Saravanaa Bhavan is one of the largest authentic 100% vegetarian South Indian restaurant chains in the world with branches dotting the globe from Hong Kong to New York. Dubai is home to no less than seven branches, including this one in Karama which, judging by the look of its upmarket interior, is probably their flagship branch. Their rather dark and dreary Barsha branch happens to be one of the more regular breakfast stops my sister and I visit on our Friday ‘dosa jaunts’. This weekend we thought we’d try a new branch for a change.
Sandwiched between rivals Aryaas and Milan on Zabeel Street opposite the ridiculously small Karama Park, its interior it spread over two floors, the upper of the two dedicated to families (although my sister and I found the ground floor dining area equally family orientated).
We have only ever been to Saravanaa Bhavan for breakfast, which by default is a paper dosa for my sister; extra crispy, less oil with the masala on the side. I start with an idli-vada dip before going on to either a rava dosa or in this case, one of Saravanaa Bhavan’s signature dishes, the sensational ghee roast masala dosa. I love their plain Jane dahi vada and invariably end our breakfast with one (to cool down). The sambar is excellent as are the white (coconut) and green (coriander) chutneys. With heavyweights like Aryaas next door and Venus a couple of doors down, your dosas have to be among the best simply to survive and these boys don’t disappoint – their dosas are excellent. Their filter coffee, which is served with an exaggerated frothy head, is also a must have; be extra careful when handling the traditional two-piece brass coffee set, known as a Dabara – it’s hot! Ask one of the staff to help and watch them pour…
Speaking of staff, the staff at Saravanaa Bhavan are super friendly and all understand English. If you are a novice seek the help of the head waiter who will be happy to explain things to you, but my advice is to stick to the basics, a masala dosa and a filter coffee. If you’re there for lunch, try their thali. You literally cannot go wrong on the Zabeel strip – each and every restaurant offers amazing food and service, Saravanaa Bhavan included, and is well worth a visit, take-away or home delivery.
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Xerxes physically dines at, or orders from, each and every venue he reviews. He pays in full for whatever he and his companions eat, drink, take away or occasionally throw at each other. Xerxes accepts no money, gifts, discounts or free meals in return for reviews or favouritism. What you have read was NOT influenced in any way by the venue. Join his culinary journey on Instagram: @ravenousxerxes or reach out to him via email on email@example.com.