Tirupathi Bhimas Milpitas

(By Naveen)
Address:
Tirupathi Bhimas
1208 S Abel St
Milpitas, CA 95035


Other Bay Area Indian Restaurants
Tirupathi Bhimas Milpitas


Tirupathi Bhimas Milpitas: Sparse Blessings

It was a Wednesday night and we were feverishly scouting for a place to gorge on some South Indian food.

After some deliberation, we zeroed in on Tirupathi Bhimas and decided to give the restaurant an opportunity to feature favorably on the world famous BayMasala.com. ;)

Tirupathi Bhimas is a popular vegetarian restaurant in the Bay Area piggybacking on the fame and name of the Hindu temple town of Tirupathi (in the South Indian state of Andhra Pradesh).

Bay Area is so chock-a-block with Indian restaurants that your expectations tend to run high and tolerance for any shortcomings is pretty low.

We walked into Tirupathi Bhimas nursing hopes of delicious food and a fine dining experience.

But does hope always translate into reality?

Facilities & Ambiance

The modest appearance and unabashedly simple setup of Bhimas is a throwback of sorts but not one that should deter visitors.

The setup is basic but decent – adequate parking, neat furniture, clean plastic water glasses etc.

tirupathi bhimas milipitas  - Image © BayMasala.com
Spacious Dining Hall

Unlike their greedy competitor Saravanaa Bhavan, Bhimas has generous spacing between tables and one doesn’t have to worry about rubbing one’s derriere against the plump aunty sitting behind.

It wasn’t too late in the night but the place was half empty. Was that a warning?

The Food

Famished as were, we ordered a variety of items.

With mucho anticipation, we waited eagerly for the sexy li’l things to show up one by one to satiate our simmering appetite for the evening.

Round 1: Atrocious Tiffin

Disaster arrived in the form of Sambar Vada.

The terrible preparation was neither flattering in appearance nor any good in taste.

tirupathi bhimas milipitas sambar vada - Image © BayMasala.com
Sambar Vada

The Vada had a re-used oil feel and the Sambar most likely came from the bottom of the container. And I say that due to its sludgy feel.

The lack of warmth, absence of sprinkled onions and missing aroma of Ghee made things worse and this dish gave a real cold start to our dinner.

On a night where many items vied be the worst, Medu Vada gave a close run to the Sambar Vada.

tirupathi bhimas milipitas medu vada - Image © BayMasala.com
Medu Vada

The oily feel and stale taste left us with nothing but a bad feeling in our mouth.

The next two things weren’t food at all!

If Heart Attack and Diabetes had some shape then they would resemble Andhra Punugulu and Idly Manchurian respectively.

The Punugulu was a collection of oil balls meant to accelerate your in-person meeting with Tirupathi Balaji a.k.a Lord of the Seven Hills.

tirupathi bhimas milipitas andhra punugulu - Image © BayMasala.com
Andhra Punugulu

Yours truly is no expert on Punugulu but I am intimately familiar with deep friend dishes such as Bajji, Bonda, Pakoda etc. and never have I come across something with so much oil.

Idly Manchurian was fried idly soaked in a greasy tomato sauce and it was equally capable of delivering a fatal overdose of oil.

tirupathi bhimas milipitas idly mandhurian - Image © BayMasala.com
Idly Manchurian

It is beyond the ken of sane minds to inquire why these clowns even bother with Indian-Chinese stuff when they are incapable of making basic tiffin?!?

The last item in our Tiffin round was the Mini Tiffin, a sampler platter of Idly, Vada, Pongal, Mini Masala Dosa, Rava Kesari and Coffee.

tirupathi bhimas milipitas mini tiffin - Image © BayMasala.com
Mini Tiffin

When the plate was set on our table it seemed like a joke because it was nearly empty!

Thankfully the mini-masala Dosa arrived shortly to occupy the empty space.

While the mini-tiffin wasn’t a disaster, it was not a thing of joy either.

The decent Idly, Pongal and Masala Dosa compensated for the lousy Vada and ghee-less Rava Kesari.

It would have definitely made the Pongal better were it to have some Ghee on it.

It seems oil was flowing freely but someone had the tab on the Ghee.

The small portions however were an irritant. Who wants to see an empty shining plate ? Put some food on it, damn it!!

Round 2: Redemption

The horrendous opening round had considerably lowered our expectation.

We fervently hoped for Balaji to intervene and bless us with some real food.

Things started looking up with the arrival of Onion Rava Masala Dosa.

tirupathi bhimas milipitas onion rava masala - Image © BayMasala.com
Onion Rava Masala

Despite a trace of bitterness probably due to the over fried onions and a perception of too much Rice flour, the Onion Rava Masala was quite ok.

It was well roasted, less oily and quite filling.

Coriander Dosa was a good follow-up.

tirupathi bhimas milipitas coriander dosa - Image © BayMasala.com
Coriander Dosa

It was crisp, firm and uniquely colored, tempting us to gobble it.

The coriander chutney spread inside the Dosa was mildly tangy and spicy making this Dosa a delightful adventure.

