Saraswathy Bavan

The ultimate taste of North and South India

Wednesday 10th July 2019 06:13 EDT

Four minutes from the Wembley Central Underground station, and if you enter Saraswathy Bavan, you will be transported to India within minutes of ordering your first meal. At first appearance, the modestly furnished restaurant may look like another hole in the wall. But they always say never judge a book by its cover and Saraswathy Bavan is one such restaurant.

I was spoilt for choice after my first glance at the menu and if you are fond of Indian cuisine then you might get carried away while placing your order. But be careful: the chefs at Saraswathy Bavan not just bring their culinary skills to the restaurant but also their generous serving portions. It serves an array of dishes- right from Punjabi chole bhatures to the classic South Indian medu vada sambar. I had been craving dosa (rice-batter crepe) for quite sometime but when I overheard a family at the adjacent table ordering five portions of a paneer (cottage cheese) dish, I was excited to sample one of them as well.

So, I went for the cheese and masala dosa for my mains, alongside a portion of chilli paneer as my starter. Indian food is usually synonymous with overt use of chilli, garlic and caramelised onions.

However, the chefs hailing from the Indian curry industry add just the perfect quantities of spice, oil and condiments. The paneer cubes are sautéed to a medium golden-brown texture which perfectly compliment the diced onions and green peppers and are cooked together in a tangy tomato puree. For those of you who can't take the heat, beware of the green chillies that are finely chopped and sprinkled on top, you can also request the chef to omit them, as I did. But, I can barely finish half the portion of my starter when I am greeted by the smell of freshly prepared sambar (vegetable stew), the tell-tale sign that my dosa is here. The cheese is grated and melted inside the dosa roll. The masala made of mashed potatoes, onions and garnished with curry leaves is served separately to ensure the crispness of the dosa. Four other bowls serve three different kinds of chutneys or dips- tomato, mint and grated coconut- and the vegetable sambar. As I try demolishing the dosa, I am tempted to try the traditional falooda, a cool dessert drink made with Vermicelli, ice cream, milk and flavoured syrups. But I can only manage so much and I promise the hotel's owner, Anil to come back the next time with a bigger appetite. While the food is impeccable, the staff must also be credited for their prompt service.

The restaurant has been successfully running for the last 15 years and when I ask Anil the secret behind the outlet, he says-

“I personally do all the shopping and I don't compromise on the quality of the food being served under my watch. That is why some believe that dishes here are relatively more expensive in comparison to other outlets in this area. But quality comes with a price,” said Anil, owner of Saraswathy Bavan.

But besides the restaurant, Anil also runs an outdoor catering service as well where he caters for several occasions such as weddings, birthdays, house-warming parties among others. While he offers the option of choosing from a variety of dosas, he also does a special platter which includes pizza, garlic bread, potato wedges among other delicacies.

For further information about catering or reservation for the restaurant visit:

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