Thursday, February 16, 2006

Hotel Saravana Bhavan, Singapore

Adai Avial

This was interesting. Saravana Bhavan (63 Robinson Road #01-01, 6224-4525) is a Chennai-based vegetarian chain with multiple locations across India that curiously has the word "Hotel" in the name, even though it appears to be just a restaurant. It has gone overseas, including two locations in Singapore (the other one is near Sri Kaliamman Temple on Serangoon Road), and even a location in Sunnyvale, CA (ha ha - what a small world!).

Anyway, I was told to get the adai avial, which is apparently some kind of lentil-based flour made into pancake-like things. And when I say pancake, I really mean pancake: there is butter melting on top, just like good ol' Bisquick. Of course, this is more savory than it is sweet, and I don't think it's a breakfast dish (although they do seem to give you some form of sugar on the side if you want - and it's almost just as sweet as Aunt Jemima). Apparently this is one of the few places in Singapore that serves this dish, despite the plethora of Indian places around here.

Chola Bhatura

Another tasty treat tonight was the chola bhatura, which was this huge deep fried...uhh...thing. I don't even know what to call it. It is this dough-based flying saucer-like (but hollow) thing deep fried in grease. It is so big that it doesn't even fit on the plate. But it is pretty good. The taste and texture reminded me a lot of Taiwanese yio tiao, except of course this is UFO-shaped rather than in stick-form. Accompanying it are raw onions and some sort of garbanzo curry thing. I'm not a huge fan of garbanzo beans, so I wasn't a huge fan of that curry, but it was definitely needed to cut the greasy taste of the bhatura. There was a nice oily residue sitting at the bottom of the plate when I finished. And whoever said that vegetarianism was healthy??


Anonymous said...

hey bma- adai is not a very common thing, I have not eaten it myself- maybe tasted it once loooong ago/
bhaturas, on the other hand, are anorth indian thing that are popular all over India, though they taste a little different (esp the accompanying channa or the beans thing), but i love them too....
yes- real healthy!

Anonymous said...

In Chennai, the word "hotel" is used in place of "restaurant." In fact, you'll rarely hear the word "restaurant" used in Chennai/Tamilnadu!