I was invited to a Zomato Meet Up alongside other foodies and influencers and what a lovely experience it was! Indian cuisine is one of my favourites and while I eat South African style Indian food a lot, the food at Saravanaa Bhavan was unique.
It is a long-running international chain serving up authentic South Indian vegetarian dishes, including the signature dosas. Having 56 outlets across the globe, it is clearly a popular choice. We visited the Johannesburg branch, situated in Rivonia Junction but there are plans to expand and open other branches in South Africa. We received a warm welcome and education about the history of Saravanaa Bhavan by the owner, Zara, who was so pleasant.
#ZomatoxSaravanaaBhavan Meet Up Menu:
Mini ghee idli
Poori and masala
Saravana Special Biriyani
Rice kheer pudding
I’m not a vegetarian but I thoroughly enjoyed all the vegetarian dishes. We had the honour of going outside and learning how to fry poori and make dosa’s ourselves which was an immersive experience that come close to none. I appreciated the effort made in allowing us to not only taste the wonders of South India, but in also allowing us to pick up a new culinary skill along the way. I had to do a Google search on dosa’s as I had never heard of them before. They resemble pancakes but are crispy and light which is great to dip into different sauces and curries. I tried the Mini ghee idli and Kuzi paniyarame for the first time which were served steamed with dal/ dahl (split yellow peas/lentils) and deep fried, yummy in my tummy!
When eating out I appreciate the atmosphere and I feel that décor and design play a large part in that. I’m all about aesthetics and the restaurant décor is quite understated so I would say that’s the area it falls short in. The dessert was warm and sweet, perfect for the winter months. This dessert is not the regular rice pudding that many may know, instead it is the epitome of fragrant. It was full of cardamom and while others adore it, I’m not a big fan of it. Cardamom, is a spice made from the seeds of several plants in the genera Elettaria and Amomum in the family Zingiberaceae which are native to India, Nepal, Bhutan and Indonesia. If you’ve ever had a burst of cardamom in your mouth and you loved it then head over to Saravanaa Bhavan and order the rice kheer pudding. Top your meal off with masala tea and you’ll go home feeling satisfied. I’ve always been more of a coffee person but this tea was fragrant and delicious so I’d opt for that over the traditional coffee. It took a while to arrive as it is freshly made but it was well worth the wait.
I enjoyed the food so much that I would return and gather my family members to join me at Saravanaa Bhavan. It is great for family get togethers especially if you enjoy sharing and tasting a variety of dishes. It is not often that I enjoy vegetarian dishes but I did not even feel the absence of meat, it was that delicious! The variety of colours and textures were mouth watering and with all the dosa’s, poori and naan, it is a carb lover’s heaven. One of the first things one notices on their website are the words “A synergy of taste and quality across the globe…every hour…every day” which is evident in the food served at this restaurant. For anyone that is keen to explore South Indian cuisine but does not like their food too spicy, I would recommend Saravana Bhavan. The dishes were fresh and had just the right amount of spices without compromising on flavour. I do, however, like hot and spicy food which can be requested. There is something for every palette.
Saravanaa Bhavan definitely has the Glam Hipster Diaries stamp of approval!
Rating out of 5:
Shop F-3, Rivonia Junction,
Cnr, Rivonia Road & 7th Avenue,