A Lunch Rendezvous At Saravanaa Bhavan

Recently, I was able to visit one of my favorite Indian restaurants, Saravanaa Bhavan in the Murray Hill Map to Saravanaa Bhavanneighborhood 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!

Saravanaa Bhavan in NYC
Business Meal

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 in NYC
Mini Tiffin with a Mango Lassi

Saravanaa Bhavan’s Atmosphere Is Great For Families, Girls Night or A Date

Saravanaa Bhavan in NYCThe 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.

Rendezvous At Saravanaa Bhavan

Until our next rendezvous…



  47 comments for “A Lunch Rendezvous At Saravanaa Bhavan

  1. April 20, 2017 at 11:45 AM

    Now I know you would be an ideal lunch companion for me. If I didn’t know what to order, you would help me. Thank you ahead of time. That would be so much fun to have several bits of things for a meal.

    • April 20, 2017 at 11:49 AM

      Haha! You need help ordering Anne,then I’m here for you!

  2. April 21, 2017 at 7:05 AM

    And now I am hungry. Great post.

    • April 21, 2017 at 10:48 AM

      Thank you so much! I’m thinking about when I can go back.

  3. April 21, 2017 at 8:12 AM

    Still so much to explore at Curry Hill! This is a great place to start ??

    • April 21, 2017 at 10:49 AM

      True! I’ve only gone to a handful of restaurants and shops. I need to really make an effort to be there more often. ?✌

  4. April 21, 2017 at 6:07 PM

    I recently found out I LOVE indian food!! I would love to check out all your recommendations. I live in a small town with not a lot of options so when I get a chance to eat something different it is so exciting!! (Yes, I’m a foodie, lol!)

    • April 21, 2017 at 8:22 PM

      Variety is the spice of life. I love trying new types of food. Now I’m not into bizarre food, but different spices and techniques are all the way up my alley.

  5. April 23, 2017 at 11:07 PM

    Very cozy looking spot. Love the idea of the vegetarian! Though I would be much like your friend and have no idea what to order.

    • April 23, 2017 at 11:12 PM

      Thanks. She enjoyed it, but I knew her taste for the most part. So that made it easy to choose for her.

  6. April 24, 2017 at 6:31 AM

    We hope to go to New York this summer. I love Indian cuisine, especially vegetarian. So we’d be sure to check this one out for sure.

    • April 24, 2017 at 8:38 AM

      That’s wonderful! Summer is extra exciting here. I hope that you do get to visit it!

  7. April 24, 2017 at 10:36 AM

    I recently took an Indian cooking class and fell in love with the cuisine. When I ever get to the big city I’ll be sure to try this place out also along with the 2000 other things you have suggested :).

    • April 24, 2017 at 10:43 AM

      I’ll keep adding to the list, so that you’ll have a good time in the big city!

  8. April 24, 2017 at 12:39 PM

    This looks good, I love Curry Chicken. That and hot wings where my top cravings when I was pregnant.

    • April 24, 2017 at 1:37 PM

      You know what? I’m a fan of Japanese and Thai curry right now. And I love anything spicy! Does your baby have a mole that looks like a pepper? They say that happens when a pregnant woman craves a food all the time.

  9. April 24, 2017 at 1:21 PM

    I think this was a good,impartial and honest review. You wrote it in such a way as to make Indian food an adventure that needs to be undertaken!

    • April 24, 2017 at 1:38 PM

      Thank you very much. I really appreciate the compliment. I try to make it feel like you’re with me or make you want to do it for yourself, when you can.

  10. April 25, 2017 at 9:25 AM

    I am an Indian and I quite enjoyed reading your experience at Sarvanna Bhavan, although I cant imagine going there for a date or a girls night out ?

    • April 25, 2017 at 2:19 PM

      This is one is near a university and in a very diverse neighborhood and is used for meetings like that all the time. And I when I say girl’s night out, I don’t mean on the way to the club , just a large group of girls hanging out in the evening. And again happens all the time after evening classes.

      • April 25, 2017 at 10:42 PM

        I am not disagreeing….it’s just that in India Sarvanna Bhavan is looked at in a different light. Crowded -noisy -comfort food – go there when you want tried n tested preparations at the highest possible speed of serving.

