My wife said, ‘We should try this restaurant “Savya Rasa” that specializes in authentic South Indian food’.
Like everyone else, Idli, Dosa, Sambhar, Rasam etc. crossed my imagination with the word South Indian food. Reluctantly, I said, ‘What is this strange name? Can we try some other options as I am in no mood to have such food today’?
My wife replied, ‘Savya Rasa means “Flavors of the South”. Trust me, let’s go to this restaurant for Lunch’.
There you go (after all, you can’t win over wives), the valet parked the car for us & we moved towards the entrance of the restaurant with my skeptical thoughts of having south Indian food on a beautiful, cloudy Saturday afternoon.
With each step, I started to observe the surroundings & I must admit that the entrance was very rustic, infusing a significant amount of curiosity in me to explore more about this place.
Upon entering Savya Rasa, I got a very warm feeling as if I entered someone’s home. The decor, the door, the pillars, the artwork on the walls, the treasure boxes etc. were done in lines with very ancestral South Indian houses. There was a very peculiar aroma of spices with soft Carnatic music in the background that immediately soothed our senses. The staff was wearing the time-honored South Indian attire, a white dhoti & white shirt. I believe that the management has gone all out to create a warm ambiance, which only adds to the genuineness & the wonderful first impression you create.
By now my prejudices had started to diminish a little & I couldn’t stop myself from saying, ‘I am liking this place’.
After being seated & offered hot towels, we were asked for the type of flavored water. The best was Khas amongst Jeera & Tulsi as other options. We were then offered the welcome drink – Rasam with traditional Papads. It was very refreshing & one of the best Rasams I’ve ever had. I really liked the tinge of tamarind flavor in it.
Now was the time to decide the food from the wide of range of options that came from 4 different states of South India. The extensive menu had so much to offer, making you want to try everything. We zeroed on ‘Koon Ularthiyathu’ (mushroom preparation) from Kerela’s Nasrani region as starter for a very simple reason that we were inquisitive to try mushrooms in authentic south Indian style. And it didn’t disappoint at all. The hot & spicy preparation was well blended with crushed pepper, cumin, coconut, onions & curry leaves.
For main course, we opted for:
‘Bun Parota’ (A fluffy multi-layered paratha) from Tamil Nadu’s Kongunadu region.
‘Idiyappa Idly’ (Steamed idlis made from vermicelli) from Tamil Nadu’s Chettinad region.
‘Gutti Venkaya Masala’ (Baby aubergines stuffed with dry roasted & powdered spices) from Andhra Pradesh’s Nellore region.
We wanted to try ‘Nei Choru’ aka ghee rice from Kerela’s Malabar region however the portion size of the ordered food was quite generous. Unfortunately we had to let go off it for the next time.
All the dishes were good in eye appeal, cooked to perfection & of course, delicious. It amazed us further to know that all spices used in the food were brought from various regions spread across 4 southern states. Now that’s what I call as Authentic.
Meanwhile, my wife shared a glance with me & all I could say was, ‘hmmm….yummy’.
To keep the say going “There’s always some space for the dessert”, we tried the recommendation of our server ‘Karupatti Halwa’ (A melt in the mouth sweet made of palm sugar, rice flour, clarified butter garnished with cashew nuts/almonds). We were informed that this preparation takes nearly 5-6 hours to cook. It certainly deserved my 10/10 for its texture, flavors – especially ghee & taste.
Last but not the least, South Indian meal is incomplete without coffee & I didn’t break this rule by ordering ‘Filter Kappi’ (Freshly roasted & grounded Arabica coffee beans brewed in a tamba (copper) vessel overnight). It was accompanied by 4 types of sweeteners – Refined, brown, coconut & palm sugar. We were given 4 separate teaspoons to try each to suit our palette; however, the recommendation from the staff was to have the coffee with either coconut or palm sugar.
Overall, great food, lovely ambiance & knowledgeable staff. Prices were a little heavy on pocket, so wait for the salary SMS before your visit. 🙂
This time my wife had a witty smile on her face that conveyed, ‘Wives are generally right & you should listen to them more often’.
This restaurant is a must try if you are in Pune. If you are from southern India, you’ll love it. If not, you’ll love it even more.