Sunday, May 6, 2007

South Indian food in New Jersey

I consider myself lucky to be staying in close proximity to many South Indian restaurants; most of them are close enough to allow me to make a last minute decision to drive over there for lunch/dinner and reach the restaurant within an hours time.

Udupi Cafe in Franklin Park was probably the first purely South Indian restaurant I got introduced to after arriving in US. It was wonderful to visit this restaurant and relive the experience of eating out in Bangalore. Haven't visited the place in a long time - it being far away being one of the main reasons. Visited the Parsippany branch of Udupi Cafe a couple of times recently; the lunch buffet is quite good.

Malabar House on Stelton Road in Pisctaway has been a favourite of my friends and I for a long time for the tasty Kerala Vegetarian food, and the cosy atmosphere provided by the family run restaurant. Hadn't been to this place in a long time; very recently stopped over there at around 4:00 PM and had them make me a cup of delicious coffee to keep me going on my way south. :)

Swagath Gourmet on Oaktree Road in Iselin has been my personal favourite for a long time. I have frequently visited the place to enjoy their thali or rice dishes or dosas, and almost always having a side order of Paniyaram and a take-out order of Maddur Vada (AWESOME!) and finishing the meal with a delicious cup of South Indian Coffee. The place is run by folks from Mysore.

Moksha on Oaktree Road is one of the recently opened restaurants to move up to my favourites list. The menu is quite exotic including dishes from all four South Indian states, and probably more oriented for a meat-eater's palate. The food is pricey, but the overall experience is favourable.

Malgudi on Oaktree Road has some very interesting items on the menu, and is more crowded than the other restaurants in the area. I have walked away from the place many times to eat at a different place. Food is good and the service is decent as well. The best thing I remember about visiting the place was once seeing an Indian Guy carrying a new-born child and proudly sporting the "Sugar Daddy" T-shirt much to our delight :-)

Hoysala in Somerset was the most recent discovery. I was delighted to find that the place was run by folks from Bangalore and the menu had some dishes local to Bangalore and the surrounding areas - things like Akki Roti, Ragi Mudde, Kadale Saru, Badanekayi yenagai, ... Their lunch buffet is sumptuous as well, including a wide variety of appetisers (though most are of the deep-fried variety making me go easy on them!), fresh dosa, idli, tasty sambhar, one delicious rice item along with many veg and non-veg entrees. The coffee is good as well.

Saravana Bhavan has recently opened a Branch on Oaktree Road; the ambience is very good - the place must have been a huge diner before. The food as always is excellent.

Finally, I have to mention Baba Hut on Newark Avenue in Journal Square, which serves authentic coastal food from Andra and Tamil Nadu, and is open till 11:30 PM atleast everyday to make it convenient when running late from work or when returning late from a long trip. The propreiter -Pradeep Shakti - was previously in the cinema field; his best remembered role being of a villian in Nayagan. If only I wasn't out of town on work, I would have got to meet Super Star Rajnikanth when he visited US for shooting some parts of his new movie Sivaji and was staying with Pradeep's folks. The Super Star had taken part in a late night get-together at Baba Hut with some of the close friends of Pradeep's.

So do I miss South Indian food with all these restaurants nearby and to top it all I myself can dish out some delicious South Indian food in quick time?!!

7 comments:

sury said...

Your article on SOUTH INDIAN FOOD IN NEW JERSEY is interesting and inviting the taste buds of all South indians. Myself a lover of good food has been enjoying Saravana Hotel at Chennai for over 3 decades. Their adhererence to flavour and taste of South indian food is simply amazing.
But whatever one says, hotel food can never match food cooked and served by your better half. May be it is less tasty, but the love and affection and equal care with which the food is served on your table tastes more makes it more glorifying.
Anticipating your permission, I am giving a link to your blog, which also talks of GOOD FOOD GOOD MUSIC GOOD HUMOUR AND GOOD MUSIC. If time permits, you may visit my
blog:
http://menakasury.blogspot.com
http://movieraghas.blogspot.com

Pradeep said...

Hey Everyone,

I just found out that the famous Anjappar Chettinad restaurant is opening in North Brunswick, NJ this month. I can't believe it! Finally! My mouth is just watering thinking about the tasty chicken 65, biriyani and much, much more. The menu looks great. Check it out at www.anjapparusa.com

Anonymous said...

Hi Guys,

Chettinad Restaurant is not new to NJ. There is First Authentic Chettinad Restaurant is serving to all our indian people who crave for authentic food in Edison NJ. It is AACHIS, 128 Talmage Road Edison, NJ 08817, 732-287-0570
www.aachis.com

Anonymous said...

Anjappar NJ had mini-cockroach in the sambar... Please use caution when consuming sambar there...

Corine said...

Good words.

Pradeep said...

Hey Everyone,

I just found out that the famous Anjappar Chettinad restaurant is opening in North Brunswick, NJ this month. I can't believe it! Finally! My mouth is just watering thinking about the tasty chicken 65, biriyani and much, much more. The menu looks great. Check it out at www.anjapparusa.com

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