Review: Udupi Indian Vegetarian Restaurant

Post by Mark


Udupi is a popular Indian restaurant with a few branches located around Kuwait. I recently found out there was one that was fairly close to my home in Salmiya so I ended up passing by there with a friend for dinner. Even though we went mid week the place was packed and we had to wait for a table to free up. It’s a hole in the wall place with two different seating areas, you have the main area where the entrance is and which also has a large window overlooking the busy kitchen, and then another seating area in the back which I personally think is claustrophobic since there are no windows.

The menu is vegetarian based and and made up mostly of South Indian dishes like Vada, Upma, Dosas and Thalis along with a few rice dishes. We ended up ordering a bunch of things including the Thali (which is unlimited refill) but what had to stick out the most for me was the Gobi Manchurian, a fried cauliflower dish which tasted more Chinese than Indian. It was delicious and I’m not even a cauliflower fan.


The waiters don’t really speak English and the menu is just a list of items with their prices so your best bet when ordering is:

1) to go there with someone who knows what everything is
2) use google to try and figure out what everything is
3) order by looking around the restaurant and point at peoples dishes
4) Russian roulette, just choose items off the menu without knowing what you’re ordering


One thing I’m curious about and maybe someone here can answer has to do with the tea. The tea comes in a steel cup with a steel bowl and everybody at the place was using the two to drink the tea. They would pour the tea from the cup into the bowl and then back into the cup and they kept doing that over and over as they were drinking. I figured this was either to keep mixing the tea or it was a way to cool it down.

The place if very affordable with the most expensive dish on the menu being a special Thali which is only available on Fridays and costs KD1.5. In comparison, a regular Thali is just KD1 while the Vada is 300fils, Gobi Manchurian 900fils and a plain Dosa just 550fils. Other than the Gobi Manchurian, everything else I had I thought Saravanaa Bhavan did better. But Udupi is a lot cheaper and it’s also basically walking distance from my house which makes it much more convenient for me. The Udupi I went to was in Salmiya [Map] but as I mentioned earlier they have a bunch of locations around Kuwait and you can check out the full list [Here]. Definitely worth checking out.

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26 comments, add your own...

  1. Mathai says:

    Dude, you could have called, I would have explained everything to you. You could have covered points 1) and 2) and avoided points 3) and 4) :P

    Anyway, the cup that you drank tea from is traditionally used to serve filter coffee. Its a nice blend of coffee and chicory filtered thru a drip filter and then mixed with frothy milk and sugar. The coffee has a huge head of foam on top and the lower vessel collects any spillage and you can use it to pour your coffee into it to cool it down.

    Secondly, the gobi manchurian tastes Chinese since its influenced by the Chinese community in the North Eastern part of India. It was adapted from chicken and prawn manchurian for vegetarian diners.

    • Ahmad "O" Arafa says:

      I like to think that I did a pretty ok job at explaining to him what most of the items were. I ordered the thali for the both of us because it’s one of my all time favorite dishes & I explained what “rasam”, “sambar”, “idli” “curd” & “kesari” are. I regrettably didn’t know what “utthampam” & “vada” were at the time, we had to google the two. I always order the Gobi Manchurian at Udupi -it’s that good & Mark isn’t the first person I took there who doesn’t like cauliflower but liked their Gobi. That being said, you probably know a lot more than me seeing as I’m Palestinian & you are presumably South Indian. Irrelevant comment: I love your blog! You are quite the photographer, sir.

      • Ahmad "O" Arafa says:

        realky enjoying your blog-Maathai, love your photos & entries. Can you recommend any good Malayalam films to me? The ones I typically watch are the ones that win awards at The National Film Awards.

        • Mathai says:

          You watch Malayalam movies? Over the past couple of years there’s been some good movies like Drishyam, Celluloid, Amen, Vishudhan, 22 Female Kottayam, Pranchiyettan and the Saint, Diamond Necklace to name a few.

          I’m still working my way thru a huge backlog actually :)
          Do you understand Malayalam or rely on the subtitles?

          • Ahmad "O" Arafa says:

            Mera Hindi bohot bura laikin Malayalam zuban maaloom nehi bil kul. I have to rely on subtitles, the last Malayalam film I saw was Peenungal Naala, awesome film. You need to see it if you haven’t already.

      • Mathai says:

        Looks like you’re a seasoned veteran at Udupi lol!
        Yeah the Gobi manchurian there is pretty nice. Goes will with noodles, rice or even chapati.

        Yes, you are right. I’m from Kerala.
        Thank you for your kind words.

  2. Me Like Salmiya says:

    Salmiya branch is not the best…try green tower, Fahaheel…Good food & view…

  3. Singh says:

    You should try the one in green tower its located in fahaheel,its on the 14th floor.
    better to go in mornings or before dark to get the view :)

  4. An says:

    Gobi 65 > Gobi Manchurian

  5. Hd says:

    Make sure you have breakfast there next :)

  6. gabbar says:

    The tea comes in two cups because the sugar is at the bottom of the smaller cup and it is not stirred.

    Pouring it back and forth between the two cups helps you adjust the sweetness while also cooling it a bit.

    If you juggle the tea between the two cups like a pro, you can get a frothy creamy layer as well.

  7. Ahmad "O" Arafa says:

    Also, the picture you took of the Gobi Manchurian looks even better than the real thing! Great review! An, I’ll need to try the “Gobi 65” next time, the reason why I never did is because the Machurian is so good over there that I keep thinking that nothing can ever top it.

  8. Ds says:

    Just try the Udupi in Fahaheel Green Tower and just order the North Indian Thali which contains all the different dishes you want.

  9. My food doesn`t digest without meat :P

  10. Abdul says:

    try shai qila some day,its awesome.

  11. muhammad says:

    How is the restaurant cleanness ?

  12. 3azeez says:


  13. Kirmani says:

    amazing cleanliness … the cooks don’t serve, the servers don’t put hand while cooking … separate person for cleaning utensils …. all in all good cleanliness for such a cheap restaurant …

  14. Siby says:

    Please have for dinner chappati & masala or onion uttappam along with a filter coffee.

  15. ariston says:

    Been at Udupi Darwaza a few times but haven’t tried their Gobi Manchurian… maybe this coming weekend… :P

  16. Security Adviser says:

    My wife who is originally from South India introduced me to South Indian food and now I am addicted to the stuff. Originally I must confess my pallet of Indian food was limited to North Indian Mughali food and curries. Here in Kuwait we drive down to Sarvana every other friday for their Special Thali’s. She has even taught me the joy of eating with my hands..its a different experience all together. After being so used cutlery and having food seperate from each other the madness of mixing pulses ,cooked vegetables, youghrt and spicy pickle togather is amazing. Another place I like but not as much is Dakshan.Their Thali is not as great but the beauty is we get to mix South Indian veg with the non-veg so it makes a nice allternative to a veg only thali.
    I have tried Udupi also ..crazy facinating place .. seems like a cafeteria on steroids. good food ..and yes ..never ever got sick once. Thos who have not tried South Indian food need to try it because you do not know what you are missing out on :-)

  17. If you ever find yourself in Maximum City Mumbai be sure to head to Matunga Central High street where you have Udupi restaurants littered all over the place. It’s a fantastic deal: ultra efficient and light both on the pocket book as well as on the tummy.
    I only wished there was at least one Udupi joint in every food court in Kuwait to offset the excesses of Pan Americana.

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