Navayuga is a pretty nice Indian restaurant in Kollupitiya. Set inside what seems to have once been a charming house, it's cosy, and their menu is pretty wide.
These guys have got a refreshingly large menu to pick from - the menu declares pages of specials from Chettinad, Andhra, Hyderabad and general North Indian food. So whether you want typical Indian like chapati and vadai or you want to try out specific dishes from other parts of India, like the Sura Puttu from Chettinad (shark flakes), they've got it. It'll cost you about Rs. 1500 per head which is fair we thought, considering the comfy ambience and the wide range.
Navayuga special thali
Behold the formidable thali. For the uninitiated, a thali is an Indian combo meal, typically with plenty of rice and a whole array of curries - the ones you get in most parts of India come cheap and in ridiculous proportions. We got the Navayuga Special thali, which includes a pot of rice, one chapati, fish curry, chicken curry, parippu, three types of veggies, sambar, rasam, curd and fruits. The rice is enough for one person though the sides make up a feast. For Rs. 850, the thali is an interesting choice and plenty enough to fill your belly.
The chicken biriyani (Rs. 450) was okay. It came with curry, curd an egg and chicken, and was a bit on the dry side - tastes tonnes better with some spicy side dish, like the Kodi Navayuga.
Kodi Navayuga spicy chicken
The side dishes we got were for Rs. 500 more or less. The Kodi Navayuga is spicy chicken in the style of a secret special 'Chef's recipe'. This is definitely worth getting - it was well cooked and delicious, especially the broth that had a soupy texture and spiced up everything we mixed it with. We also got the Sura Puttu for funsies, because it's made of shark flakes tossed with green chillies - it was good and makes for another spicy mix with rice.
Ambience & Service
The restaurant looks like a lovely old style house from the outside, with decorative eaves, brick tile floors and some detailing in the wood carved columns at the entrance.
There's a lot of lattice work in the windows and there's a soothing classy ambience in the tones and decor. Most of the place is an ordinary formal dining set-up but there's also a cushy corner for a casual chill-out session with friends (not recommended if you're eating something messy like a thali though). Where service was concerned, the food came soon enough and our waiter was incredibly soft spoken, polite and eager to assist (he even pointed out which shaker was salt and which was pepper in case I didn't know).
Navayuga is a good place in the city to stop at for Indian food. It's a typical dine-in restaurant but looks a little off the wall compared to other Indian places because of its old-house vibe. Not everything on the menu is bound to be great, but they definitely get points for such an extensive range.
Try the Navayuga specials, it's likely they'll be tastier than your average choice.