        • April 25, 2017 at 10:50 PM

          I understood what you meant, so I figured that I didn’t explain the neighborhood well enough. It’s not fast paced at all here and I think that’s because of the wealthy neighborhood it is in. It isn’t the wealthiest neighborhood but there are lots of banks and schools in the area. The only reason that I am that familiar with the restaurant, is because I went to college there. And when we had the money and time to set and take a leisurely meal, that was one of the options.

          • April 26, 2017 at 1:42 AM

            Glad to learn that you enjoy Indian food! Sarvanna Bhavan offers South Indian Cusine – you should try places that offer North Indian Prepartions, I think you might enjoy them as well.

  11. May 1, 2017 at 3:40 PM

    Trudy, this is making me drool and I’m a long way from there so I can’t go, but I will try to replicate it, even slightly. You have inspired me and made me drool all over my keyboard. ?
    Hope this week treats you kindly. ?
    Off to share so others can drool too. ?

    • May 1, 2017 at 4:15 PM

      Thank you so much for doing so! I need all the help I can get! I love Indian food, I would love to learn to make dosas thus beautifully.

    • May 1, 2017 at 4:15 PM

      I hear that there’s lovely Indian food in Toronto. Are you close to there?

  12. May 4, 2017 at 3:31 AM

    Indian Food. I’ll never tire of eating curries. I ate my first ever curry at the age of 19 – a group of friends and I left our usual Saturday night nightclub haunt and wandered over the road to the restaurant opposite for a late night meal. It was love at first bite. That was 33 years ago. The restaurant is still there! I have a curry once or twice a week – my children have grown up eating curry since they were weaned. I am a mean curry chef myself – chicken and king prawn curries are my speciality; but in a restaurant or take away I always go for Lamb Rogon Josh. ?

    • May 4, 2017 at 7:10 AM

      Oh my go! I love Lamb Rogun Josh, especially when it’s done properly!

  13. May 4, 2017 at 7:47 AM

    Oh, yum! This looks divine.

  14. robjodiefilogomo
    May 4, 2017 at 10:21 AM

    I absolutely love Indian food, but I’m terrible at trying new things there. I always have Korma because it’s my favorite!! I really need to try other items!!

  15. May 4, 2017 at 10:47 AM

    What fun! Thanks for sharing your experience and expertise!

  16. May 4, 2017 at 7:47 PM

    I’ve never tried Indian food, but this post made me want to put it on my to do list. ?

    • May 4, 2017 at 7:59 PM

      Never….!! Yes, you must try it at least once. Start off small with a plain samosa.

  17. lsgaitan23
    May 4, 2017 at 8:16 PM

    I never thought I liked Indian food–I’m not a spicy fan–but I had a whole class of Indian women (I teach ESL) prepare me a surprise feast and everything was so delicious! they were so sweet–they purposely left out a lot of the really strong spices because they knew wimp that I am couldn’t handle it! On the other hand, I love Indian cinema! ?

    • May 4, 2017 at 8:44 PM

      Bollywood movies are so much fun, even the sad ones are lovely on the eyes and acted so beautifully. A lot of Indian casual restaurants have them playing in the background.

  18. May 5, 2017 at 10:17 AM

    Curry Hill! I’ve never heard that one. Great!

  19. May 5, 2017 at 10:44 PM

    My husband would LOVE this!!

  20. May 7, 2017 at 3:29 PM

    Sounds lovely! I love Indian food – it’s my favourite! You’ve made me want some now, in fact!

    • May 7, 2017 at 3:32 PM

      Hahaha! I hope that you enjoy it! What’s your favorite dish?

  21. May 8, 2017 at 5:13 PM

    Gonna need to hit up our favorite Indian spot here in Springfield soon. Now I’m hungry, haha!

    • May 8, 2017 at 8:52 PM

      Yes, every time that I see the pictures a make mental order in my head.

  22. May 8, 2017 at 9:47 PM

    I love Indian food and love to try everything at least once, but my fall back when all else fails, is Chicken Korma.

  23. May 23, 2018 at 4:10 AM

    Looks and sounds fab!

    • May 24, 2018 at 10:38 PM

      It was delicious and filling!

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