This has to be one of our personal favourites when it comes to Cheap Eats and it was great to have an excuse to go to Santhiya’s in the name of research for the site.
Unfortunately this is not a Cheap Eat with great atmosphere. The place is pretty stark. The food however is so divine you don’t really notice the surroundings. We have tried almost everything on the menu but today we had the Uttapam ($8.50), Roti Canai ($6.00), Rice Noodles ($11.50), Lamb Rendang ($17.00), Fish Curry ($13.50), Carrot Salad ($3.00) and Tofu and Vegetables ($10.50) between four people.
If I wax lyrical in the manner I want to, this review will go on forever so I’m going to do a rundown of the highlights and let you check it out for yourself.
The Roti is heavenly – light, fluffy and buttery tasting. Do not go there without trying it! The Uttapam is a personal favourite of mine consisting of a dosa-style offering (a dosa is a thin crispy pancake made from rice and lentil flour usually stuffed with spicy potato) but instead of potato it has beautiful fresh flavours of tomato, chilli, coriander and onion. The contrast of the fried savoury taste with the clean coriander/tomato is perfect.
The Lamb Rendang is wonderful. Tender meat and with that amazing complexity of spices that come together perfectly as only a Rendang can. The Rice Noodles (Kuay Teaw) is my favourite version of that dish around Auckland. Big fat rice noodles stir fried with shrimps, egg, chicken, bean sprouts in a mix of chilli paste, soy sauce, sugar ,fish sauce and white pepper.
The portions are generous and the lovely Ms Subramaniam who cooks all this amazing food is so gentle you often feel like you’ve gone to someone’s house for dinner – she started her business from home making her Auckland-famous roti for people in the community. She does everything from scratch so don’t come here if you are in a big hurry.
I could go on all day. Once again we had a lovely meal with an enormous amount of food for four people and once again we can’t wait to go back!