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Best Masala Dosa in Toronto?

Mike Monteleone Nov 13, 2004 08:00 AM

Does anyone know a great place in Toronto for Masala Dosa takeout? There was an unbleavable place in Little India (which closed several years ago)across the street from the library.

The Dosa looked like a very big burritto with a slightly crispy crepe-like shell and spicy potato filling and coconut sauce to spoon over the top!!!! It also can with a great spicy soup.

My kids still ask where we can get them again.

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  1. d
    Deborah K. Nov 13, 2004 07:44 PM

    Hi There,
    Is Mississauga too far for you? This place is just wonderful http://www.desiconnection.ca/~webmast...
    Take care,

    3 Replies
    1. re: Deborah K.
      Girly Girl Nov 14, 2004 08:42 AM

      Where is this place my I ask?

      1. re: Girly Girl
        Ian Nov 14, 2004 01:07 PM

        Everything is good here. Well worth the drive to the outer burbs. Very busy, so pick your times accordingly.

        Link: http://www.saravanabhavan.com/canadam...

        1. re: Girly Girl
          Deborah K. Nov 14, 2004 06:22 PM

          It's in Mississauga, on Hurontario street at Eglinton. It's in a plaza with one of our favourite Vietnamese places "Pho Mi 99".
          Take care,

      2. t
        TwinklyTerrapin Nov 15, 2004 03:54 PM

        Oh, it sounds like you're missing the Madrass Express, which really was awsome! So sad that they're gone.

        I, too, have been looking for masala dhosas as good as those, and I found something pretty close. There's a small place off of Parliment by Wellsley, called Indies (I think) and their dhosas are pretty darn good. I've been there twice and the dhosa was better the first time, but still quite good the second time, so I'd go back for sure.

        As an added bonus, they have a really nice little patio out front with a big tree overhead and that looks into the garden of the swanky French place next door--it's lovely on a summer evening.

        I can't remember the street that Indies is on--it might be Amelia--but you go north up Parliment, and it's on the east side, around Wellsley, just past the gas station. It's down the side street a bit, but you should be able to see it from Parliment.

        1. s
          Schmal Nov 16, 2004 10:22 AM

          I love the dosa's at Madras Dosa Hutt, 1123 Albion just west of Islington. That's north of the 401. I've only been there for lunch, where they have a pretty good buffet, but that includes freshly made dosa's. Yummmm.... I believe that Madras Dosa Hut used to be located in little India... I wonder if it was actually the one to which you refer??


          1 Reply
          1. re: Schmal
            Ian Nov 16, 2004 10:36 AM

            Madras Dosa Hut had a few locations, including the one at the west end of the Little India. That one left the fold and is now under new management.

          2. j
            Jason Nov 16, 2004 12:02 PM

            I tried a new place in scarborough, very tasty dosa.. (takeout decor), markham & Sheppherd, also madras palace at ellesmere east of midland has very good south indian food

            1. c
              Cyril Dec 6, 2004 01:58 PM

              I'm not sure whether they do takeout, but I really like the dosas (masala or not) at Udupi Palace at Gerrard and Coxwell.
              The place looks like a cheap cafeteria, but the food and the service are amazing.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Cyril
                The Brother Aug 3, 2006 07:35 PM

                A new Udupi just opened in Mississauga on Enfield Place (behind the Sussex Centre), known as "Udupi Madras Cafe". Just returned from lunch there and the food and service was amazing! If you go, I recommend the chili pakoras & try the onion masala dosa!!

                Phone: (905) 277-0010

              2. t
                TwinklyTerrapin Aug 3, 2006 09:05 PM

                ...I just realized that I'm replying to my own post from a year ago, but if anyone is looking for Indies on Parliment Street, sadly, Indies closed last summer. It was such a fab find, I'm still bummed that it's RIP...

                1. s
                  SarahBHood Aug 3, 2006 10:10 PM

                  I mourn the loss of Madras Durbar on Gerrard, but Udupi Palace is very good, and does their dosai with the condiments you mention. They also serve a pretty good masala dosa with all the trimmings at Annapurna, 1085 Bathurst just south of Dupont. I'm sure either place would let you do takeout.

                  1. m
                    myriad Nov 26, 2006 11:30 PM

                    I know exactly which restaurant you mean. It was called Madras Darbar and I went there for nearly 20 years. It had the best Masala Dosa I have ever had. One day this past year I went over to Gerrard West to have my usual and found that the place had closed down. I know the owner had passed a way a few years ago and his daughters were looking after the business. They must have wanted out to do something else. My only regret is that I did not go sooner as I would have asked the cook to keep in touch to let me know where he went next. Anyway, I am still looking to find that wonderful Dosa and will check out some of the places that are mentioned on this website.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: myriad
                      KitchenVoodoo Jul 4, 2009 12:23 AM

                      I completely agree with you - and I wish I knew where that cook ended up. Madras Durbar was one of the best restuarants in Toronto. The delicacy of the spicing, - and it was always so intricate too - I always thought that their dishes, if served in Manhatten or London would go for ten times the price. I would love to find the cook!!! I still remember his dosa and his lemon rice and do you remember his thali???? Uuummmm.....
                      I had a dosa at Udipi Palace the other day and it was somewhat like that at MD in the old days, (it included curry leaves, roasted dried chillies) but I'm not convinced "he" might be in the kitchen.
                      Really hope he is still behind the stoves somewhere and that Chowhouders will band together to track him down! That man was a genius with food.

                      1. re: myriad
                        Ediblethoughts Jul 5, 2009 08:51 AM

                        Weren't there two veg restaurants that were both called Madras Durbar? When I hadn't been the Little Indian in awhile, I'd get confused about which place was the one we knew...

