Saravanaa Bhavan Review – Authentic Indian Food
Published 16 December 2009
If your definition of Indian food means chicken tikka and balti curry, it’s time to get a reality check at Saravanaa Bhavan. They serve up truly authentic Indian food at authentic Indian prices.
A 2 minute walk from the Rayners Lane Station will take you to this restaurant specializing in vegetarian South Indian cuisine. The ambience is informal and unpretentious. Saravanaa Bhavan is just one branch of a chain of 43 other restaurants spread across 7 countries. Credit goes to the owners for maintaining a consistent taste across the globe. I have eaten at their branch in Delhi, India, and trust me it tastes just the same. It’s a breath of fresh air when compared to the majority of Indian restaurants spread across London that promise you authentic Indian food and dish out its British-adapted version.
It’s not just the taste; even the price list makes you feel that you are dining in India. Start your meal with a Hot Idli (£1.95) or Sambhar Vada (£1.95). For the main course you have to have a Dosa, which is the specialty of this place. Dosa is a rice crepe with spicy filling. It comes with assortment of chutneys (dips) and quintessential Sambhar (regional lentil gravy garnished with onion and cilantro). If you want to keep it simple, then go for a Masala Dosa (£2.45) or if you are feeling adventurous you can try Onion Rava Masala (£2.75) or Paneer Dosa (£2.95). You should also try an Uthappam here. It is a thick rice and lentil pancake with toppings: simply put an Indian pizza. Try the Tomato and Onion Uthappam (£2.50). If you aren’t accustomed to eating spices, do not order Onion Chilli and Tomato Uthappam, as it is really spicy. Wash down your meal with a Lassi or buttermilk. You can end on a sweet note with Gulab Jamun (£1.50) or Kulfi (£1.50) or order a hot number like Filter Coffee (£1) or Masala Tea (£ 0.90)
Saravanaa Bhavan also offers buffet from Monday to Friday during lunch hours (£5.45) and Monday to Thursday for dinner (£6.95). It includes the basic Dosa and Vada, but also has many Chinese dishes. I would advise you to stick to the a-la-carte menu if you want the real taste of India.
Saravanaa Bhavan is a must visit for vegetarians and is one of those places where non-vegetarians wont miss the meat.
Food: 4 out of 5 stars, Service: 3/5, Ambience: 2.5/5
Address: 403, Alexandra Avenue, Rayners Lane, Harrow HA2 9SG
Contact: 020 8869 9966
Nearest tube station: Rayners lane (Metropolitan line)
Alternative Branch Address: 300, High street, Manor Park, London, E12 6SA
Review written by Rabea Khan.