Madras Sri Krishna Bhavan is tucked into a windowless storefront in the Fremont Hub shopping center. The lunch buffet here is $7.25 per person, including a made-to-order dosa and a buttermilk beverage called mor. The selection is considerably less than Udupi Palace.
On my first visit, about 1pm on a weekday, there was only one other customer in the room. The food on the buffet still looked fresh, but they had all cooled down to room temperature.
The fried items were pretty good, a crunchy vada and lightly crisp papad. The small uttapam was rubbery from too much time on the steam table.
The rasam was particularly tomatoey and nearly the color of canned tomato sauce. Nothing about the sambar stands out in my memory.
The lemon rice was particularly nice studded with nuts and savory spice. I liked that the grains were soft yet still intact and not as mushy as other examples. It would have been better served warm.
The three curries were lackluster. A tired tasting carrot and pea poriyal and a bland yogurt curry with tough, frozen okra sections tasted like leftovers disposed of on the buffet table. The potato curry had some interesting flavors and could have had some potential when it was still hot.
While the buffet was pretty much a wash-out, the dosa was very good. With a mirrored surface, it was so thin you could almost see through it. The potato filling was mounded underneath and had more assertive spicing than Udupi's. The thin crepe was shatteringly crispy and so good with the chili-spiked coconut chutney. The ala carte menu has a wide range of dosa options and I'd come back for these.
The almond halwa dessert on the buffet was good. I also liked the refreshing qualities of the savory and salty mor made with thinned buttermilk. These partially redeemed the buffet, but I don't think I'd go for this again.