I was on a lookout for a good South Indian restaurant in Baner, having recently moved into the neighborhood; and every friend of mine living in the neighborhood had only one recommendation..Idlicious!! The reviews on a popular restaurant listing website called Zomato are also very encouraging and so I had been really trying to actually locate the place for past two weeks and sample the grub.
Location is indeed an issue here, I would have never found it had it not been for precise instructions from a friend. The place is located in Shroff Suyash Mall that houses Union Bank of India, Baner branch. The restaurant is located in a couple of interior shops of the building, so one cant spot it easily. Maybe a signboard outside could help.
I went in early on a Sunday morning to take-away some breakfast for my family. They open around 8.30 in the morning and when I went in at 8.45, the place was already packed with people dining in and about 7-8 people waiting on their take-aways. Just says a lot about their popularity…
It is a basic no-frills-just-good-food kind of eatery with about 7-8 tables on the lower level and 3-4 tables on the mezzanine floor. A few potted plants, a tulsi vrindavan and few south Indian artefacts by the entrance is the only thing where they seem to have worked on the décor, else its all about food.
Food: This is what I packed off for my family’s Sunday breakfast…
Idli-wada: The idlis were insanely soft and fluffy, the best I’ve had in a while now and arguably among the best in town. Not to be missed. The Medu wadas were also very good, having retained their crunch inspite of being packed away. Wadas had a good amount of fresh cracked pepper and coconut slivers which I think are must haves in a good Medu Wada and many restaurant don’t add the pepper.
Masala Dosa: Standard stuff, the sabji was nice and dosa was not too oily.
Onion Masala: This one was a big hit with everyone at home, it had nicely caramelized onion in the thin and nicely done dosa.
Mysore Sada: The mysore dosa actually had podi chutney mixed with oil applied inside the dosa (I suppose it was sesame oil) and I will highly recommend their version of mysore dosa which is slightly different than other places but really nice.
Accompaniments: The chutney had coconut and dal grinded together and tempered with mustard and dried red chillies, good enough but nothing outstanding. A lot of debate seems to be happening here on their Sambar. Having eaten Sambar in several homes of South Indian friends and across travels to three of the four states, I can safely say that there is no single prototype of an ‘authentic’ South Indian Sambar. Sambar varies across geographies and families all though the Southern states. So the version of Sambar served by Idlicious is not close to Vaishali, but then I think it is really close to the one you will be served in any Tamil home, with mild masala and no over-powering tamarind and jiggery. Unfortunately it was a bit too salty for us but that is just individual preference.
Service was very quick and efficient. They encourage you to bring your own containers for a take-away as an eco-friendly measure, or charge for the parcels, something I wasn’t aware of. But it is a good initiative and I will certainly remember to take my own containers next time. Would specially like to mention that the place is run by an elderly lady and she is extremely particular about the food going out of the kitchen, waiting times, hygiene issues and customer satisfaction. Very inspiring and respect to you Ma’am for all the enthusiasm.
Prices are very reasonable and don’t burn a hole in your pocket.