Saravanaa Bhavan – Indian Vegetarian Restaurant

Post by Mark

A friend of mine took me to Saravanaa Bhavan the other day and I’m now in love with the place. They serve authentic Southern Indian dishes and I think it was my first time having it since there were a lot of things I hadn’t tried before.

The restaurant is located in Fahaheel and overlooks the Kout Mall marina. It’s super clean and pretty big with lots of seating. I took a glance at the menu but since none of the dishes had a description my friend ordered everything for me. I ended up having the following:

Plain Dosa

Poratta Curry

Idli Sambhr Chutni

Curd Vada

Cheese Dosa

Poori Bhaji


And yes I ate all of that. There was so much flavor everywhere I just couldn’t stop trying all the dishes. The only thing I actually didn’t like was the Idli Sambhr Chutni which is basically steamed rice pudding. It tasted like a wet piece of bread and was the most disappointing dish I tried. Everything else was delicious. The Curd Vada probably stuck out the most since it was very cooling dish. For dessert I had the Payasam which is a warm milk and rice dessert that’s very sweet and full of spices.

It’s a great place and very affordable. All the dishes cost under KD1 with only the Plain Dosa costing KD1.100. They also have lunch and dinner specials, we missed out on the lunch special since we got there around 3 o’clock. I’m actually going back again tonight with some friends, I highly recommend it.

Saravanaa Bhavan is located in Humoud Towers, Fahaheel. It’s the same building as Centerpoint and they’re on the 4th floor. Their phone number is 23929099 and here they are on [Google Maps]

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45 comments, add your own...

  1. Mahi says:

    These are places we Invited you many times for lunch:)
    And you still missing Delhi Palace LOL

  2. Nand says:

    Where is Delhi Palace

  3. Sekhar says:

    Mark, Try Saravana special paper dosa..(it will be like two feet long)

  4. Sekhar says:

    Also try their masala milk,which is famous in Saravana Chennai.

  5. Grey says:

    Except Idli rest everything is highly saturated junk food ;) , Parotta is banned in Kerala as it triggers diabetes (surprisingly NRI’s are still eating it) Vada &Poori (Sambosa)are Indian counterpart to french fries (because it’s carcinogenic)

  6. Lynn Rozario says:

    Mark, go for the masala milk, you will love it. Grey, you only live once. I love southern Indian food.

  7. Mathai says:

    Udupi used to be our favorite place for vegetarian food but now looks like Saravana takes the top spot.
    Here’s the link to their restaurant;

    and the menu;

  8. Mathai says:

    Mark, if you can handle the heat may I suggest Anjappar? Its South Indian/Tamil non-vegetarian food.

  9. Kuwait says:

    Did you seriously eat all that? Your large intestine must be 50km long.

  10. Chris (TX) says:

    I envy your appetite :/

  11. Anon says:

    Agree with Kuwait…

    No way one could eat all of these and if you did, maaaan you have a seriously big appetite.

  12. Smoke House says:

    Wow, awesome find! We’ll be checking this place out in coming days. It’s right around the corner from us.

    • Del says:

      Have they paved the road in front of your location yet? I live about 1.5 clicks further than you towards the city along the expressway, and I haven’t been by your road for ages.

  13. cooldude says:

    Bows down for Mark’s Appetite :)

    South Indian Food Rocks !!

  14. Max says:

    Such posts should be read when stomach is full … or suffer from hunger gripes :-)

  15. mocman says:

    You Hindi Chapatti!!!!

  16. I love good Indian food and will definitely have to try it.

  17. JJ says:

    Idli when eaten without the condiments which are part of the combo- sambhar, chutni surely doesn’t taste much. Hope you had tried both the sambhar and chutni.
    It’s healthier and filling option than Dosa as its steamed and so is a very regular breakfast food in South India.
    Have Idli with sugar, that’s a simple combination to try….

  18. Sayed says:

    After reading this i realized that Sarvanaa Bhavan opened up in Abu Dhabi too and i still dint try it out.
    Well i went today with hopes of eating down the Paneer(Cheese) Dosa since the last time i had it in 2010 back in India i still daydream about it,but today just isn’t my day.
    Went a while ago and the guy is like order the common dosa’s like Masala(Potato) Dosa or GTFO(he din say that but thats what he meant).
    Well anyway they were full already with people waiting outside to get a table,but if its a weekend that doesnt mean you dont do items which are not the top-selling ones.

    But it was still good though.

  19. spydistrict says:

    South Indian food may taste okay, but lacks in presentation bigtime.

  20. Darklord1945s says:

    @ spicydistrict: Most foods from the sub continent is not known for presentation. Rather, it is the marriage of the spices that makes them what they are.
    @ Kk284 and Grey: Parata in kerala is now being made by maida which is refined from the wheat family. Like most things processed a lot of the “good” at that point is lost from the food. Maida has therefore, been recommended to be consumed in moderation. Kinda like lotsa refined sugar is not good for you.

