Updated: Sep 29, 2019
Upon a friend's recommendation, I decided to visit Chennai Dosa, a South Indian restaurant based in Croydon. I left feeling very stuffed and very accomplished.
What a delightful place to eat! It was spacious, clean and stylish. The service was also very good, but I expected that to be the case as I was the only person there at the time. No pressure there.
The first time I tasted idly (also spelt 'idli'), I was in the air. Everyone talks about how nasty airplane food is, but I often find that I am not completely horrified by what I am served - perhaps that is down to the type of meals I choose.
I opted for the idly with chutneys and sambar to start. Sambar is a lentil curry made with tamarind and spices (as detailed in Chennai Dosa's menu) and idly can be described as a fermented rice cake. Very generous portion. The sambar was quite thin, but could easily be sopped up by the idly. I was given a tomato chutney, a mint chutney and a coconut chutney; all of them were served cool. The coconut chutney was my favourite. It was refreshing in flavour and very light with a gritty texture. The idly was as sour as I remembered it being. Quite dense, also. If you're wondering whether or not I ate all of this with my hands, yes, I did.
I then ate the egg dosa served with chutneys and sambar. I LOVE eggs, so I had to order this dish. The sambar and chutneys that came with the egg dosa were exactly the same as what came with the idly so I won't repeat myself here.
Dosa is made from a fermented rice and gram flour batter and looks like a crepe. Where was the egg? Attached firmly to that dosa. It was beautifully simple. The dosa tasted like a slightly more sour gram flour pancake to me (I make these all the time) and the egg just tasted like a fried egg. Nothing complicated there. I much preferred the taste of the dosa to the idly. It was harder to eat the sambar with the dosa than the idly but we will put that down to my lack of experience in eating it.
All of this food plus a bottle of water, cost me under £10, which is astounding! I would return but would try their dinner dishes. I feel that I would have so much fun eating those. I'm a fan.
Find out more about Chennai Dosa here: http://www.chennaidosa.com