The first time we visited Woodlands we hated it. Now we go there at least twice per day every time we visit Penang, which we do every 3-4 months.
To enjoy this place you have to know what to order and what to expect. This is no organic raw food haven so throw those dreams away. You won't get your hit of green juice here. What you will get is tasty, authentic South Indian food and a full on cultural experience.
Avoid the curries sold as main meals on their own, they never fail to disappoint. Instead, go for the South Indian snacks - a paper dosa is a fun experience, but also try other small bites such as the idly, poori, uttapam and anything else you can find in similar sections of the menu.
For lunch you can't go past their thali, a balanced meal of several curries, soups, rice, papadums and other various condiments. Consider ordering a chapati bread with it and afterwards, be sure to wash it all down with a masala tea (ask for less sugar).
Not everything is available at all times of the day. The thali meals are from noon until 4pm. Snacks are until midday and in the evenings after 5pm. We don't go for dinner time, it's not their strong point.
There is quite a bit of variation in the taste of the chutneys etc - they are never awful but can be average. If you're in luck though they'll be absolutely fabulous. This is our fave stop in Penang, hands down.
Updated from previous review on Wednesday September 21, 2011
For the sake of the record, my original review was:
Every taxi driver seems to know and recommend this place as soon as they hear you are vegetarian. We only tried their dosas and one curry but weren't exactly blown away. The dosas were quite oily and the sauces nothing special to speak of. The one curry we did order (chana masala) was pretty poor - so much so that it was left on the table uneaten. Can't see us racing back, even though it is one of only 2 pure veg indian restaurants that we are aware of in Penang.
One thing though - the colourful clientele made for an interesting setting, although judging by their reactions they were just as intrigued in us as we were in them ;)Pros: All vegetarian, authentic indian , Great snacks and thalis
Cons: A la carte main meal items aren't great, Can be oily