Thosai at Komala Vilas

I don’t know if Komala Vilas has the best thosai, but I always tend to come back to the original branch located on the main road. It was established in Singapore way back in 1947 and is still going strong.

There is an element of nostalgia for me. The sights, scents and tastes are all part of my childhood. I recall climbing the steep, narrow and oily staircase up to the upper levels of the restaurant since I was three or four. Before that I was probably carried by my father. It was like climbing mount Everest, with my tiny legs. I was almost doing the split! The memory is so crystal clear to me and I recall trying not to slip and fall. I also remember that the people here were always nice and friendly. Even on recent visits, service was good and prompt. They were very generous with the top-ups and kept asking if we needed anything else. I really did appreciate that.

Just note – never go to the fast food version of this restaurant – I find it terrible and the quality very much compromised. Also I think it’s best to go to a North Indian restaurant if you want North Indian cusine as this place originated and specializes in South Indian food.

I do feel that they have the best South Indian vegetarian rice meals (thali). I do also like Shakuntala’s (near Mustafa) for their thali set, but the ambience here is so much nicer. Wooden cushioned chairs are definitely more comfortable than plastic ones and Komala Vilas has had a bit of a spruce up recently. Not anything major, but the restaurant looks clean and decent.

Since I haven’t featured any of my thosai meals before, I thought I’d do it now. Ordered a Masala, ghee onion thosai (that’s about as unhealthy as you can get – but so worth it). To me this really hit the spot. It was just S$3. I always crave for South Indian vegetarian food if I haven’t had it for a while. Guess it’s an acquired taste.

photo by bookjunkie

Crip yet light and fluffy – with a very generous portion of onions and spiced potatoes (masala) within.

photo by bookjunkie

There’s also onion uthappam (S$3) on the menu.

photo by bookjunkie

And vadai.

photo by bookjunkie

I like the chutneys and vadai is never as good for me without coconut chutney. It’s an essential for me.

Was indulgent and tried the payasam (S$1.80) as well. I definitely have a sweet tooth, but most people might find this too sweet.

photo by bookjunkie

And what’s a meal without milky tea (S$1.50). Although I still prefer the tea I had by the roadside coffee shop at Kampong Glam. It has less of a tannic taste which I preferred.

photo by bookjunkie



photo by bookjunkie

All the sweetmeats to entice people like me who love super sweet Indian desserts. My favourite is Jangiri which is orange with a round curly pattern and deep fried in rose water. On the left in the photo below.

photo by bookjunkie

We also love kaseri, and this is often served in the Hindu temple after the prayers or at weddings. It’s made in a tray and cut into rectangular pieces. Maybe one day I’ll attempt to make it, having been inspired by Notabilia.

photo by bookjunkie

I don’t care for milky desserts like paal kova. It’s round, melts in your mouth and is pretty to look at. I actually find this way too sweet.

photo by bookjunkie


photo by bookjunkie


photo by bookjunkie

Komala Vilas Restaurant
76 / 78 Serangoon Road
Singapore 217981
Tel: 6293 698

About bookjunkie

Blogging about life in Singapore & recently cancer too.
This entry was posted in Singapore Living and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Thosai at Komala Vilas

  1. whatsaysyou says:

    Wow, that is amazing to read about a shop that was established in 1947 and it still goes on strong after 64 years to this day. Thosai sounds great 🙂

  2. notabilia says:

    I’ve taken friends to Komala Vilas when they are in town because the banana leaf meal is such a (calorie-filled) treat. Thanks for the linky. Go try it ;).

    • bookjunkie says:

      I do love the banana leaf meal 🙂 Makes me feel I can totally go vegetarian. So hard to resist the generous top ups even when I’m full.

      I somehow find the food tastes better when I eat traditional style with my fingers.

  3. Pingback: Payasam | Singapore Actually

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.