Parotta Kuruma made its entrance and, boy, wasn’t that savory?

Parottas were warm, soft and layered as one expects of the South Indian kind.

tirupathi bhimas milipitas parotta kurma - Image © BayMasala.com
Parotta Kurma

The aromatic Kuruma was an able companion to the Parottas.

Kuruma was evenly cooked, warm and set my taste buds on ballet.

If the Kuruma was a hit, then the next item, Adai Avial was a super hit!

tirupathi bhimas milipitas adai avial - Image © BayMasala.com
Adai Avial

The creamy Avial was certainly among the best I have tasted in recent times.

Most restaurants put half cooked vegetables into yogurt and shove it down the customers throat but Tirupathi Bhimas put some passion into making this delightful dish.

The delicate balance of the sourness, salt and spice was perfectly maintained.

The unusually thin Adai was warm and tasty but it was the supremely good Avial that made the combo work.

How can we end a South Indian meal without Meals?

The sumptuous Non-Spicy Thali had the usual items that make up a Thali.

But what elevated the Thali from being just average to highly satisfying, was the Kuruma, More Kuzhambu and Avial.

The chefs at Bhimas definitely know a thing or two about using yogurt!

tirupathi bhimas milipitas non-spicy thali - Image © BayMasala.com
Non-Spicy Thali

We also liked the spicy, tangy and warm Rasam.

Thali came with a nice warm South Indian Chapathi but the nitwits placed the Appalam right between the steaming white Rice and Chapathi (see below), making it soft and soggy.

tirupathi bhimas milipitas non-spicy thali - Image © BayMasala.com
Appalam between Chapathi and Rice

Round 3: Coffee, Buttermilk and Some Nauseating Liquids!

For every good drink served, a ridiculously bad drink was dumped on us.

The bubbly Filter Coffee was rich in aroma and invigorating.

tirupathi bhimas milipitas filter coffee - Image © BayMasala.com
Filter Coffee

Buttermilk served as a fine complement to the meals and Dosas. The gentle hint of Hing added to its flavor.

However, our order of Badam Milk and Rose Milk turned out to be atrocious apologies of a drink.

The uninterestingly made duo were truly un-drinkable and utterly repugnant. :(

tirupathi bhimas badam milk, rose milk - Image © BayMasala.com
Badam Milk (left) and Rose Milk

Neither drinks were chilled. Both were poorly mixed.

Badam Milk wasn’t smooth. It had badly crushed pieces of Badam.

Rose Milk was very thin and made worse by an overdose of rose essence.

Ratings

However bad the Idlies and Dosas are, usually the Chutneys, Podis and Sambar save the day but that was not the case in Bhimas. All the side items were Stale! Stale!! Stale!!!

Coconut Chutney failed on multiple levels.

It was cold. It seemed like it was made out of frozen coconut / dried coconut instead of fresh ones.

It also felt old and devoid of the distinct aroma and taste. The tadka of fried Urad dal was also missing.

The Spicy-Tomato chutney and Podi were marginally better probably because of the spice.

However, the chutney wasn’t fresh and missed a good tadka.

The Podi seemed several days old.

tirupathi bhimas food ratings - Image © BayMasala.com
Rating Chart

Service

Tirupathi Bhimas scored good marks on service.

Order taking and serving food were accomplished quickly.

Water was refilled in a timely manner. When we spilled some Sambar, the waiter promptly cleaned it up and replaced it with a fresh cup.

The waiter was courteous and patient as we scanned the menu several times and also asked us for desserts.

Billing was also handled promptly.

Many of our dishes, especially the Tiffin items, were served from what seemed like an extension of the kitchen (Partly open kitchen, maybe?).

These dishes were handed over by Mexican / Hispanic men to Indian waiters who brought them to our table.

This leads me to believe that the restaurant employs Hispanic cooks to prepare Indian food!

Could this be the reason for some of the foul tiffin they served us.

While we don’t really care about the ethnicity of the cooks, we seriously care about the taste. Perhaps the Amigos were not trained well enough in the preparation and subtleties of Indian food.

Recommendation

Decent service does not quite compensate for the overall ineptitude in not getting basic South Indian food items right.

Although some of the items were really good, an average South Indian would question the wisdom of dining at a place where the Sambar and Chutney suck.

If I had to pick the top five Indian restaurants in Bay Area, Tirupathi Bhimas would not figure in that list despite some of their delicious offerings.

This is perhaps a reflection of how good some of the other Bay Area Indian restaurants are.

If you plan on visiting Tirupathi Bhimas, I’d recommend you plump for their Meals and Coffee. - © BayMasala.com

Other Bay Area Indian Restaurants

Chaat Bhavan
Madura
Saravanaa Bhavan
Tirupathi Bhimas
Trader Joe's
Biryani Joints
Indian Buffets
Veg. Restaurants
Sunnyvale
San Jose
Santa Clara
Mountain View
Cupertino
Campbell
Los Gatos
Milpitas
Fremont
Newark
Union City
Berkeley
San Francisco
Sausalito
San Mateo
San Carlos
Redwood City
Palo Alto
Hayward
Oakland
Livermore