Located at Cuff Road, off Serangoon Road, Santhi Vilas Restaurant serves affordable South Indian Vegetarian Food at prices that defies belief (take this positively).
Santhi Vilas Restaurant Hot
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Old school ambience, old school prices, unbeatable quality
Santhi Vilas, IMHO, is the place to go to in Little India when you have a craving for South Indian vegetarian food. It is like the best kept secret yet to be discovered in Litlle India.
Let's start with the shop: It is old and lit by harsh fluorescent lights. Do not use the toilets if you could help it. The shop opens roughly at 7am daily and goes all the way to 10pm. 10pm is a rough indication. I have had dinner there at 10.15pm before and it was still busy at that time.
Service is not bad. You get served as soon as you enter. During busy periods, you could expect a few minutes' wait. But once you are served, your food will arrive at your table in minutes. Help yourself to the metal jug of water on your table. It's free.
Food: Thosai is a staple. If you are familiar with thosai, nothing would surprise you. You'd find all the various variations of thosai here. But one thing you'd find to be very distinctive, is their chutney that they provide to accompany your dish. The chutney is so thick and in so generous an amount, you'd wonder if they actually charge you a premium for it. The answer is a clear NO! In fact, the prices of any of their food there is pretty much the lowest in Little India. If you had gone to Komala Vilas or its other such restaurants, the price of a Masala Thosai is easily $2.20 or $2.50. At Santhi Vilas? $1.80.
If you would like to enjoy Thosai or other such dishes, come during the 7am to 11am window period for fresh morning offerings or from 4pm onwards to closing time for the evening Thosai offerings. From 11am to 4pm, Santhi Vilas serves rice with a selection of vegetarian dishes that changes daily. It comes with a serving of yoghurt and a sweet milky concoction and a free flow of rice. All that for $4.30.
What it means is that Santhi Vilas is the place for you to go if you are down to your last $5 and yet you want a meal that would both satisfy your hunger and tastebuds.
Go discreetly. You will not want this place to go the way of Komala Vilas.