Monday, October 20, 2008

Udipi Ganesh Vilas at Ceylon Road

Service was remarkably decent, and they kept asking us if we wanted refills of our food!
Hubby recalled this place he used to visit for good briyani. It's at Ceylon Road, just a bit further in from the feuding Katong Laksa (49 and 328) stalls at the junction of East Coast Road. But the shop has changed. It's now an Indian vegetarian shop, offering Northern, Southern and tandoori items. Hmm! We gave it a shot anyway, and were pleasantly rewarded with a nice experience.

Onion pakoda or pakoras
Started with some onion pakoras (or pakoda), just S$1.50. These were fried a little too hard, but the taste grew on us. Comes with a milky, grated coconut dip.

Briyani set (all vegetarian, of course)
My briyani set (S$5) comes with a couple of vegetable dishes (long beans, chickpea curry and mixed vegetables), raita, a large portion of vegetable briyani, chapati, papadum, and the most healthy sweet/dessert I've seen in a set meal - a banana! I'm not usually a big fan of vegetarian dishes, but I rather liked this. The briyani was richly infused with spices, and almost good enough to eat on its own. But it takes on a different character when paired with the side dishes. It's nice mixing and matching to see what you get.

Southern Indian rice set
The Southern Indian meal set (S$5.50) gives you also a medley of vegetable dishes, generous portion of steamed rice, papadum, resam, dhal, yoghurt, and again, banana for dessert. Oh, and there was a surprise of a fat, dried chili strangely filled with salt under the papadum, which gave tastebuds a lovely jolt when bitten into. It also transforms whatever you're eating into something else altogether.

Each of the dishes offered their own unique flavours. Hubby said this was the first time he's had an Indian vegetarian meal that didn't taste the same across the board.

And guess what, the friendly wait staff kept coming back to ask us if we wanted refills of any of our dishes or rice. Gosh, such hospitality! Yes, I remember certain shops in Serangoon also practised this. They make sure customers eat to their fill and satisfaction. We didn't really need refills though. We were quite full with the set as they were.

Drinking water provided
Some of the dishes are rather salty and spicy, so it's nice to see that they offer drinking water on the side. Help yourself. Yes, I doubly checked that this was not water for washing hands.

Mango lassi
We went for mango lassi (S$3.50) and Coke Zero (S$1.30) instead though. The mango drink is thick but not too sweet. I would have preferred they use shaved or crushed ice instead of the ice cubes, which failed to cool the drink adequately (due to its viscosity).

Strikingly colourful sweets
You can also choose from an array of colourful Indian sweets, but these are generally too sweet for me, so I didn't try any.

Muruku to take home
Lots of muruku and fried snacks for takeaway at the back. These were terribly expensive - S$5 for a small 250g pack that normally sells for about S$2. We thought perhaps they used really special and quality spices and flour. So we brought home a pack of the thin muruku but it wasn't the best we've had. The YongHup one is way tastier (no doubt with more MSG too). I'm still tempted by the spiced banana chips on the bottom right but at S$6, I think I'll have to pass.

Their menu at Udipi Ganesh Vilas is huge, but prices small (click to see bigger picture). Snacks from S$1-3, dishes from S$3-6. I think I will try their thosai and some tandoori items next time.

In a shophouse near the Indian temple at Ceylon Road
Apart from the takeaway snacks, this place seems cheap and cheerful. Nearby is the Sri Senpaga Vinayagar temple. I hear the shop that was previously here used to support the temple's activities. Not sure if this one does too. But we'll be back again soon.

10 Ceylon Road
Singapore 429606
Tel: 6348-7708
Open daily 7.30am - 10.30pm
NOTE: Closed during Deepavali on 29-30 October 2008.


  1. Looks super delicious!!! I think I will head there before the indian holidays :P~

  2. Haha...i will nvr touch indian matter how tempting they look. Their spice just don't suit my taste bud...Kaveri restaurant was a disaster the last time i tried vegetarian.

