Ever since Saravana Bhavan opened in New Jersey, we have visited the restaurant over 20 times as it gives us the same familar taste that we are used to back in Chennai.

Since Sachin, Radhika and I have been down with the flu for over five days now, we were craving for Chennai food last night. We immediately thought of Saravana Bhavan on Oak Tree Road and went there. As we were getting ready to order, we met a funny waiter there, who added a lot of entertainment value to our dinner.

We asked him for 14 Idlys, Kothu Parotta, Onion Oothappam and Channa Batura. He said he recommended the rice of the day and we said ok we will have that also. Then we asked him to repeat the order and he said ‘Yeah..i can repeat the order…Onion Oothappam, then 14 Idlys, then the rice and then the other one and the other one’ 🙂 Then he said ‘I do remember all the dishes and i will give it correctly in the kitchen’.

He did! He correctly gave the order and within 10 minutes all the items were at the table.

14Idlys had too much of salt in the sambhar and we thought it was due to our loss of appetite after the flu that we got last week.

Then came the ‘special rice dish of the day’. It tasted like ‘special rice dish of the week’ as it was tasting old.

The onion oothappam was no better – so was the kothu parota. Channa batura was ok, but once it was not hot, we could not eat it.

Overall it was a pathetic experience and we promptly told our funny waiter, who told me ‘No no..all the items are fresh and he added saying trust me’. So I told Radhika, my best friend for 20 years just told me to trust him that the food is good 🙂

Then we spoke to the manager who knows us well. He insisted that we should take the Puliyotharai and we had to carry it with me. Both Radhika and I were laughing about it as none of us even touch Puliyotharai – so we said lets pack it to Sachin’s school for lunch 🙂 . Sachin looked at both of us and gave a stare which made us apologize to him right away for having thought of such a punishment for him.

Overall it was a very nice time out together after a short period at home, but the worst experience at Saravana Bhavan in my experience with them in the past 20 years. I still hope this was a one of instance and Saravana Bhavan will not let us down in taste and quality in our future visits there.

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