Sunday, June 03, 2007

Sunday Brunch at Saravanaa Bhavan, Bangsar Baru


We were in the mood for a healthy vegetarian brunch today. A week of overeating had put my system in a turmoil and I needed to set it right. I am certainly not advocating that vegetarian meals are always healthy. The preparation of these meals also matter.


I have always enjoyed indian vegetarian meals. Growing up, mum would make it a point to cook a vegetarian meal at least once a week, and so I got acquainted with "baby food" (as my Makan Club always calls it) at a very early age. My friends call it baby food for a very simple, and obvious, reason. A lot of these vegetarian meals are mashed up with the various ingredients until they are unrecognisable. "You mean that's spinach??" is a normal reaction to a popular mashed spinach dish cooked with onions, garlic and a dash of tamarind juice. The Bald Eagle stopped eating eggplant after seeing it all gooey and slimy in another popular vegetarian dish.


Saravanaa Bhavan is part of a chain of restaurants around the globe with locations in India, UAE, Singapore, USA, Canada, UK, Oman and of course, Malaysia. In the Klang Valley, there are three outlets: Bangsar, Masjid India and Jalan Sultan, PJ. I am only familiar with the Bangsar outlet, having frequented it quite often for a quick and pleasant vegetarian meal.



curd vada
For our starter, we ordered the curd vada, which is essentially a lentil "doughnut" immersed in yoghurt and garnished with carrots, parsley and crispies. Don't be misled by the word "doughnut"; the vada is a savoury dish.



parattha
The Parattha (RM3.50/US$1) is a South Indian bread (like roti canai) served with curry.



tomato and onion uthappam

I love the Tomato & Onion Uthappam (RM4.50/US$1.30), a thick rice crepe cooked with a generous portion of onions and tomatoes. If you don't like onions, I suggest you stay away from this dish! The onions lent a sweetish taste to the otherwise sourish taste of the uthappam. It was thick and fluffy and went well will the dhal and chutney served on the side.



onion rava thosai
The onion rava dosai (RM4.50/US$1.30) is made from wheat and rice and cooked on a flat surface to obtain a crepe-like texture. This is filled with cooked potatoes and onions.



rava kichadi

The Bald Eagle is a creature of habit. A big fan of Rava Kichadi (RM4/US$1.20), he makes it a point to order this dish everytime we visit Saravanaa Bhavan, and today was no exception. The rava kichadi is made of roasted sooji and cooked with onions, tomatoes, carrots, green chillies and green peas and sauteed with flavoured herbs. This dish is served with chutney and sambar, but it can also be eaten sweet with a dash of sugar.


bru coffee with fresh cow's milk


My favourite drink when I visit an indian restaurant is Bru coffee with fresh cow's milk (RM2.50/US$0.70). To learn the art of drinking coffee served in this manner, check out my post on Anjappar's.


Also check out:


Saravanaa Bhavan
52, Jalan Maarof, Bangsar.
Tel: 03-22871228


Opens daily, 8.30am - 11.00pm

40 comments:

The Expedited Writer said...

My partner and I use to frequent this place ever so often. We just love it, we even made friends with our waiter, who never fails to push us to order their "this one very good today, sir" dish lol!

jason said...

That's certainly sounds exotic... most of the dishes I haven't heard of before. >.<"

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

the expedited writer: the food's really good, and it's a clean, comfortable place to have a nice meal. I know what you mean about the waiters...haha!

jason: maybe it's the way I spell it. Dosai/dosa is thosai...round and flat, folded halfway..eaten with curry and chutney? Vada is vadai...you know, the indian donut?

Henry Yeo said...

Hungry......
Hungry......
Hungry......
Eats oneself.

Jackson said...

honestly when i think of indian food, i will automatically link to roti canai.. i do not know that there is so much food i havent try such as the Tomato & Onion Uthappam.... look so good!

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

henry: that would be an interesting sight. Did you take any photographs? :-P

jackson: I guess you will have to hang out with me if you'd like to sample indian food. The tomato & onion uthappam is delicious!

