My friend Samantha was kind enough to treat me to lunch for letter U of Alphabet Dining. We went to Udupi Palace on Valencia, and did not know what was in store for us!
Udupi Palace serves Southern Vegetarian Indian cuisine, which means it does not offer the classic Tikka Masala and garlic naan. Instead, we were treated to an assortment of new flavors, spices, and dishes.
South Indian Thali
To start, we ordered the South Indian Thali. Thali is an Indian meal made up of various dishes, and at Udupi they vary day by day.
We were given daal (Indian Lentil Soup), a special rice, chapatti (unleavened flatbread), plain rice, sambar (pigeon peas), rasam (tamarind soup), yogurti, and dessert (the jelly ball).
I was blown away by the dishes on the platter- dipping the Batura Bread into each cup, I experienced entirely new flavors with each and every bite! The yogurti was great to calm the senses after trying a hot dish.
Spinach Masala Dosa
We also enjoyed the Spinach Masala Dosa, which is a rice crepe smeared with spinach and stuffed with spiced potatoes. It was warm, spiced goodness. The menu lists it as being a "thin" crepe, but the outer shell is spongy and full of flavor. The potatoes were spiced but not too spicy - just enough for a kick.
The potatoes within the crepes were stuffed only halfway through. The rest of the crepe (I assume) is to be dipped in the wonderful sauces which come neatly organized for your tasting pleasure.
The Dosa came with Sambar and Coconut Chutney. My favorite sauce was the one on the left, which had a slightly sweet taste to it.
Instead of naan, Udupi's Southern cuisine offers the Batura Bread seen above. It is essentially a fried, puffy bread, much thinner than naan but with more texture.
The loud colors warn your palate of the bright flavors to come. I loved the use of stainless steel plates. Their glimmer, catching the rays of the mid-afternoon Mission sun, complemented the bold colors in the dishes - not to mention looking great in photos!
One note: Udupi is cash or check only, so come prepared! It is well worth the trip.