The New Saraswati Cafe in Pettah is a popular little restaurant that serves good (and plenty) vegetarian South Indian food, for cheap saivar kade prices.
The only catch about getting here is it's inside Pettah so you can't bring your vehicle unless you want to get stuck in the impossible market traffic. It's best you walk down Sea Street till you get to the New Kathiresan kovil or get there by a tuk-tuk - the restaurant is right opposite the temple. If you come here after 5PM then you might get to visit the temple as well, it's quite old and brimming with colour.
We got all the good stuff - thosai, vadey, egg rotti and string hoppers, with sambar and chutney.
It was all very tasty - it's very hard to go wrong with saivar kade South Indian food - but worth mentioning is how thick and fluffy the thosai was. Also, we're huge fans of the giant silver buckets from which you get an unlimited supply of chutney and sambar - talk about value for money. The string hoppers were thick and soft and delicious after being soaked in sambar (we don't have a picture of that because we whacked it all as soon as it was on our plate).
Besides the soft drinks, we love how South Indian restaurants offer a nice hot cup of milk. Even the nescafe they served came like this, and it comes warm and frothy and they make it a little sweeter than normal.
Service & Ambience
This place has got your typical saivar kade atmosphere with seating for about 35 people. But it's very clean and the service was excellent with orders arriving immediately and very friendly waiters who were happy to oblige.
New Saraswati Cafe is a great place to stop by if you're in Pettah and you're tired from all the walking and the market hustle. The food is good, filling and it's great value for money - Rs. 450 for the two of us, and that too when we ordered almost each of everything.
Brush up on your Tamil, it always helps in a South Indian restaurant.