InOnIt Guides: Mumbai’s Best South Indian Restaurants

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Cloud-like fluffy idlis, a steamy steel glass of fresh filter kappi and rasam with flavours of the South soaked in it. Mumbai’s best South Indian restaurants is what this guide is all about. We discover these Southern jewels tucked away in nooks and corners of this city, which will leave you floating in the world of sambhars and chutneys.

Taste of Kerala

This restaurant stays true to its name. With tastes coming all the way from Kerala, you will feel like you have just eaten a meal at a local Keralaite home with satisfied tummies once you leave. Their hot puttu and hot appam are delicious, and the place is a haven for spicy food lovers. Wash all that down with a glass of Sulaimani, a type of South Indian tea that is had without milk. Special mention: their Beef Pepper Fry is a must try!

Address: 6/A, Prospect Chambers Annex, Pitha Street, Near City Bank, Fort, Mumbai

Contact Number: 022 22044545, 022 35324545

Dakshinayan

Simple interiors and simple food is what Dakshinayan is all about. It doesn’t boast of lavish, rich flavours, but that of delicious lip-smacking dishes. A bit different from your regular fast food joints, its menu is authentic, varied and the many types of chutney deserve a special mention. The unlimited sambhar jug is always at an eyes distance for those who need an extra helping (at no extra cost). Definitely go here for a great South Indian breakfast that can be finished off with their famous filter coffee. And if you like added spice to your meals, try their feiry rasam.

Address: Dakshinayan at Hotel Anand, Juhu, Mumbai

Contact Number: 022 26208812/ 022 26210502

Address: 183, Teen Batti Road, Walkeshwar, Malabar Hill, Mumbai

Contact Number: 022 23676701

Address: J ai Hari CHS, Forjett Street, Near Bhatia Hospital, Tardeo, Mumbai

Contact Number: 0 22 23811188

Komala’s

A Singapore-based all-veg South Indian restaurant, Komala’s at Phoenix Mills is a modern-day version of the famous Udipi, and perfect for those who want to have an Udipi meal experience in a glamorous setting. With a wide range of the typical dosas, idlis and wadas, they also have set meals that give you a traditional meal on a platter.

Address: Shop No 141, High Street Phoenix, Below PVR Cinema

Contact Number: 022 43473929

Mahesh Lunch Home

When you think seafood, you think Mahesh Lunch Home. If you’re looking for authentic, delicious Mangalorean food, Mahesh Lunch Home will never fail to serve it to you. Their black pomfret curries, prawn gassi and crabs are a must try. They serve alcohol too, so how about some wine with your basa?

View the list of Mahesh Lunch Home outlets here.

Mini-Madras as they call it, Matunga has dominated the South Indian scene in Mumbai with its range of culinary delights at every corner. This part of the city deserves a special list of its own, so here goes:

Sharda Bhuvan

Everything about this place is so authentically Southern and delicious; you can very well say that they serve the best of everything. From fluffy idlis to crisp dosas, spicy-sweet sambhar and piping hot upma, Sharda Bhuvan will not cease to amaze you with its absolutely delectable choices of dishes. We love the vintage vibe this place gives, while we sip on their kappi (filter coffee) and look at happy commuters outside from the wide windows.

Address: Opposite Matunga Station, LN Road, Matunga (E)

Café Madras

Cafe Madras has always read as Filter Coffee to all and sundry. But their Upma too sells like hot pancakes. Full of ghee and served with a perennial smile despite the heavy crowd that, by the way they do a great job of handling, Cafe Madras just earned themselves a couple of followers. Their steamed idli with white butter will melt in your mouth and make you want to come back for more. Cafe Madras is a very economic and casual place for a quick bite. You can also choose to make your dosa oil-free. The restaurant is closed on Mondays but we rather you get a take-away anyway, because the place can get a little cramped.

Address: Café Madras, 38 -B, Circle House, King’s Circle, Matunga, Mumbai

Contact Number: 022 24014419

Ramashray

There is absolutely nothing that can come close to the joy of having Curd Rice at Ramashray. With bits and pieces of cucumber and tasty green chillies, some crispies and a lemon pickle served as accompaniments, the curd rice here will leave you with a feeling that all is perfectly right with the world. An eat-n’-leave kind of a place, do not expect star treatment or great ambience. You might even have to share your table with others if you are 1-2 in number. Their Chutney, Sambhars, Dosas, Uttapams and other South Indian delights have turned several staunchly loyal towards them. But what is special is their sheera, which almost always has a variety of flavours, sometimes featuring with the fruit of the season.

Address: Bhandarkar Road, Matunga East (CR), Mumbai

Idli House

Idli aficianados, Idli House serves only idlis for your idli addiction, because there is never enough idli in the world. True? Serving over 13 varieties that include steamed idlis in kedki leaves, masala idlis, pepper idlis, Mysore rava idlis and more, the restaurant is not in the least bit devoid of the different things one can do with this fluffy delicacy.

Address: 462, Ram Bhavan, opposite Jain Temple, Dr. Ambedkar Road, King’s Circle, Matunga (E)

Contact Number: 022 32460111

Mani’s Lunch Home

One of the most historic South Indian restaurants in Mumbai, Manis Lunch Home was started in 1937 by V.S. Mani Iyer. Famous for its hot upma, have a hearty breakfast here at verry affordable prices. Delicacies such as Mysore bonda, sheera, pongal, kela bajji, rasam wada and crisp dosas are some of their signature dishes and you will probably see content faces around because of the fact that they offer unlimited chutney and sambhar. On afternoons, you can try their range of rice dishes such as curd rice, lemon rice and tamarind rice or visit the place on Sundays, for you will get to try adai, a special dosa served with fresh butter. Closed on Mondays.

Address: 153-C, Mhaskar Building, Matunga

Contact Number: 9824127188 

A. Rama Nayak’s Udipi Shri Krishna Boarding

A spectacular South Indian meal served to you on a banana leaf for only about Rs. 50, A. Rama Nayak’s Udipi Shri Krishna Boarding will probably give you the closest Udipi experience you can get in Mumbai. Started in 1942, it was indeed the first Udipi joint in the city and continues to serve pure scrumptious food in a homely environment. Its legacy is an experience of its kind.

Address: 1st Floor, L.B.S. Market Building, Matunga

Mani’s Dosa/Manju Dosa

A special mention goes to the iconic Mani Dosa Stall in Khar West on 16th Road for its famous dosas that have been a favourite among many generations. The dosa-makers hail from Karnataka, and overtime have added innovative twists to the traditional dosa with options of American Chopsuey dosa, Hakka Noodles Dosa and the likes.

Other places you should visit if you’re around the area are Status at Nariman Point for its excellent idli-wada combo, Kamats in Cuffe Parade, Café Mysore in Matunga, Gopala’s in Bhandup, Mulund and Kanjur Marg, Shiv Sagar in Cumballa Hill for its cheese dosa and Swati Snacks for idlis.

- Sneha Mankani

Did we miss out on your favourite South Indian food joint? We’d love to get your feedback. Tweet to us @get_inonit and @snehasaysso for queries.

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