There are many frustrations in mastering the game of golf! Not the least of them are those final approach shots to the green and finally holing out! Sometimes tempers soar and the words fly. Sometimes even putters fly, and not always in one piece.
It is almost surreal to sit atop the Savitri Café, enjoying a leisurely lunch, whilst a few metres away golfers are celebrating their undeniable skill or commiserating about their shockingly bad luck.
The Savitri Café is an Indian restaurant, serving most of the things that you would expect to find in such a place. It sits alongside one of the greens that adorn the Sanur Golf Course. From the upstairs section you sit in peaceful surrounds overlooking the stretches of parkland that provide golfers with their unique challenge. To your right is the approaching fairway, in front the putting green, but you are protected from errant golfers by a wired screen.
Upon being seated you are presented with a dish of Indian Crackers, small pastry twists with a light curry flavour. They are that type of simple snack that it is almost impossible to stop eating; very soon there are none.
Entrees start predictably with Vegetable Samosas. The pastry is a bit thicker than usual, but the stuffing is excellent. Tikki and Bonda are different treatments given to potato that has been marinated in a spicy mixture before being deep-fried. The Vegetable Pakora is other vegetables treated in the same way. You cannot complain about the value at Rp.8,000 per serve.
The Chapati Chicken Roll is also simple, but very special. Nothing more than a curried mixture of minced chicken, it is rolled inside a soft chapatti. Great finger food whilst you watch the endless stream of frustrated golfers struggling to get that little ball into the gaping hole right in front of you. Even their occasional words of anger, just float away on the wind. As they trudge off to contemplate their improved showing on the next hole, you are contemplating your next course of curried delights.
Chapatis [unleavened wholemeal bread] can be ordered plain or sweet [sugar added]. Naans are available plain, garlic or with cheese. Parathas are a flaky wholemeal bread and can be enjoyed buttered or with vegetables or chicken.
As is the case with most Indian restaurants the selection of Vegetarian dishes is quite varied, though in this case never exotic. Dhall [spiced lentils] is a dish ordered by almost all lovers of Indian cuisine whether enjoying a Vegetarian meal or not. Punjabi Dhall is lentils cooked in the style of The Punjab. Rajemah Dhall uses red beans instead of lentils and makes an interesting change. Even more unusual is a Chickpeas Dhall [chole], chickpeas that have been cooked in tomato, onion and spices.
Many combinations of curried vegetables are available with various mixtures of potato, peas, mushrooms and other vegetables as are Dosas [both Plain and Masala]. Or a Vegetarian Thali can be ordered with a kitchen selection of mixed vegetables dishes.
Tandoori is a method of pre-marinating meats in yoghurt and spices prior to cooking in a flamed oven, whereas traditional wet curries are cooked [usually very slowly] in the spiced sauce that they are eventually served with. The only Tandoori dish at Savitri is Chicken although the Savitri Chicken Special is a boneless chicken dish that has been cooked in yoghurt and crushed spices.
The Chicken Madras has all the flavour you expect from this style of curry, whilst the Lamb Rogan Josh is as temperate as ever. Fish can be ordered Masala style [Fish Bhuna Masala] or deep-fried [Ganesh]. A real Fish Head Curry is also available for the real enthusiasts. Behind the eyes is the sweetest of meats but overall I understand not everyone can stand being looked at by what they are eating!
The very mild Egg Curry is an excellent side dish, as is the Green Peas Penir and the Dhalls from the Vegetarian section of the menu.
A Non-Vegetarian Thali is also available consisting of a selection of some of the simpler dishes in an introductory spread.
Whatever mains you decide to order, an order of rice is also a pre-requisite. Whilst it can be had either Plain or Yellow coloured and scented, the Biryani is very good at Savitri. Whilst I prefer the Chicken Biryani [chunky chicken pieces, sliced nuts and rice all pan-fried in spices], there are also Lamb and Vegetable versions. A Biryani also makes a complete meal for the sole diner when taken with some Naan or Paratha, and a side dish of your choice.
Savitri is definitely not exotic, but provides excellent value Indian food in a most unusual and surprisingly restful location. The service does nothing to destroy the natural ambiance of the place [upstairs of course]. All in all a pleasant quiet spot for a switch off from the problems of the world whilst enjoying those unmistakable flavours of India. And at prices that mean you can afford to return whenever you hanker for those tastes.
As an added bonus, you can smirk at all of those missed puts. You will find that you are much more relaxed than the golfers!