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Udupi Village Montclair NJ

Udupi Village
511 Bloomfield Ave
Montclair, NJ 07042

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udupi village

Udupi Village Montclair NJ: Lousy Food; Awful Service; Good Desserts

Even for weary veterans of bad Indian food, Udupi Village on Bloomfield Ave in Montclair, New Jersey is an unending nightmare.

Udupi Village is one of those pathetic Indian restaurants in New Jersey that punish unsuspecting diners with incredibly lousy food and intolerably bad service.

After a completely dissatisfying meal at this restaurant, we concluded that Udupi Village is an ugly stain on the name of Udupi, a small temple town near Mangalore in South India with a reputation for delicious vegetarian food.

Our meal began on a rather agreeable note. Unlike at most Indian restaurants in New Jersey, the green Chutney that came with the three South Indian style Pappadams was spicy and - more importantly - not freezing cold.

But from then on, everything quickly went downhill at Udupi Village.

It was as if Josef Mengele's twin brother was lurking in Udupi Village's kitchen practising his cruel and hideous experiments on innocent diners.

Samosas are such a common Indian appetizer that even imbecile chefs can get them right. But not so the bozos in the Udupi Village kitchen.

The Potato filling inside the Samosa that landed on our table probably dated from the age of dinosaurs. It was clearly spoiled, had a lousy smell and lousier taste. As if those egregious sins were not bad enough, Udupi Village's Samosa was also way too soft.

Our Mulligatawny and Tomato soups were mini-disasters. The literal translation of Mulligatawny is Pepper Water and Mulligatawny Soup is usually hot and spicy. But the Mulligatawny Soup served by Udupi Village was a thick, spiceless and flavorless paste that tasted more like Dal Soup. Tomato Soup was far too sour to please us.

If the soups were a mini-disaster, Udupi Village's Mysore Masala Dosa was a Katrina scale disaster.

Mysore Masala Dosa is usually a thin crispy crepe with evenly smeared masala paste and a nice tasty Potato filling.

Alas, the Mysore Masala Dosa that made its way to our table was not even a seventh or eighth cousin of the real Mysore Masala Dosa. This impostor was way too thick, soft and came with very little masala paste. So thick as to resemble an Uttapam, Udupi Village's ugly Mysore Masala Dosa had not a whit of taste.

If you are hankering for a tasty Dosa in New Jersey, head for Ganesh Dosa House on Newark Avenue in Jersey City. If you are in New York, you might consider visiting Dosa Diner in Long Island or the Ganesh Temple Canteen in Flushing or Sai Bhavan close to the Ganesh Temple for good Dosas.

Back at Udupi Village, each dish that landed on our table seemed to be desperately vying for the "worst item of our dinner" prize. While Mysore Masala Dosa was the clear winner of the "worst item" prize of our Udupi Village misadventure, the restaurant's Tamarind Rice came a close second.

Prepared with Tamarind juice, red chillies, peanuts, seasame seeds, pepper seeds, curry leaves and asafoetida, Tamarind Rice is popular in the South Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh and when cooked right tastes like what the Gods might eat daily in their heavenly abode.

Alas, the Tamarind Rice served at Udupi Village lacked the Tamarind juice that gives this dish its name, the red chillies, peanuts and curry leaves. Udupi Village's Tamarind Rice had no reason to exist at all except that some cruel clown in the restaurant's kitchen decided to have some fun at our expense. Tamarind Rice was dry, hard and smelled and tasted like a spoon of Rasam powder that had been hastily mixed into a morsel of cheap Rice.

To taste real Tamarind Rice, consider visiting Ganesh Temple Canteen in Queens or Sai Bhavan near the Ganesh Temple the next time you are in New York.

Avial was another dirty trick that the charlattans in Udupi Village played on us. Avial is a delicious medley of Yam, raw Banana, Potato, Carrot and Drumstick cooked in a spicy Yogurt-Coconut sauce. Excessively hot in temperature, Udupi Village's Avial was a lamebrain creation from a harebrained chef. It had none of that piquant flavor that gives Avial its deserved reputation as one of the fine culinary delights of South India.

Mysore Bonda was crisp but tasted like Medu Vada with merely a variation in the shape.

Idli was soft but lukewarm while Medu Vada was hot, crisp and tasty but a little greasy. The accompanying Sambar was too thick and too low on vegetables but tasted alright.

Coconut Chutney was a cold, tasteless and spiceless monstrosity that no self-respecting kitchen would place before a diner.

Dal with Tomatoes and garlic seasoning was one of the rare delights of our meal and tasted nice both with the Chapati as well as rice.

Besides the lousy food, we have another beef against Udupi Village - for delivering less than it promises in its menu. Our Udupi Village Special Thali did not include Payasam, Kootu, Plain Yogurt and Pongal Rice.

While Pongal rice and Plain Yogurt were probably substituted by Tamarind Rice and Onion Raita respectively, Payasam and Kootu were completely left out of the Udupi Village Thali. The lousy swindlers did not even offer an explanation as to why Payasam and Kootu were left out. Oh, what a cheap and disgusting restaurant Udupi Village is.

Besides substituting and leaving out items from the Thali without any explanation, Udupi Village's waitstaff showed their contempt to diners in other ways too.

When we placed our order, we requested the waiter to get us Mysore Coffee immediately. Our bespectacled waiter who hails from North India never bothered to get the Mysore Coffee until towards the end of our meal.

What got our goat was that in the middle of our meal he enquired whether we got our coffee. When we responded in the negative, he was neither apologetic nor did he bother to get us the Mysore Coffee even then. It was only as we were finishing our Badam Halwa and Madras Special Payasam desserts that our waiter lazily brought us the Coffee.

Also at the end of our meal, we got a dry Chapati. We have no idea how it found its way to our table.

Though disgusted with Udupi Village's mostly incredibly lousy food and intolerably bad service, we were delighted with our two desserts - Badam Halwa and Madras Special Payasam. Badam Halwa was tasty with right amount of Almonds and Cardamom flavor and ghee. Although a little watery, Madras Special Payasam with vermicelli, saffron flavor and cashew nuts was real yummy.

Mysore Coffee had a decent Indian Filter Coffee flavor but came lukewarm to the table.

All in all, our meal at Udupi Village was a disaster that we would not want to experience anytime soon. After all, how much punishment can you endure in a single lifetime? - ©

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