Lee Ping said...

Dear Lyrical Lemongrass,

Roti canai, I want, I want!

I love your link (http://awhiffoflemongrass.blogspot.com/2007/01/anjappar-chettinad-cuisine.html) that shows the proper way to eat the food, ie. by hand!

p/s Made a platter of chicken wings yesterday. Will post later. Please swing by to review...

Hengster said...

i know what u mean. When I was in India, i went to a vege restaurant. Expecting to eat lots of vege in their actual form.. but instead i have it in mash form. But the taste was superb! Indian food in India are to die for..

Big Boys Oven said...

Well, your indian encounter looks great. it reminds me of my recent trip to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. I was there to attend family wedding at Tanjung Aru. One night we went to an indian restaraunt at the city centre, they serve mutton rice, indian bread, a few type of curries and fried chicken. The food was great but rather small portion, not sure why, looks rather kedekut!

Sid

wmw said...

Everything looks yummy...uthappam and all!

k.t.x said...

gawd, frm the way the pics were taken and the way u describe it, it is almost fine dining to me!!lol.

the most significant indian meal which propelled me to more indian food was the one in brickfields. but lately, i hardly got the chance to sample nicer indian fare in and ard town, except those banana leaf ones. lol.

how was yr weekend???

tigerfish said...

Sg got a Saravanaa Bhavan meh?
I never tried indian vege brunch-type of meal leh! Maybe I still prefer the sinful roti prata with curry :O

boo_licious said...

The tomato and onion uttappam is my absolute favourite. Time to revisit this crazy place for makan as it's always packed with people esp this outlet.

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

lee ping: glad u like the other post. Eating with fingers is nice if u don't have long fingernails. lol.

hengster: lucky you. Have yet to go to India. I think I'd go crazy with all that wonderful food!

big boys oven: have yet to try indian food in KK. Normally, when I'm there, I go for the great seafood, chinese style.

wmw: everything? hehe. yah, try the uthamppam next time.

k.t.x: fine dining? hehe. other than the airconditioning and clean place, the plastic flowers decorating the place are a far cry from a fine dining environment. Brickfields has got some great eateries. My weekend was good, but now, I gotta face a new week. Brrrrrr! Hope u had a nice fishing trip.

tigerfish: Sg - try Serangoon & Robinson Rd. Roti parattha's great, isn't it? I love it too.

boo: I agree. The place is usually gila packed with expats looking for a taste of home. I normally go there quite early on a Sunday morning, so it's easier to get a seat.

jason said...

Oh ya... no wonder they sounded so similar :P Used to buy the vadai at school canteen last time, they're delicious!

Precious Pea said...

Wow...authentic-nya...I had my paper thosai at Sri Saravanan yesterday..but nothing as good compared to what you had.

sc said...

i love thosai! and the uthappam sounds heavenly, esp when i'm a fan of onions! think will go to this place soon, got a fren who absolutely loves indian food. bet she'll enjoy this

k.t.x said...

yeah, maybe i sud cek this place out using yr recommendation as a guide come weekend.

wow, fishing was good, but i hope i wont get hooked doing it every other week. lol. so far, i m still sane, i think.

u hv a good week!

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

jason: I like vadai too. One way of eating it is by dipping or immersing it in yoghurt.

precious pea: "authentic" is relative. I like to think that the adulteration that we do to the different types of food have made them uniquely our own. Sounds like American Idol huh?

sc: I'm relatively new to uthappam too. Mum never made it at home. But I absolutely love it, and I think you'd like it too. :-)

k.t.x: What's wrong with being hooked on fishing? Too time consuming? Too expensive?

k.t.x said...

emm, time consuming more than expensive really. i think it is the subconcious notion of "not very nice hooking a fish" is more than anything, altho the challenge WAS immense.

i was the champion u know? and being a first timer....not too bad at all...lol.

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

wow, k.t.x, good job! You must be a natural! Actually, pity the poor fishes hor. I thought anglers normally throw back the fish they catch? Or does it work differently with deep sea fishing? All this talk about fishing reminds me of a story WMW told me several months back.....

