BANGKOK RESTAURANT

Shri Ganesha Restaurant

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Despite the proliferation of North Indian restaurants, we can count their South Indian counterparts on one hand. That's why legions of mustachioed uncles from India's south come here for iddly rasam (rice cakes with lentil broth) and dahi vada (lentil donuts dunked in spiced yogurt). Don't come expecting your favorite curries of butter chicken or lamb rogan joshm because here it's about lighter, more soupy broths simmered for hours and packed full of masala spices. 

Despite the proliferation of North Indian restaurants, we can count their South Indian counterparts on one hand. Maybe it’s due to fewer immigrants to the city from that region, the low profile of these establishments, or simply that diners who visit South Indian eateries expecting naan and chicken tikka end up disappointed. So think what you will about Shri Ganesha, but its unusual menu, and the legions of mustachioed uncles who come there for lunch, certainly convince us. It may be a kitchen-tiled, fluorescent-lit mom-and-pop shop, dominated by a television playing Dollywood songs. But, combined with the stainless steel plates lined with banana leaves (standard for Brahmin Hindus), the space has an authentic vibe, like you’re grabbing a budget lunch in Chennai. Overall, the cuisine has less garlic and onions than North Indian cooking, and more mustard seeds and curry leaves. The iddly rasam (rice cakes with lentil broth) and dahi vada (lentil donuts dunked in spiced yogurt) are just two of the light and complex appetizers. Entrees include the comforting, though sometimes cold, uthapam, and the quintessential and wonderfully crispy rava masala dosa (oniony rice crepe with spicy potatoes). Both are made to order and come with fiery sambhar (lentil soup with vegetables) and chutneys. Not everything is great, though. The thali (which comes with three curries) sounds like value for money but is bland, so stick to their standards. Finally, no visit to Shri Ganesha should conclude without a cup of creamy and frothy Madras coffee. Served in a steel glass and with a small metal bowl, the idea is to pour the steaming liquid back and forth, to aerate and cool the coffee. Another hint: come just after 1pm to avoid slow service from the friendly but sometimes overwhelmed staff. While it’s far from a date spot, Shri Ganesha feels like a sweet, secret nook to enjoy a relaxed meal with friends, and experience some intriguing rarities from the diverse realms of Indian cuisine. No alcohol.
 

Venue Details
Address: Shri Ganesha Restaurant, 392/23-24 Sukhumvit Soi 20/1, Bangkok, Thailand
Phone: 02-651-1335
Area: Phrom Phong
Cuisine: South Indian, Vegetarian or Organic
Price Range: B
Opening hours: daily 10am-10pm
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Shri Ganesha Restaurant