Review: Saravana Bhavan (Saravanaa Bhavan) Southall
One of the newest restaurant branches of the popular South Indian vegetarian food chain, Saravana Bhavan (or Saravanaa Bhavan) Southall opened in June 2012 with Ealing Southall MP Virendra Sharma as its guest of honour.
The seven-month old restaurant at the “Glassy Junction” building near Southall station is refreshingly more spacious and luxurious than other Saravana Bhavan branches in London with a neutral decor.
Food: The smell of fresh, ghee-roasted dosas and vadas and sambar is overpoweringly tempting. While the menu includes a wide range of food including Indo-chinese noodles and sizzlers and north Indian sabzis, kulchas and biryanis, Saravana Bhavan Southall scores on the authentic southern specialties such as dosas, idlis, upmas, pongal, bisibelebath, medhu vadas and of course the filter coffee.
You are spoilt for choice with a wide variety of dosas including Mysore masala, rawa dosa, paneer dosa and so on. It caters to all sorts of palettes with dishes that are mild, medium or really, really spicy.
There is a good selection of wines and fruit juices too if you love a good drink with your food.
Service: The friendly staff and the welcoming atmosphere adds up to Saravana Bhavan Southall’s charm and it transports you straight to the brand’s branches in India. The steel jug of water and the jingling of steel cutlery contribute to a very Indian homely atmosphere.
Like in Saravana Bhavan Wembley, the staff members are very friendly and assist you with tips and honest recommendations.
The service is quick and food is piping hot and tastes fresh. Unlike other branches, the Southall layout is more generous with well-cushioned chairs and bigger tables.
Prices: Very affordable. You can eat to your heart’s content for £12 to £15. A generous meal for two wouldn’t cost a lot more than £25.
The upside: Great South Indian food at affordable prices and you don’t have to compromise on space or hygiene or noisy crowd! It is always busy but there is still plenty of privacy for everyone and there is no hurry to gobble your food quickly because people are queuing up outside for their turns, like other Saravana Bhavans in London.
The downside: Vegetarian food only (although for some, this may be an upside). There isn’t much choice when it comes to desserts. India News Bulletin would have loved to have more South Indian delicacies such as Mysorepak, coconut barfis, chakkara pongal and semiya payasam on the menu.
India News Bulletin hot tip: Order a plate of medhu vadas at Saravana Bhavan Southall. At £1.50 you get two good-sized crisp medhu vadas accompanied with coconut chutney and sambar. Filling and delicious starters at £1.50 – that’s real value for your money. And of course you must try the filter coffee served in stainless steel tumblers!
Saravana Bhavan's other UK branches are in East Ham, Ilford, Harrow, Tooting, Leiscester, and Wembley.
India News Bulletin pays for its meals and all its restaurant reviews are independent and unbiased.
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