    Camemberu...side track slightly, have you tried their carrot cake? I just did this afternoon, a farewell treat from my colleague..worth trying for the price!

  3. MissyG: yeah, it's worth checking out if you are nearby. Indian vegetarian is still not my favourite cuisine but this shop OK lah.

    MyBlueCorner: true, this cuisine is not for everyone, and Indian vegetarian can be an acquired taste. But I love spicy food, so it can't go far wrong with me. :)

    What carrot cake are you talking about, btw? From Calendar's? Nope, never even heard of them. Looks like they do not have a shop and only do delivery? And hey, how odd - their logo looks like a copy of Carlsberg's!

  4. Sorry, forgot to switch another identity while posting the above comment. Mybluecorner happens to be my sis id. Sorry!

    Those american style carrot cake, with cheese as the topping..and shreds of carrots and raisin in the cakes. Yes, they do not have a shop and apparently does only delivery. I have tried once when my colleague had her farewell. Pretty good for events. However don think you can finish it within the days given if its onli meant for the family. Min weight is 1kg.

    yeah the logo looks weird...but its quite popular in offices to order their stuff for small events.

    Must put a clause here in case, it doesnt taste as nice! Not my fault!! haha

  5. Indian! Love their vegetables... spices spices! Had a set similar to the one in your picture recently but it was $6.50. Ex!

    Gotta try this one, the pics tempt one so much :D
    The only other place i've seen practice the refilling thing was at some eateries in Little India.

    Still more of japanese person though :P

  6. ehm, i am generally not fond of indian sweets as well...i love banana pratha though :)

  7. Jackson, ah so it's you. Thanks for the carrot cake recommendation. I doubt my small family can (or should!) eat all of it, but I'll keep it in mind for parties or the like. Anyone else who has tried them is welcome to comment!

    Ben-G: thanks! Yes, me too, gimme Japanese any day every day!

    MochaRita: Banana prata - nice with honey!

  8. I am quite a sucker for indian food. Maybe I can try this :)

  9. Saw your photo on Tastespotting and had to come by and take a look at your blog. Everything looks so delicious! :)

  10. WOW! I am REALLY impressed.

    Louise Wyers,
    therealchiffonade, Senior Adviser at SeriousEats

  11. This illustrates why my young wife and I will NOT eat in restaurants!

    Civilized people (like us) should NOT have to worry if people have bathed in their drinking water.

    Nice photos though.

  12. I live with my BF "Big Bear" (who is really the famous David Wyers). Unfortunately he is 56 years old, weighs 437 pounds, and has diabetes.

    Do you think that this dish would be okay for him?

    Because he is in Atlanta this week trying to get a job, but when he comes back home to the trailer park here in Clearwater, Florida, I would realy like to make him a special meal.

    Unfortunately, my friends over on SeriousEats were not very helpful in advising me how to feed "Big Bear", when I posted today.

    Senior Adviser on SeriousEats website

  13. Your post is really interesting, and the Indian dish you presented sounds really good to us New Yawk people, most of whom do not have a kitchen large enough to cook in, or a toilet large enough to accommodate our obese derriers.

    Just like my pathetic minion above, the famous "chiff0nade", my members on the CassandraCrossing appreciate your efforts at preparing an edible dish.

    Shamdra Lee could NEVER have done it as well as you did.

  14. OK, you're killing me with the gorgeous photos of the food and the low prices! What would have sent my tears overflowing would be if the meals were served on banana leaves!

  15. My husband has not been himself lately, as he has yet to receive a large wire transfer he is expecting from an offical at the Nigerian American Bank.

    Once that money arrives, he has promised me a lavish vacation. Lucky me! I deserve one, too, after so many years tending to drug addicts in a correctional facility.

    Anyway, we love large cities and we love asian food so we intend to eat our way through Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. When we get that money, that is.

    Thanks for a cool blog!

  16. My nephew was involved in a scam from Nigeria. Be careful.


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