Udipi/South Indian cuisine for me borders on comfort food. I say borders because it’s vegetarian food and I’m a hardcore carnivore. Crisp Rawa Masala Dosa, piping hot Upma, crunchy Sabudana Wada and steaming, soul-satisfying Sambar, however, does aptly manage to warm the cockles of my heart on a cold wet day.
Up South is a fast food- self service restaurant that serves Udipi/South Indian food. The restaurant is no great shakes as far as ambiance goes. The chair I sat on wobbled and with my girth I did my best not to move too much as I did not want to land on the floor. Up South have added a few Western twists to what we know as authentic South Indian food. Some of those twists worked, the others fell flat.
One of the dishes that didn’t work for me was the Up South Special Crispy Podi Dosa; it was not special at all. Another miss was the Medu Vada, which was served lukewarm instead of being served hot and was very dense. I would have preferred it to be lighter, crispier and hot. The Bisibele Bhat was edible but lacked seasoning.
The dish that did appeal to me was the dish called Mini Idlis. They were mini-sized and were soft and light, just as Idlis should be. Another hit was the Onion Rava Masala Dosa which was crispy with a tasty potato mixture. The Sabudana Vada with Cheese was another hit. Hot and crispy, it was spiced with what seemed like Podi masala and filled with stringy cheese. The combination worked well. (Though being the cheese lover that I am, I wish there was more cheese. Sigh! There can never be too much cheese.) The Malabari Parota Sandwich was a flaky roti filled with onions and a vegetable patty, and was drizzled with mayonnaise. It was different, and yes, the twist with the mayo worked. The hero of the day was the Upma. Soft, piping hot and delicious; it was made in ghee but the texture was so buttery that I called the manager over to ask whether it was cooked in butter or ghee. I could have had bowls of this without ever thinking of the calories. It was heavenly!
The chutneys served with each dish were run-of-the-mill South-Indian chutneys. The Sambar was well-made and flavorsome, though; I would have liked it to have a hint of tanginess as that would have given it more depth in terms of flavor. All in all, it wasn’t bad Sambar.
Up South have three varieties of desserts. Badam Halwa (glue-ish – steer clear), Elneer Mousse (oversweet – steer clear) and Kesari Bath (I guess they meant to say Bhat) which had absolutely no flavor of Kesar but was edible (which is more than I can say for the other two desserts).
I’m not fond of coffee but going to a South Indian restaurant and not trying their coffee would be sacrilege. We had the filter kappi (coffee). It was everything a filter coffee should be. No complaints, it was deliciously spot-on!
You may have to shoo away a house-fly or two because, as I mentioned above, they don’t figure high in terms of ambiance, but if it’s a rushed day and you need a quick hot South-Indian meal for your empty tummy, walk into Up South. Order the ‘right’ dishes and it will be a satisfying meal with money well spent.
Ratings out of 5
Food: 3 | Ambiance: 2 | Service: 3.5 | Overall: 3
Meal for Two without Alcohol: Rs. 300| Alcohol: No | Credit Card: Yes|
Timing: 8.00 am to 10.30 pm | Wheelchair access : No
Address: Shop 140, Green Harvest Building, Ground Floor, Next to Amanora, Hadapsar, Pune.
Telephone : 020 65331155
Disclaimer : This review was done on an invitation from the restaurant. Due judgment and care has been applied by the author to remain objective and unbiased in the review; however readers may exercise their own discretion.