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

i havent heard of any of the food b4..vegetarian yes..healthy..hmm thats abit on the fence..looks good as usual with ur uber big pics!

Paprika said...

I LOVE RAVA! I don't remember it being called rava kichadi at the shop I used to go to but from the description it sounds the same. Oh mannnn I was addicted to the stuff for a loooong time. Can't go wrong with a splash of ghee!

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

joe: no kidding. U must have been away from Malaysia longer than I thought. hahaha.

paprika: it's rather like Uppuma..you may be familiar with that name, altho I think there is a slight difference between the two...something to do with the paste that they use?

Pink Elle said...

Thanks for this post, LL! Now I know what that mashed up thing is called! I always see Indians eating it at our usual thosai place but never dared order it before.

Was the vadai in yoghurt nice? Once a man was trying to encourage me to try it but I was a bit hesitant. Scared it would be too sour. And I like how your pratha looks, oil free...

Tummythoz said...

I wanna hang out with u at Indian restaurants. What you've ordered looks & sounds sooo delicious. I'm pathetic in this cuisine (one of the many, of coz).

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

pink elle: hehe...I normally point at what I want...whether it's a chinese place or indian place. :-) Vadai in yoghurt - I love it, but I must say that it's an acquired taste. For example, I pour yoghurt on my rice and eat it like that with a bite of pickle(a very typically indian way of eating), but many would balk at that idea. What I'm getting at is, do try everything at least once.

tummythoz: I'm no expert myself, but do feel free to join me some time. Maybe our next food crawl should be about indian food, eh? :-) After all, we've already done chinese food and malay food.

WokandSpoon said...

Hmm, I've eaten lots of roti canai but have never tried dosai! It looks very much like a buckwheat crepe!

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

wokandspoon: dosai is lovely and you can make it in so many different variants. I think there are several recipes online. It's great eaten with curry and chutney.

Shilpa. said...

oh wow, that rava khichadi looks like something i can and should reproduce here!! :) thanks for checking on me dear!

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

shilpa: it's actually quite easy to make the rava kichadi. I would make my husband one happy man if I cooked it at home. :-)

Neko Hime said...

I want pratha!! :P ... I just cant resist Roti Canai of any form...

teckiee said...

Every time you post your mamak and nasi nasi post... u always make hungry for mamak food.... hm... better go get my dose indian kuih tonight

team BSG said...

V do believe u are a natural expert on Indian food which is more than curries ( except V only know curries and bananas sorry )! Ok ok V are learning !

teckiee said...

hoo... milk... had a cup just now... just came in again to see that cup of milk

Sze said...

damn - must make a mental note not to come to your blog when i'm hungry. especially in hungary. no pun intended!

and hey, i came across this guy's website on thorntree and he turns out to be your norwegian friend with the south african wife! what a small cyberworld...

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

neko hime: I know what you mean. roti canai is sooo yummy, especially with dhal and sambal. Mmmm mmm mmmm!

teckiee: I hope u got ur dose of indian food! lol. Btw, mamak and indian food are different, u know. And did u also have a cup of milk? I used to drink fresh cow's milk last time...the milk man used to deliver it to the doorstep...then mum would boil the milk and let us drink it. So creamy and nice! and fattening! hehe.

team BSG: not expert la...but since I grew up eating indian food, I'm kinda familiar with it lor. Next time u join me, k.

sze: Aah, I see he's been pimping me! They're a wonderful couple who are very well-travelled. Love them to bits.

Flower said...

I love tosai. Roti canai tak berapa, can feed me tosai everyday, and I'll be a happy as a fat cat..... No good tosai in Perth thought.

Mark said...

gosh! gorgeous picture... I just gotta go have a look the real stuff, see how you transform them...

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

flower: Too bad you can't find thosai in Perth. Maybe you can try making it at home?

mark: glad u like the pictures. And I didn't quite transform them, dear. Pics taken with a P & S. Only minimal editing was done...cropping basically. But do try the food and let me know what you think. :-)