Oak Tree Rd
Udipi Cafe Franklin Park New Jersey
3029 Route 27
Franklin Park, NJ 08823
Other New Jersey Indian Restaurants
Udipi Cafe Franklin Park NJ: Remarkably Bad Food; So-So Service
If the measure of a restaurant is the quality of its food then Udipi Cafe on Rt 27 in Franklin Park (near Princeton), New Jersey is a dismal failure.
During our recent visit to Udipi Cafe, this South Indian vegetarian restaurant stood out for the uniformly bad taste of its food.
Despite dipping into an extensive set of items on the Udipi Cafe menu, we never got a chance to taste even a single stand-out dish. Au contraire, most of the dishes we had at Udipi Cafe ranged from bad to awful.
What made our disappointment with the Udipi Cafe food difficult to bear was the high expectations with which we went in based on a friend's recommendations.
Hailing from Dosa country in India, we jumped at the opportunity when our New Jersey friend suggested Udipi Cafe in Franklin Park for lunch.
It was a nice sunny Sunday morning in New Jersey and we eagerly looked forward to a nice vegetarian lunch.
But no sooner had we started sipping the Rasam and digging into the Medu Vada and Dosas than we realized that like its spelling (the more common spelling is Udupi), Udipi Cafe has more things wrong than right.
Rasam, Medhu VadaRasam was so lacking in Tamarind that one of our friends asked the waiter for some Lime to add some sourness.
Medhu Vada was passable but the accompanying Sambar and Coconut Chutney were so bland as to make the combination unpalatable.
Horrid Butter Masala DosaIn a meal riddled with landmines at almost every turn, it's hard to pick the worst item. But our vote for the worst dish in a long meal at Udipi Cafe goes to the Butter Masala Dosa.
After just one bite of the Butter Masala Dosa, we suspected someone in the Udipi Cafe kitchen must have had stealthy access to our Cholesterol reports and decided to skimp on the butter. What we got was a malnourished Dosa completely starved of Butter. The potato filling in the Butter Dosa was just not unpalatable. It was inedible too.
Pitiful Pesarattu UpmaUdipi Cafe touts the Pesarattu Upma ($6.49) as one of its House Specialities. But the Upma filling in the Dosa was a soggy paste devoid of any taste and spoiled the Pesarattu exterior also.
Surely, even prisoners in New Jersey jails must get tastier food than this disgraceful Pesarattu Upma.
Tasteless KootuKootu, Tomato Soup, Vegetable Cutlet, Samosa and Chapati had little going for them other than that they were uniformly mediocre with little to recommend them. Not only were the Kootu, Soup, Samosa and Cutlet bland, their spice proportions also seemed to have gone awry.
However, there were some bright spots in our overall disappointing lunch - Pulav and Kova Kai/Black Channa Poriyal were tasty but not spectacular. The Green Chutney that came with the Vegetable Cutlet and Samosa was also good although the same cannot be said about the Samosa and Cutlet.
Bad Badam Halwa and Kesari BathWeary of such bad food and in deep despair by this time, we turned our hopes to dessert and to two of our perennial favorites - Badam Halwa ($2.99) and Kesaribath. Both were total disasters. The Badam Halwa was half-cooked and tasted more like dal cooked in sugar. After a spoonful of the Badam Halwa, our friend who has a sweet tooth just dropped his spoon into the cup and did not pick it up again.
Kesaribath was as bad - it needed more sugar and oil/ghee.
Worst Madaras CoffeeThe Chef at Udipi Cafe is an equal opportunity offender. His/her offensive cooking extended to beverages as well. Our Madras Coffee lacked the fine aroma and flavour typically associated with Indian filter coffee. In fact, it was one of the worst Coffees we had in recent memory. If you are looking for fine Madras Coffee, we recommend Sri Ganesh Dosa House on Newark Avenue in Jersey City.
When our waiter offered to refill the items in the Udipi Special Thali ($12.99) plate, we quickly declined. No way.
Udipi Cafe RatingBesides the awful food, Udipi Cafe is a very cramped restaurant. The tables are very small making it difficult for a party of four to enjoy a comfortable meal. The inattentive waiters didn't clean our tables quickly enough leaving it in a chaotic state for much of our meal.
Our friends didn't seem overly elated with their Mysore Masala Dosa and Onion Chilly Utappams either. One complaint was that the Mysore Masala Dosa was too thin.
More than a little embarrassed for suggesting Udipi Cafe and by way of explanation our friend mentioned a few Indian restaurants in New York City that offered promising fare in their early years before the food turned unpalatable.
As we left the restaurant after a deeply disappointing meal, we resolved that Udipi Cafe in Franklin Park, NJ would not be an Indian restaurant that we would want to return to anytime soon. - © Sagar.com
Nearby Dosa RestaurantsBangalore Express Franklin Park - Nice Indian Quickie on Rt 27
Dosa Grill North Brunswick - Decent Dosas; Indecent Service
Abhiruchi North Brunswick - Heavenly Rasam; Decent Food and Service