Saturday, March 26, 2011

Seasonal Special at Saravanaa Bhavan - $5 South Indian Thali


Saravanaa Bhavan on Urbanspoon

Dropped by Saravanaa Bhavan last Wednesday for their "seasonal special" -- a $5 South Indian Thali -- with the Vancouver Meatless Meetup dining group (run by Earthsave Canada). The Thali comes in vegetarian and vegan versions. With the vegetarian version, you get some yogurt and dessert as well. This may be a limited-time offer, so if you're going specifically for the thali, call first (604.732.7700).
Although a thali is basically a plate with a sampling of various dishes/curries arranged like a bunch of sides around a plate of rice and some roti, it comes out of the kitchen quite slowly. Everything does, it seems -- so it appears that the food isn't mass produced in vast quantities at the start of the day, to be reheated and doled out slowly.

I was also introduced to the yummy Potato Bonda (2 pieces for $5), and it was quite slow in coming out. Hopefully, this meant that it was prepared fresh rather than plucked out of the fridge and plopped into the deep fryer.

In addition to desserts from the menu, Indian sweets can be viewed at the counter. You can either get a tiny portion (1-3 pieces for ~$2) or a sharable-by-three-people portion at ~$5 per half pound of dessert. There is a same-ness to the desserts with the common denominator of it being rather sweet. Although some had nut in them, the simple sweetness generally covered up everything, and ranged from very sweet to almost-too-sweet. Some, like the jaangiri, seemed like dough fried and soaked in sugar water. You really can't go wrong in this way with choosing between them, though for more flavour than sugar syrup for your treat, I recommend asking for something involving nuts.

Some desserts have bits of silver foil (vark) over them. If you're worried about what the composition of this is exactly (it's supposed to be very-high-purity silver), you should just give them a pass or ask your server.

This is food at a reasonable price, and the presence of Indian families there was encouraging of it being authentic and well-made.

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