Mumbai's Best South Indian Breakfast Buffet
Image Credit: Breakfast spread at South of Vindhyas, Image Credit: tripadvisor

Why is Mumbai called a cosmopolitan city? If you have to find a befitting answer, the simplest route to reach it can be through its culinary extravaganza. Reflecting the city's innate skill to embody diversity, the eateries of every size prove that it has flavours from the world's remotest corners. Amidst its sea of food stops, what attests to the authentic essence of Mumbai is South of Vindhyas of Orchid Hotel. It's undeniably one of the rarest places serving an exhaustive spread of authentic south Indian cuisine. To believe it, one must dine and experience the sit-down breakfast buffet presenting a mind-boggling range of 56 food and beverages. 

Ambience and aesthetics

South of Vindhyas

Upon entering South of Vindhyas, I was received with a warm welcome. The restaurant's aesthetics reminded me of those old traditional bungalows of southern states. The profuse use of exotic wooden elements replicates the nostalgic homely set-up. The first thing that caught my attention was the live breakfast counter which is an enigma in itself. Nearly 30 varieties of dishes are prepared on the spot here. To make the guests understand what is in store, a sample of these dishes is displayed with a description. 

Meanwhile, the hospitable staff guides everyone, briefing what's on the menu. And I was awestruck to know the sheer assortment. The eatery's claim that it is India's best pure vegetarian breakfast seemed legit. 

If variety needs a definition

From India's southern regions, options are upma, medu vada, moong dal appe, paniyaram, Thatte idli, and coin idli. Venkatesh Dosa and Vithal Dosa are creativity overloaded. Especially the former presents the classic and crispy rava dosa with a new twist. For puri lovers, there is Kolkata club kachori with aloo bhaji and masala puri with bhopla bhaji. On the menu, you also find methi toast, steamed kothmir vadi, dadpe poha, missal pav, Thalipeeth with curd, moong dal chilla, dhokla and khandvi. The choice of chutneys offers coconut, tomato, podi, till oil, methkut, thecha and chundo. The spread also has an array of fresh fruits and fruit juices, cereals, breakfast rolls, croissants, chocolate doughnuts, muffins, and slices of cake. For someone with a sweet tooth, sheera and gul poli are the ultimate. The beverage variants include plain, salted, mango lassi, and filter coffee and tea.

Medu vada dunked in sambar

Retaining India's dining tradition

One of the Indian customs is to refrain from getting up once you have seated yourself to dine. The sit-down buffet idea has been used by this eatery. You can pick from a range of items; thus, it still counts as a buffet. The trolleys and staff come to you while you're seated instead of you getting up from the chair, and this is where the distinction lies. 

Mini size to maximize

An assortment of south Indian dishes

Yes, this can ideally be the tagline of this buffet. The patrons are served a miniature size of the actual dish without compromising the taste, flavours, texture or presentation. My favourite were coin idlis, Vithal Dosa, masala puri with bhopla bhaji (a Maharashtrian native pumpkin curry), moong dal appe, club kachori, and Venkatesh dosa. "We want our guests to have the opportunity to taste everything. The regular size won't allow it. Furthermore, smaller sizes also ensure less food wastage. The guests can have as many servings as they want," informed Tarun, F&B Manager. 

What scores highest

It is an individual or somewhat subjective opinion. For me, a few were clear winners. The presentation of Vithal dosa shows the chef's eye for detail. This is a small sponge dosa stuffed with mashed potato filling and then folded into a semi-circular shape. A dash of inhouse made butter tops the dosa in an arty way and is guarded with a slender strip of banana leaf. Thalipeeth and steamed kothi meer vadi were very new for my taste buds. I couldn't resist having a couple of servings of gul poli and sheera. 

Venkatesh dosa

Pick what comes on the plate

One can opt for the full house or pick and choose what reaches the plate from the buffet menu. Given the variety, quality, and authenticity of each dish on the buffet, epicureans travel from the city's farthest corner to indulge in this South Indian breakfast. "We have dedicated patrons coming only for this breakfast from distant places. They are a few who have been regular diners. It speaks for the popularity," shared Master Chef Bala Subramanian, with a justified pride. 

Timings: 7:00 AM to 10:30 AM (every day)

One must try this breakfast sit-down buffet at least once. It vouches that pure passion for serving authentic dish not just satiates hunger but create a memory that remains etched forever.