Desi Dosa Madras
8859 120th Street
Wow… How long it has been? Starting from BC Day long weekend (to those not in BC, that would be August 2nd), I have written only 4 (yes, four!!!) British Columbia related posts: Minoas Greek Taverna, Mui NgoGai, Kimura Japanese Restaurant and White Spot Pirate Pack Day. Yes, the remaining 25+ posts during that period to now are from either Edmonton, Seattle/Tacoma and Portland! Yes, I have travelled a lot in the last two or so months but, in perspective, I didn’t do so much in the first half of the year. For the rest of the year, I still have one more trip (I can’t disclose the location but, for simplicity purposes, let’s call it “Location G”) and, after that, I hope to travel to San Francisco in November….
Does that mean I have a long queue of Vancouver restaurants posts? Well, I do have a small queue but not that long. When I was back, I ended up only going to some usual places, mainly because I was so busy I couldn’t take my time to visit some other. (I did go to one here and there, though). But, most importantly, I was able to finally catch up with some people. For today’s particular post, I was able to catch up with my dear friend Mijune after a long time. Sure, I did drop some goods (namely, Voodoo Doughnut and Saint Honoré Boulangerie) but it was mostly drop some goods, taste and leave. (OK, not really but that’s the general idea). So, one night, I asked Mijune to show me her part of town. Alas, it seems she goes so often to Vancouver that visiting her part of town would have been Vancouver. No, I asked for the physical location instead! I was given many options but eliminated most of them based on the fact I have eaten similar cuisine while on the different trips. However, given the location, with a huge concentration of East Indian population, I thought, hey, why not exactly that? And, rather than the usual curries and what not, we ended up going for dosas, aka, southern East Indian cuisine instead. And that place was Desi Dosa Madras.
The day we went was quite calm yet and it stayed that way the rest of our meal. Oh, well, you can’t have a busy restaurant the whole time, can we? On the flip side, that worked well as well, given I wasn’t in the mood to be shouting either! As for the restaurant itself, I was particularly excited given that I was hoping to try yet-another dosa shop. I mean, there is House of Dosas and Madras Dosa House – both in Vancouver. However, I wanted another place for comparison purposes so Desi Dosa Madras worked quite well!
Given the “specialty” is dosas, we saw no reason not to order that. In fact, we chose to skip appetizers in-lieu for a third dosa! So, without further ado…
OK, the actual dosa in a moment. Suffice to say that, size-wise, these are smaller than the ones from House of Dosas. But, you know what? It does not matter, given that the size is mostly related to “crepe” rather than the filling. On the note of the crepe, compared to the ones in House of Dosas, these were not as thin. Again, it depends on your liking. The ones here worked fine.
Along with the dosas were the sambar and chutneys. I can’t really say the chutneys were memorable; however, they certainly did the job. The coconut one added some nuttiness and the tomato one had some savouriness. The sambar had a problem: I found it was slightly salty. But, otherwise, it served its purpose.
Spinach Masala Dosa – dosa stuffed with shredded spinach and Desi Dosa potato masala. Flavourwise, the spinach didn’t really popped out; it was mostly the spices that made it. Instead, it was, along with the potatoes, for texture. But, then again, spinach is quite mild so I shouldn’t be too hard about it. The combination of spices and texture made it for me so, from that perspective, it worked quite well.
Chicken dosa – dosa stuffed with spiced shredded chicken and herbs. Actually, they have two versions of chicken dosa, this and a second one called nilagiri – the difference been in the spices used. While we would usually be adventurous, we ended up going for the “regular” version instead – mostly due to the description given to us of the nilagiri version: it was a bit too obfuscated. For what it is, it was quite good, as the chicken was able to showcase itself as part of the filling, rather than a blank palette.
Finally, egg masala dosa – egg dosa stuffed with Desi Dosa potato masala. Now, the egg part might be a misnomer. It isn’t a fried egg or hard boiled egg in the filling. Instead, the egg was added to the crepe. You could visually see some of the yolk strand and you could have tasted some egginess if you tried really hard. Otherwise, the potato filling actually managed to stand by itself.
Overall, the food was simple and did quite well what is supposed to do. From that perspective, I think we have a winner. Alas, if it wasn’t that far for me… And, again, thanks Mijune for showing me “her part of town”!
(Oh, Mijune’s post here)