What is the best South Indian restaurant in Manhattan, and why?
My wife and I had lunch at Saravanaa kast week. She had the Masala Dosa which was very good and I had the Dried Fruit Rava Dosa which was outstanding. The memory of he tastes remained with us for quite a while. Highly recommend.
I'm not a NYer & therefore not qualified to say which is the BEST south Indian in Manhattan, but -- based on rave reviews here I went to Saravanaas for breakfast when I was in town in August and it was wonderful; brought me right back to Kerala.
For one thing it's marvelous to be able to get breakfast in an Indian restaurant at all -- such a thing doesn't exist here in DC to my knowledge -- but the food was exactly how I remembered all the wonderful breakfasts I've had in India. The idlis were light, the uppuma was fantastic (with lots of curry leaves and chillis), the coconut chutney was just the way I remember it, and the masala chai was the best I've had in this country. I now will always stop for breakfast at Saravanaas when I'm in the city!
Efficient service is not the forte of Sarvanas Bhavan, except if you are ordering Thalis. Once you overcome the anticipation of efficient service, the food is overall better than most. However, I am disappointed that they have started serving North Indian fare, and failing as do most south indian restaurants even in India.
Really depends what you are looking for. If you are looking for the usual "dosa/uttapam/idli" kind of place then Sarvanas and/or Chennai Garden. I prefer the latter.
Although, Chola on 58th and 3rd has pretty good non-vegetarian south indian dishes. Look at the back of their menu. Many of them are mangalore style fish curries and they are delicious.
129 E 27th St, New York, NY 10016
232 East 58th Street, New York, NY 10022