I spent cumulatively over a week in Chennai the last month. Explored some new places but could not resist visiting Sarvana Bhavan a number of times. I tried the one at Peter’s road and the one at Radhakrishna sallai.
The bhavan at peter’s road has a cake shop, one buffet hall and one ala carte hall.
The manners of the waiters at the buffet hall resemble more that of prison wardens than waiters. Still, the food is so good that I can happily ignore all that. Multiple kinds of sambar and many dishes whose names I can’t remember but amazing. kesar bath is out of the world. 5 on 5.
The service at the ala-carte is much better. Its quite noisy until the food arrives and after that all but foof fades into the background. tried Ghee idly and it was awesome. No rating yet as I have visited it only once.
The bhavan at Radhakrishna sallai came with recommendations from my boss. Its a non-A/C hall and hence I approached it with some trepidation. however, no problems on that count due to large spaces between seats (its not mumbai!) and strong fans. And like any other sarvana bhavan, once the food comes in, taste dominates all other senses. I ordered a ghee dosa and before I realised I had ordered for a second helping! Alas, I couldn’t afford to due to dinner commitments and hence cancelled. Amazing yet no ratings. Will visit it more and then rate. A definite contender for 5.
The story would not be complete without the mention of Sangeetha. Another person who enjoys South Indian food told me that he changed his loyalty from Sarvana bhavan to the Sangeetha at Adyar. Now I was hooked and waited for the day long meeting to get over. We had a dinner at Taj which promised to be an engaging affair. Still, I couldn’t stop myself from taking a slight detour to Adyar sangeetha. I ordered ghee idly. While it was great, it was still second to Sarvana bhavan. I expressed my disappointment to someone else over the dinner and was told that its the dosas that Sangeetha excels in. Now I’m waiting for my next chennai trip.
Overall, if you’re in Chennai and are open to south indian food; try Sarvana bhavan. It may well be the start of a long love affair as it has been with me. 5 out of 5.