Please note that the meal was complimentary. However, the opinions expressed in my blog are 100% my own!
Opened in May 2015, Dosai is one of the multiple new ventures of Michelin Star Chef Hemant Mathur. Interestingly, the place is next to Haldi, another place from Chef Mathur that I tried few months ago, having at the same time the privilege to meet Chef Mathur.
At Dosai, I got to meet with the new Chef, Hemnath Nagaran, who explained to me that he was proposing dishes mainly from South India, few of them being from the North, based on his mother's recipes. Dosai might be a kosher vegetarian place, I can tell you that I did not mind not having any meat the day we went: the food was fantastic and some of the dishes not that commonly found on menus of Indian restaurants here.
Before I talk about the food, I should mention the decor, that is quite minimal, but has a certain elegance. I was wondering if the trees in the dining room were a reference to nature.
I started my meal with a mango lassi, one of my favorites with sweet lassi.
We then tried few appetizers. The first one is a classic: vegetarian samosa.
The samosa were deliciously crispy and tasty, with the filling mainly made with potatoes and cauliflower; I truly appreciated the fact that they were not spicy at all.
The second appetizer was onion pakora or onion fritters, a classic street food, that were so addictive, that I could not stop eating them, even knowing that more food was coming. They were served with a coconut chutney, but I admit that I preferred dipping them in the tamarind sauce of the samosas...They had a nice crunchy texture and the batter had an interesting taste that was coming from the chickpea flour that they use.
The last appetizer was the Idli Vadai combo, composed of idli (a sort of rice cake), menu vadai (a lentil dumpling that looks like a donut), sambar (that is like a soup made with lentils, tomatoes and turmeric to name few ingredients) and three chutneys: tomato, lentil and coconut.
The sambar and chutneys were definitely necessary, the idli and menu vadai being a bit dry, and the idli by itself being bland, but acting like a sponge when dipped in the sambar. I liked the fact that I could eat it in different ways, alternating the chutneys (my favorite was the tomato, then lentil, then coconut) or the sambar, varying the flavors.
Then came our first entrees. I could not miss the dal makhni that is a dish made with black lentils and cream that is slow cooked.
As well as the paneer makhni, that is paneer cheese with bell pepper, served in a creamy tomato sauce.
Both dishes were sublime: creamy, with lots of flavors from the spices, they had a nice kick. We ate them with some chapati that is a whole wheat bread (delightfully charred), or basmati rice.
You would think that we were done, but the feast continued. First was a dish that I discovered the last time I was in Delhi: Uttapam.
Uttapam is like a pancake made from a batter that contains rice and lentils. This one had onions and green chilies, and was served with the same three chutneys I described before, as well as the sambar. I liked it and was glad that it was not spicy, but definitely preferred the dosa (dosai) that came after and was made from the same batter.
First, I let you compare the size of this dish with the others: it is huge! The table next to us just ordered this and for sure it was enough. Dosa is a thin crepe deliciously crispy and filled in the center. We picked the Chettinadu Vegetable Dosa that was not spicy. The crepe itself was fantastic and perfect dipped in the chutneys and sambar. I also liked the filling that was made with various vegetables like potatoes and I believe cauliflower.
Of course, believe it or not, we decided to try their desserts. Gulab jamun, these milk balls that are deep fried and then sit in a cardamon infused syrup was our first choice.
It was very good, but I admit that I liked even more the Payasam, a dish made with angel hair pasta, reduced sweetened milk, raisins and peanuts.
This was a spectacular meal and the walk back to our bus was welcome. Dosai is a great place to know and confirms the talent of not only Executive Chef Mathur who truly creates a unique experience in his restaurants, but also Chef Nagaran who crafted a delicious menu that definitely stands out. Would I go back? I would definitely go back and recommend this place.
Enjoy (I did)!
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