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Swagath Gourmet Edison Review
Swagath GourmetSugartree Plaza
1700 Oak Tree Road
Edison, NJ 08820
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Swagath Edison Review: Good Indian Vegetarian Food; Good Service
South Indian cuisine is starting to come into its own in New Jersey.
You just have to look at the proliferation of restaurants in the New Jersey area serving food primarily from the Southern part of India. Recent additions include Saravanaa Bhavan (vegetarian) and Moksha (vegetarian and non-vegetarian).
Unlike the other Johnnies come lately, Swagath has been serving fine South Indian vegetarian fare for many years from its perch at the Sugar Tree Plaza on Oak Tree Road in the city of Edison, New Jersey.
The restaurant offers a wide choice of vegetarian dishes including standard fixtures such as Idli, Dosa and Vada as well as some hard to find dishes such as Puliyogare, Bisebelebath, Venn Pongal and Sakkar Pongal.
During our recent visit to Swagath, We tried a variety of dishes and much of what we tasted was vastly superior to what we've had at other South Indian restaurants in the Edison/Iselin area.
Fine Mysore Masala Dosa & IdlyMysore Masala Dosa ($5.75) came hot and crisp with Chutney and Sambar to our table in about six minutes after our order. The Dosa, Sambar and the Potato filling inside the Dosa were done to perfection.
We liked the fact that Swagath's kitchen had lavished attention on the potato filling, something that few South Indian restaurants care to do. At several other restaurants that we've visited, the potato and onion filling inside the Dosa is a bland mass of vegetables with very little taste.
We loved Swagath's soft and fluffy Idlis but we like our Medhu Vadas a bit more crisper.
While the Chutney had a fresh taste, it could have been a tad spicier.
But Swagath is more than just a Idli/Dosa joint.
Excellent Mysore ThaliSwagath offers an excellent Mysore Thali ($12.95) that lets you try a a medley of South Indian specialities such as Avial, Mixed Vegetable Korma, Rasam, Dal, Sambar, Rice, Pooris (or chappatis) and more.
In a Thali filled with several good items, Avial was easily the standout dish.
Avial, a dish we confess we are partial to, is prepared with green banana, carrot, drumstick, elephant yam and cooked in yogurt and coconut sauce. Preparing tasty Avial is a fine art and a feat seldom accomplished by most cooks. However, when cooked well, Avial has been known to send diners into a delightful state of euphoria. Swagath's Avial is awesome. We were swept away by the taste.
We were also pleased with the Mixed Vegetable Korma, Rasam, Dal, Rice and Pooris in our Thali.
But we found the Cabbage Poriyal and Bisibelebath (both of which came with the Thali) below par. A speciality of Karnataka, Bisibelebath is made from rice cooked with lentils, mixed vegetables and spices. But Swagath's Bisibelebath was so lacking in flavor as to make it seem a pathetic impostor.
Delicious Sakkar PongalSwagath offers a choice of desserts including the ubiquitous Gulab Jamun and Ice Cream as well as esoteric items such as Sakkar Pongal, Badam Halwa and Puran Poli.
Go for the Sakkar Pongal, a dessert made of rice, jaggery, honey and saffron infused with raisins and cashews. It's absolutely divine.
Fine Masala Tea, OK Mysore CoffeeOn the beverages side, Mysore Coffee ($1.75) was so-so. Mind you, the Coffee was not bad at all. It's just that our expectations from this restaurant had risen higher after that sumptuous meal. But the Masala Tea ($1.75) was superb and gave no room for complaint.
Good ServiceUnlike the bad service we encountered at Moksha and Saravanaa Bhavan, we found the service at Swagath attentive. Our Gujarati waitress was prompt and solicitous, all through a long meal.
Swagath - RatingNext time you are in the mood for South Indian vegetarian food in the Oak Tree Road area, Swagath is the restaurant to visit. It offers far superior South Indian food and service and definitely greater value for money than its neighbors.
For our part, we can't wait to get back to Swagath...its Sakkar Pongal, Masala Dosa and more. - © OakTreeRoad.us