Yes, another local to Croydon review! This time it’s the West Croydon branch of Dosa n Chutny, the much beloved restaurant in Tooting. I was keen to see how the Croydon branch compared. I’ll just be upfront and say that service was an utter shambles the Sunday afternoon we visited but luckily the food was excellent. Hopefully the service does improve once the front of house and the cooks all communicate with each other.

Anyway, to drink, we ordered Fresh Lemon Juice (£2.25) and Orange + Ginger + Apple Juice (£2.95). Both were excellent but it was the latter that stood out, having a perfect balance of all three ingredients. Not too gingery, not too thin and appley, not tasting just of orange juice. Just perfect.

Our food all arrived at once. A Special Malasa Dosa (£3.50) turned out to have two kinds of potato mixture in the middle. Apart from the major colour differences, they both tasted pretty similar. The different chutneys were all coconut based and the green and orange ones had a fabulous kick to them. Great sambhar too. The dosa was both soft and crisp and a most excellent specimen.

Special Malasa Dosa

Inside the Special Malasa Dosa

A Bhindi Do Pyaza (£4.75) was well made and helped us with our vegetable content that lunchtime. I can’t resist any good okra dish.

Bhindi Do Pyaza

We ordered a Veechu Parotha (£1.50) to mop up the gravy and it was a good, tasty, if small, flatbread for it.

Veechu Parotha

Despite my seeing our waiter write down our order very very clearly, the kitchen managed to get one of our dishes incorrect (a lot of incorrect orders were also going to other tables that afternoon). There was a bit of a long wait then for our correct order of Paneer Majestic (£4.75). But what arrived was worth the wait! It was indeed majestic! Fingers of paneer were battered and fried and then tossed with a fried mixture of garlic, cashews, spices and …spinach? fenugreek? I’m still not entirely sure what the crispy greens were but the dish was utterly fantastic.

Paneer Majestic

After all of that, we decided to order another dosa to help mop up the rest of the bhindi dish. A Paper Roast Dosa (£3.50) came out swiftly – I do love these extra thin, extra crispy dosas and the one at Dosa n Chutny has the added benefit of being very cheap. Oh yeah, the prices are pretty good here, aren’t they?

Paper Roast Dosa

Good stuff. I only wish it was within walking distance of our house! Oh well, the bus ride is ok too.

Dosa n Chutny
466 London Road
Croydon CR0 2SS

Last Saturday, six excited eaters gathered for a relatively late lunch at the Chennai Dosa in Wembley. I had heard of a particularly large dosa, a family dosa, that one could order there to feed quite a large group. Being ridiculously excited about this kind of large format eating, I had organised a group to tackle one. Thank you, Jen, Nayan, Rahul, Wen, and Mr Noodles for coming along!

It being a late lunch, we were absolutely starving. To quieten our stomachs, we started with a few of the smaller dishes from the menu. Gobi Manchurian (dry) (£2.99) was battered cauliflower florets tossed in a spicy, thick, cornstarchy sauce with onions and peppers. It’s a good example of Indian-Chinese food and it was delicious!

Gobi Manchurian

The Chilli Paneer (£3.45) was luridly coloured chunks of paneer again tossed in a thick sauce with onions and peppers. We weren’t able to differentiate between this sauce and the previous but luckily it was tasty.

Chilli Paneer

A Babycorn Pepper fry (£2.99) again looked very similar but for some reason, the battered and fried babycorn were the best. I think it was something to do with the firm texture of the miniature corn with the batter.

Babycorn Pepper Fry

The 14 Mini Idly with Sambar (£2.60) were indeed miniature and the perfect way to try the steamed pillowy rice cakes without filling up too much. I thought they were pretty good and I loved the sambar (not too sweet, not too thin) they were served with.

14 Mini Idly with Sambar

And just when I was thinking of ordering more food, a frenzy of activity around our table distracted us all. Our main event was coming and our dishes were being cleared to make room for it. A platter of chutneys was set down. While normally I’m not particularly fussed with coconut chutneys, I was shoving this white one down – we all were and it was the only one we finished that afternoon.

Chutneys

And this was the Family Dosa, all six feet of it (£9.99).

Family Dosa

Six feet! Sadly, it had collapsed a bit on its journey from the kitchen to the far end of the restaurant where we were sitting. Still, that didn’t affect its flavour and crispness. I guess an uneven temperature under the cooking surface caused the uneven hue of the dosa; I like to think of it as ranging from rare to well-done – something for everyone! It was a very tasty dosa indeed with plenty of ghee and two dishes of potato masala to go along with it. The conversation went quiet a bit as we tucked it and somehow we managed to finish almost all of it. (If you want more views of the beast, they’re available here!)

Drinks made up the majority of the bill: a salty lassi, a couple of mango lassis and countless sweet lime drinks pushed the grand total to £47.73. Including service, that worked out to a little less than £9 a head – a serious bargain! Next time, perhaps we’ll tackle their family sized bhatura (a deep fried bread) with the family sized dish of channa (chickpeas)!

Chennai Dosa
3 Ealing Road
Wembley
Middlesex HA0 2AA

They have a few branches and while we visited a Pure Veg restaurant, they have others that do serve meat. One of them was right next door to the one at which we ate.

Chennai Dosa Pure Vegetarian on Urbanspoon