                      2. m
                        myriad Nov 27, 2006 02:27 AM

                        Just read my post. Oops. I meant Madras Durbar on Gerrard East. By the way, they also had the most amazing dal soup and coconut chutney that went with the dosa. Can't find anything to compare to that either.

                        1. s
                          Suresh Nov 27, 2006 02:00 PM

                          Rashnaa, parliament/wellesley
                          Saravanabhavan, woodside mall scarborough, mccowan/finch

                          1. e
                            escoffier Nov 27, 2006 03:56 PM

                            South Indian Dosa Mahal, north side of Bloor, a block east of Landsdowne. Killer dosa and a delicious Kottu Rotti.

                            1. Ginsugirl Jul 2, 2009 11:20 PM

                              Udupi Palace is a reugular fixture at all the South Asian festivals over the summer, so you can check them out

                              1. z
                                zoe3654 Jul 3, 2009 06:16 AM

                                No one has mentioned Madras Masala , next to Banjara on north side of Bloor just west of Christie Pits; there you will find what you seek. We used to shlep to Saravana Bhavan in Mississauga for what you crave and indeed it's good. But this is better. I get my fix there and it's perfect. The ultimate vegetarian comfort food.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: zoe3654
                                  TOchowgal Jul 3, 2009 07:29 AM

                                  I personally like Saravana Bhavan as it is authentic. I've tried Madras Masala twice. If I crave south indian food, including dosas, I go to Saravana Bhavan.

                                  1. re: TOchowgal
                                    FoodieinToronto Jul 5, 2009 08:45 AM

                                    I haven't tried Saravana Bhavan yet. But I prefer the dosa at Madras Masala compared to Udupi Palace. It probably costs a little more, but the dosa is bigger and better too. Yummmm, I love me some dosa!

                                2. b
                                  Bhangra Pimp Jul 5, 2009 11:29 PM

                                  In Mississauga area, I like Guru Lakshmi...it's across from Erin Mills Town Centre...right off of Erin Centre Blvd. I actually like the tea here better than the madras coffee. Saravana Bhavan is solid too, but I think it's a lil overrated, and the portions seem to get smaller each time I go there.

                                  Out east, I prefer Madras Palace (Ellesemere between Midland and Brimley).

                                  If you're down in Little India aka Gerard India Bazaar, I'd hit up Udupi.

                                  7 Replies
                                  1. re: Bhangra Pimp
                                    koknia Jul 9, 2009 06:20 AM

                                    Recently back from 6 weeks in India where I completely over-dhosa-ed.
                                    I like Saravana Bhavan too. Just ate at their Vancouver location last week, but prefer the Mississauga location.

                                    1. re: koknia
                                      mene87 Jul 5, 2012 09:17 AM

                                      I know I'm replying years after the fact but i didn't see the need to open a new topic.

                                      I was trying to definitively ID the dosa place that was on Ashdale just off Gerrard and across from the library. I'm trying to ID the original store and the owner however am confused by the myriad of names. I don't think the owner died, but instead left for India after his children had grown up. It used to be a man whom must have been in his late 50's to 60's and had a salt and pepper hair and mustache. I think he was actually from Delhi. He had a south indian fellow that would serve and while the owner would cook.

                                      I also remember thinking it odd that he used to always clean his stove top with a potato but I must have been 10 at the time. Also his coconut chutney was like crack. To this day, i still crave that chutney.

                                      If anyone can help me ID him or the store name.

                                      1. re: mene87
                                        dosaman Nov 7, 2012 06:45 PM

                                        I vividly remember the place on Ashdale across from the library. I believe it was called the Madras Express. It was run by a couple (the man with salt-and-pepper hair, and a woman I can no longer visualize). Yes, they burnished the stainless steel grills with potato half!

                                        The menu was limited; a few types of dosas, a few drinks (mango shakes, lassis, soft drinks), and little else. But the paucity of offerings did not matter: I craved the dosas, which were better than ones I had had in India, and was a frequent visitor between 1987 or 1988 until it closed circa 2002. I used to live at Avenue Road and Davenport, and at least once, walked there and back just to have a dosa.

                                        Summer and autumn were the best seasons to go because they had an outdoor patio. There were a few seats inside the restaurant, but I preferred to sit outside at the picnic tables. The dosas were brought out on large white foam plates, with a foam cup of fluorescent orange dal, and a smear of homemade coconut sambar flecked with black mustard seeds.

                                        I once told the man his dosas were my comfort food. He seemed surprised, and touched.

                                        1. re: dosaman
                                          KitchenVoodoo Nov 8, 2012 02:39 PM

                                          Another huge fan of that place, and I've never found anything remotely as good - and believe me I've tried - even trawling around Mississaguga and Scarborough. I used to get the guy to goose mine with fresh green chillies and he'd go next door to buy them. The place was where I had my first ever dosa, what an introduction to an amazing dish. I loved that the potatoes were small chunks, not a sloppy mash like most places, and the mustard seeds were fresh.
                                          I brought many friends there too. No idea where the owners went.
                                          If anyone who loved their dosas can point us to a similar one, please do!

                                        2. re: mene87
                                          helenhelen Nov 14, 2012 12:25 AM

                                          i really like the dosas at madras masala, next to christie pits.

                                          1. re: helenhelen
                                            bigbunny Dec 9, 2012 05:21 PM

                                            when I'm just trying to whisk quickly across the top of Toronto, a quick ethnic food fix is On

                                            1. re: helenhelen
                                              helenhelen Dec 10, 2012 10:54 PM

                                              recently has the masala dosa (i think) from that south indian place on bloor, just east of lansdowne. i forget the name. it was very tasty. i will be back.

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