    Was in Kerala a couple of months ago. Ooh, the sights and the smells… freshly made chips from banana, tapioca and the like while you wait. Cassiva and Fish curry. Ohh the Aapams (?) with a coconut based fish curry. quite an eye opener i must say…

  21. Hussein says:

    OMG it such a big chain see this link:
    look how many branches they opened so far

  22. Hussein says:

    is it true that southern Indians don’t wear underwear?!!! ;)))
    that’s what an Northern Indian colleague told me about another southern Indian colleague, laughing…

  23. L says:

    @Mathai – u seriously got to be kidding – Anjappar? Please!

  24. Tony says:

    I am from South India and wish to clarify about the health impact of the food Mark ate. The plain dosa, cheese dosa and idli are made from the same batter combining white rice and a type of lentil called Urad Dal soaked overnight, mixed and ground to a paste, left to ferment and then cooked. The dosa varieties are cooked on a flat griddle with very little oil (a tablespoon), while the idlis are steamed.

    The food combination of starch (rice) and legumes (lentils) gives the complete essential amino acid spectrum (protein) that non-vegetarian meals provide (chicken, fish, eggs etc.). Ancient Indian philosophers/scientists/???? discovered that this combination is good enough to get the complete protein requirement.

    The lentil used contains both soluble and insoluble fiber. This is also important because the oil present in the meal (from the griddle or in the curries that accompany the dosa/idly) causes the liver to excrete bile to digest it. This bile, instead of being reabsorbed into the body through the intestines is attached to by the insoluble fiber which prevents reabsorption. Now understand this… the body needs mostly the LDL (bad cholesterol) to make bile. Since the bile that was excreted by the liver is NOT reabsorbed, the next time bile is needed, the liver takes LDL from the blood reserves, thereby reducing your LDL levels and so lower cholesterol.

    The above foods are fermented. Scientists today are “discovering” the benefits of fermented foods. Just google “fermented food health” to know more. Its not like we didn’t know the benefits of fermented stuff like… oh… I don’t know…. Beer! Wine! :) (all fermented). Or even probiotic yoghurt like Activia (hell! All yoghurt is fermented). Or Jameed even.

    There is an optimum ratio of carbs, proteins and fats in the dishes above to satisfy a nutritional requirement.

    Regarding the other foods, the batter for curd vada is made entirely from fermented urad dal (see above). It is then DEEP FRIED and slathered with yoghurt and some garnishing. Benefits are not the same as the previous dishes, but nonetheless, the fiber content in it is high enough. But yes I do admit the frying factor makes it a less healthy option.

    To make Poori Bhaji and Porotta, you need basically white flour and ghee/oil. Poori is deep fried, while the dough for Porotta mixes flour and oil. At first glance, these seem very unhealthy. But what people again don’t realize is that if on an empty stomach, if you were to eat just a plain white flour product, it gets digested VERY fast, and so the sugars from this gets into your bloodstream VERY fast, causing your pancreas to work VERY hard to deal with the spike in blood sugar and I am VERY sorry to say you may get diabetes eventually. We don’t just eat these poori or porotta alone. Look at the pics Mark has taken. Poori comes with bhaji (ingredients – potatoes, onions) and chickpea curry. The porotta comes with the same curries. The dosas come with sambar (vegetables cooked in a shorba adas like liquid) and coconut chutney. All these side curries have enough INSOLUBLE fiber to slow down digestion of the white flour so that the sugars are gradually absorbed into the bloodstream and therefore do not overload the pancreas for insulin.

    The type of payasam Mark had is made from white rice, sugar and milk. Health-wise I admit its not great for the body but then again, we South Indians have half a cup of this maybe once a week. And the taste is heavenly…

    The point is at any meal, if you have a significant amount of foods that contain soluble and insoluble fiber, you are protecting yourself. Knowing how the ingredients and nutrients interact will also aid you (but might take the fun out of eating for a while – it happened to me).

    For centuries, South Indian food was very healthy (Porotta is an import). In the last few decades, our eating habits have changed. In some cases, there is a shift to western fast foods and the associated health problems that come with those. Additionally, secondary and tertiary ingredients used for cooking have changed to suit economical models.

    For those of you who have reached this far in reading my comment/rant, I salute you! :)

  25. kamal says:

    Great Tony. You have explained enough.

  26. Hussein says:

    Yesterday my friend and I had dinner there, It was just greate i didnt eat indian food like that before, thank you Mark.
    i recommend following dishes:

    Paneer Dosa
    Vegetable Biryani
    Dhal Makhani
    Poori Masala
    Mixed Vegetable Parotta
    Ghee Pongal

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