see their kitchen if u want. I would rather recommend the Limited Thali & buy additional coupons for any Extras you want. You will still not spend more than 50 bucks even if u have a good appetite.
For those who haven't heard the acronym, Keep It Simple, Stupid. And that's exactly what ARUSKB does. The pre-revolution established place is completely nondescript and hidden in an alley of an alley (if there can be such a thing); go up a flight of stairs in a run-down housing society, and you'll find the hallway leading to the udipi joint teeming with salivating simpletons. The concept is simple - pay Rs 85 up front for a token which buys you a "bottomless" banana leaf - yes, your plate, a banana leaf, will never again know what it means to be untainted. One can expect to be served some pickle, a dash of salt (in case you need it), three distinct sabjis, and unlimited rotis. Next, you'll have your choice of one of a half a dozen sweet items (srikand, gajar ka halwa, doodhi ka halwa, rasgulla, and gulab jamun were the choices the day we were here). Finish off with rice, if the belly dares allow.
Personally, I found the food to be incredibly healthy - couldn't taste or find an ounce of oil or grease in my food. Yes, two of the sabjis did have grated coconut in it, so if that is not your cup of tea, then beware - but dude, you're going into an udipi joint, there ain't no paneer here for miles.
The place gets very crowded, and don't be surprised if you're seated next to a complete stranger; one who might be taking the authenticity thing a bit too far, eating with their hands, feet, and whatever else he can use. But if you go in a group, you can be assured to sit together. I'll definitely be back here.
A different experience...
I was forced by a Konkani friend to eat at this place. When I reached there, I was a bit hesistant looking at the size of crowd on Sunday. It was also a consolation because it proved that these guys must be good... and good they were.
First of all, don't go in expecting smiling service. The guys (in lungis) serving you are there to feed you and feed you only. They will come, dump some food and move out. You will have to shout to call them again. It goes with the theme of the restaurant. Probably that's why you dont tip. ; )
The restaurant is a typical pay-sit-eat-burp-leave type of a place. You can't sit across each other and talk. You basically go there for the food and that's it. The food is rich in terms of quality and quantity. You will have to each what they serve with two options of a sweet dish.
Absolute value for money.
Overall: 4 on 5.
Well, my review is going to be a little different from the rest. Walked in for lunch, there was a bit of a waiting and i was fairly excited about trying something different.
it was 70 bucks for the unlimited thali. Now we got seated and were lucky to sit together, got the banana plantain and they served us with yogurt, buttermilk, pickle,salt, rasam, sambar and three veggies (potato based, cabbage and something else) you get puris and rice, some pappad and 1/3 sweets.
Overall the service is slow, the place is crowded and its weird because people will be watching you eat, waiting for you to finish so they can have the seat. Fairly mercenary but i don't mind that, when it comes to food i am fairly militant.
however the sad thing is the food was not up to the mark.the veggies were weak, devoid of taste and all tasted way too different for any harmony. The butter milk was pungent and strong, almost like it was fermented.
The sambar was fairly tasty but the rasam was pretty disappointing.
Also, the food is cooked in coconut oil, a lot of people here are used to groundnut oil or olive oil at the most. Coconut oil, for me is a fairly vile thing.
Overall, i get the sort of ambiance and set up it is, i have no problem but it only works if the food is superlative which it really is not(will remind people of Bhagat Tarachand, another place i don't go anymore after i got very sick from the food)
Damage was 280 for 4.
The Best South Indian food ever
I am a big fan of south Indian cuisine. Being a punjabi, me and my mother have never grasped the fine art of making sambhar or rasam. No matter how hard I try and use the correct ingredients and species...south Indian food never tastes the way it does at my best friend's place, where I used to live almost every other day.
And then my friend got married and moved to the US. The only alternative Ieft for me was to search for a restaurant which served authentic south Indian food. And my search took me to A RamaNayak's bang outside Matunga station.
I used to always see this restaurant passing through Matunga station and think of it as a shady joint...however I decided to give it a shot after reading about it in 'The Times Good Food Guide'. So I convinced my friend to take me to the restaurant. He is impatient and hates queues and that was the first thing we saw when we reached the restaurant. After glaring at me for a few minutes and waiting forever we finally managed to get a seat on one of the benches.
Soon a banana leaf was kept in from of us and for the next 2 -3 minutes there was an onslaught of pickles, papad, puri, sambhar, rasam and some sabzi on our plate. It was a little difficult to ensure that all the things that were put in front of us stay on the rice plate....
The food was awesome..I ate like it was going out of fashion. Obviously the unlimited helpings helped. For 150 bucks we ate to our stomach and hearts content. I would strongly recommend this restaurant to all south Indian food lovers. It is a great experience in itself sitting with so many people and gorging on the heavenly food.
The best Banana Leaf treat!
The experience of eating with your hands from a Banana Leaf is, to say the least, difficult- what with your fingers moving in one direction and the Rasam moving in the other! But, by the time you finish, one feeling endures- "This is the best Southee meal I have had"..
There is always a queue- Let it not overpower you. Wait it out and it is really worth it!
the most amazing traditional southie food
I have been a regular here for past 7 yrs or so.........TRUST me its simply scrumtious food ........excellent food served in very traditional way on banana leaf , good hygiene and yes in my opinion go for unlimited food .......
oh ya it doesn't burn a hole in ur pocket......a mere 60 bucks.
it's akin to guj. thali type .......simply everything......
you ought to try this one out.............
Authentic South Indian Food....
The unlimited Thali is the best...served on the traditional banana leaf..You can finish your meals in 20 mins as the service is very quick...only the long queue can can you down as the waiting time can be as long as an hour....Most disciplined management and great food....