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Feb 22, 2003 05:04 PM

Gujarati food

  • l

Just returned from India where I had fantastic Gujarati cuisine. Are there any Indian restaurants in the bay area who specialize in this?

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  1. You're very much in luck. Haveli, on 6th street between Market and Mission in the tenderloin, has amazing Gujarati food. They advertise as Hindu vegetarian, and do have some foods which you'll recognize from other generalist Indian restaurants. However, the true specialties are Gujarati there, and the ladies cooking are from Gujarat.

    The people there are excellent, and the food is hands down the best Indian food we have in SF. They're open during the week for lunch and (I believe) during the weekend for dinner. They had mentioned that the weekend dinners might be South Indian instead of the usual (mmm- masala dosa in SF- but with different chefs) but I have not been yet.

    Also, another great thing is that the menu changes daily. A $7.99 all you can eat thali is offered which includes dessert, several items, rice, roti, etc. The desserts are excellent if you like Gujarati desserts.

    If anyone recommends Ganges to you, never listen to another food recommendation from them again. It once was a star but when the family who owned it sold it to new owners, it suffered horribly.

    9 Replies
    1. re: a geek

      I am intrigued!!! Could you describe this cuisine with some tempting descriptions of Gujarati dishes?! What is the spiciness level, and how are their desserts different from "regular" Indian food?

        1. re: derek

          Gujarti food tends to be a different spice combination...maybe a little sweeter. Not quite as "picante" as Southern Indian, but more so than Northern Indian/punjabi food. A lot of coriander, cumin, tumeric, ginger...the aromatics. It is almost exclusively vegetarian. There are a lot of vegetable stews, called "saaks." (You would think of them as curries, but each vegetable has its own spice combination. They have delicious puri - small fried breads). I agree that Gujarti food is delicious, and although the "old" Ganges had excellent cuisine, I too hear its not the same since it was sold. The original owner of that restaurant, a woman whose name escapes me, wrote an excellent cookbook called "The Surti Touch" which I have seen in several of the Indian stores on University Avenue in Berkeley. "Surti" refers to the style of cooking of Surat, a major city in the state of Gujurat (and the city my husband was born in). There is a saying in India that says (in part) " eat, go to Surat." BTW, I am on my second copy of that cookbook and its getting pretty worn...I use it to get recipes to cook meals for my husband "like mama used to make."

        2. re: a geek

          I could not find this place, probably because the review is from 2003. Ganges is closed.

          1. re: SFOFoodie

            I take it Haveli is gone too? It never occurred to me (duh) to look for Gujrati food in SF till I saw this thread. Any updates?

            1. re: grayelf

              Years ago I was told the restaurant associated with Milan International on University in Berkeley prepared Gujarati dishes. Can't tell you if Bombay Cuisine does or can do.

              1. re: wolfe

                While I'm at it, does anyone know of a place that does a really good shrikand?

                1. re: grayelf

                  Deedee's in Santa Clara

                  And here's my old post on the old location including a photo of the glorious shrikhand

                  The shrikhand is on the gujarati buffet line, so it's all you can eat.

                  Another gujarati thali and sweets place is Krishna in Fremont . . . if we can find it again.

                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                    Thanks for that! Generally not a fan of Indian (or other!) buffets but maybe to get the shrikhand!

        3. j
          Josh Fredericks

          I believe Milan Sweet Center/Restaurant in Milpitas (296 S Abel St near 237) serves Gujarati food. At least I was told the people running it are Gujarati.

          I've only been there for lunch, and most of their food is either fried snacks or sweets (they also have a lunch thali). The kachori and pakoras are good, and their food isn't greasy at all. The spicing is mild on all the dishes.

          The atmosphere isn't much to speak of, and you order your food at the counter. But it's definitely worth trying.