Recently, I was able to visit one of my favorite Indian restaurants, Saravanaa Bhavan in the Murray Hill neighborhood of Manhattan. There are so many Indian restaurants in this neighborhood that it is nicknamed, Curry Hill. On a weekday, I met a friend for lunch at Saravanaa Bhavan. In this neighborhood, most of the restaurants close for a couple of hours in between lunch and dinner service. So I timed our lunch incorrectly, the restaurant was about to shut its doors for the dinner set-up. But we were able to get a table as the last lunch customers before their afternoon closing. Yay!
Why Eat at Saravanaa Bhavan?
I chose Saravanaa Bhavan because it is a vegetarian restaurant and a great place to visit if you haven’t tried Indian food before. I chose a tiffin meal, which is usually a light lunch with a selection of small tastes to try lots of different things. Instead of going by suggestions you can taste everything for yourself. The lunch meals are usually served tiffin style. Traditionally, tiffins are little metal containers used to carry servings of food separately, the pre-plastic Tupperware. But at the restaurant, the plates are sectioned like the tiffins would be. It is usually what someone would make at home and send with a family member to work or school, in other words, comfort food mainstays. So it is great to get authentic food and for Indian food newbies.
What Did We Order?
I was super hungry and I ordered the Business meal which consisted of Poori, rice, sambar, dosa, rasam, poriyal, yogurt, papad, pickle and sweet. Ok, you might not know what all those words mean but it’s all good and I couldn’t finish it. The food ranged from mild to spicy, and if you are sensitive to spices the chefs will willingly make the food mild if you ask the waiter. I, however, love spicy food!
My friend Veziah, who was an Indian food newb asked me to order for her and I selected the Mini Tiffin which is a serving of rava khichadi, mini ghee idlies, mini masala dosa, and sweet. The sweets for both meals were Badam Halwa. She didn’t finish hers either, but she enjoyed her first time at an Indian restaurant.
Saravanaa Bhavan’s Atmosphere Is Great For Families, Girls Night or A Date
The restaurant, when I last checked is BYOB which isn’t a concern for me, but I haven’t been to dinner service in years so maybe that has changed. We were seated at a two person table, there were also dining tables of six and four pulled together for larger groups. During the day, the light is bright and inviting but at night it is candlelit and very intimate. The decor is sleek and ivory colored, different to the other brightly colored and festive looking restaurants in the area. The prices are a couple of dollars higher than most of the other vegetarian Indian restaurants in the area but I believe it is because Saravanaa Bhavan is a world-famous chain. But, I think the amount of food given with the lunch special is pretty reasonable. Saravanaa Bhavan is located at 81 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY, 10016.
Are you an Indian food newbie? If you’ve tried it, what is your favorite dish? Where is your go-to Indian restaurant? Tell me everything in the comments and we’ll keep the discussion going.
Until our next rendezvous…