You read it right. Hotel Saravanaa Bhavan opened in Stockholm a couple of weeks back and it was only last week I got the chance to try it out myself. Man! oh Man! It was very emotional for me to feel the softness of idly after so many days! Idly -the food that I survived on all my life, Idly- which was usually my breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Idly- the now forgotten routine, and I finally got to have the taste of it! Heavenly!
The smell of home invited me the moment I stepped in. The sounds of steel tumblers and plates, the amusing chatter and laughter vividly reminded me of the amazingly noisy crowded restaurants back home. Bubbling with so many people and life, Saravanaa Bhavan here is a mini India in Stockholm. It was quite interesting to see a lot of non-Indians in the restaurant trying out Indian cuisine.
The customer assistants in the place were very warm and friendly. In fact, most of them were students working part-time. Few familiar faces from KTH, too. So, I must say, the environment was super cheerful. I started my dinner by ordering a plate of “Mini Idlies” that arrived so quickly at my table, two minutes perhaps. The lovely Idlies floating in a pool of Sambar with a dash of coriander leaves and a lavish splash of ghee on it, is something to die for! One spoon into my mouth and it filled me with such a joy that I have been deprived of for quite some time. The aroma of Sambar and the softness of the Idly totally took over my soul! I don’t think I have enjoyed Idly so much in my life. What is that they say? you know the value of something only when you don’t have it. certainly!
It is such a sin to have Idlies without having the “Medu Vada“. So, I ordered them! The vada was golden and crispy on its outside, while soft and tender on the inside. One can almost see the steam while biting it, so hot and so fresh! The feel of biting the peppercorn in the vada is what is the definition of ecstasy! A dip into the white chutney, and then into the Sambar, and off it goes into your mouth! Beauty!
If you thought that I was gonna finish my dinner here, then you’re so very wrong. We just got started! There was no stopping me from this feast! My next order was “Mysore Masala Dosa“, a dear dish from Karnataka. Another crispy golden beauty, well, a bit crispy, a bit juicy with that spicy red chutney on the inside, stuffed with yummy semi mash potato stir fry, served with a range of chutneys, just the way it is served back home, hot, amazing and divine!
On to my next order on the menu, hmmm, very difficult, everything seemed inviting, my tummy wasn’t so ok with that apparently. Haha! I went on to order “Rava Kichadi“. The comfort food of every south Indian. No this is not the Kichadi that the north Indians make with rice and lentils. This is RAVA KICHADI! The Kichadi was amazing, it wasn’t soggy, it wasn’t dry, it was perfect, just how my mom makes it 😇
My tummy was now almost full and I had no space in it for anything more, sadly. Although I did wanted to try a lot many. You know, it wasn’t just enough for the mind and the soul :D. But then, one cannot finish this scrumptious meal without a proper south Indian filter coffee, or can I? No! I always believed that I make the best coffee and the best tea in the world, I still do stick to that belief. I don’t even like my mom’s coffee. I can call myself a connoisseur of coffee and tea. Saravanaa Bhavan actually lived up to my expectations. The coffee definitely didn’t disappoint me. The perfect blend of decoction, milk, and sugar. Impeccable!
My amazing dinner time, finally, finally came to an end. I couldn’t leave the place without meeting the man who ran the show, Mr. Arun Mohan. I truly appreciate the way they are doing such an amazing job by giving us Indians in Stockholm the taste of home. The best part is that every dish preserves its authentic taste. Very interesting and very commendable indeed! Can’t appreciate the whole team enough!
Now to end the blog post, let’s talk about the expense. It definitely wasn’t cheap and at the same time, I wouldn’t call it expensive. Considering the fact that Sweden is an expensive city to live, and a meal anywhere would cost around 100 SEK, this was pretty decent. Besides, getting to have a meal that felt like home, I wouldn’t hesitate to pay that price. It might not be an everyday place. But, once in a while, every now and then, if you want to feel home and taste home, then you must head to Saravanaa Bhavan. And to all those who are considering moving to Stockholm for your studies, don’t think much about home food. We have it all here! Be it the raw ingredients or the yummy restaurants, Stockholm has it all!
I hope you loved reading this one, because I really loved writing this 🙂
See you soon!