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Dosa's and South Indian Food - where?

Any recommendations for best dosa's in town? How about for South Indian? - thanks!

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  1. I've only had dosas at one place in Toronto, Saravan Bhavan, in Mississauga. It's not the nicest place in the city to eat dinner -- very bright flourescents, and mediocre service, but the dosas were good and I would return.
    BTW, I visited a Saravan Bhavan in Delhi and they had the Mississauga location listed on the paper placemat. It's a small world...

    1. Rashnaa - for both.

      307 Wellesley St E, Toronto, ON M4X1H2, CA

      2 Replies
        1. re: spades

          I really enjoyed the food at Anjappar Chettinad. There are a few locations I believe. I visited the one in Brampton.

          1. re: Fwagra

            Only been once but their Crab curry and eggplant curry were pretty good. Their chicken 65 tasted like pakoras that were a touch bland.

          2. re: spades

            I feel it's relevant to add that Udupi Palace is, I believe, entirely vegetarian.

            1. Saravana bhavan. Mcowan and Finch, best masala dosas/veggie dosas/any dosas.
              But if you can't get up there, then rashnaa will do.

              8 Replies
              1. re: Suresh

                I have only tried Udupi Palace, which was wonderful. I googled Saravana bhavan because it is closer to me and saw they had the above location plus two others, including one in Richmond Hill, which is closer to me. Suresh, Do you know if the R.H. location is the same quality as the one you mention?

                1. re: mindyt

                  Hey minday,
                  Personally I find that the Scarborough location is slightly better in terms of consistency. 20+ visits and everytime it tastes great, and can't say the same for RH...I heard the classic rumour (and this may be JUST a rumour) that the cooks at the scarborough location were hired from India.
                  Here's a link on what to try, with some photos...

                  1. re: Suresh

                    Thank you so much, Suresh, I know where I'll be eating this weekend!

                    1. re: mindyt

                      I highly recommend that you share some dishes along with your dosa. The thali gives you a very good crash course in how indian lunches are served, and the poori is divine.

                      IMO, When most people think about indian food, they think about how much they love Naans and Butter chicken. Pooris are much more flavourful and absorb sauces/curries better than naan. Try one.

                      1. re: Suresh

                        I agree completely about the poori. It's utterly delicious, even just eaten on its own (which is how I enjoy it best). Anyone who limits themselves to naan is missing out on a wonderful world of Indian breads.

                        1. re: vorpal

                          YES, the indians love to eat it by itself.
                          Pooris are best complimented by Channa curries and thin fish curries. not "that good" with thick beef dishes (but hey, if you like it, eat it up!)

                          1. re: vorpal

                            Hey, deep fried is always more tasty than baked! :-)

                          2. re: Suresh

                            I have had good experience with Thali and love Dosa, but don't believe I have ever had the pleasure of Poori, which I am excited to try. I have been fortunate to have an Indian friend teach me about South Indian food, as I was much more accustomed to other regions of Indian food and for any one who likes Indian and doesn't know South Indian, I highly recommend it, and Suresh, your link provides a great primer for novices like me, so thanks again.

                  2. Sometimes if I'm in a hurry, I just get a takeout Dosa from the Motimahal -- on the same strip as Udupi Palace but much more basic (the Indo-Canadian friend who first took me there calls it MacCurry's). I get the Masala Dosa (or Dosa Masala?) which is mostly potato. They serve it with a thin but super-spicy dal. I'm never sure if that's meant for dipping or eating separately, but I always enjoy it with tears streaming down my cheeks from the heat.

                    1. Udupi palace used to be good. Not any more. I have been there several times in the past and atleast two times they billed me for extra items. Some of my friends also reported the same.

                      I like the Saravana Bhavan Dosa too. I go to the one in Scarborough.

                      Madras Palace in Scarborough had good dosas. I don't go there any more after SB opened.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: Suresh

                        Well I am been turned off by Rasoee (downtown on Richmond) by their dry biryani. Maybe other locations are different.

                        1. re: Teep

                          From my experience, they are not....I just meant to say that anything is better than Madras. There are a few chouhounders that love Rasoee though.

                          1. re: Teep

                            I was also very turned off by the food at Rasoee at Richmond.

                            1. re: Teep

                              Never again will i go to the Rasoe on Richmond Street. Overpriced and the portions are unbelievably small. My butter chicken portion was like the size of a small can of tuna .. tasty but not worth it

                          2. Saravan Bhavan (Woodside) - Quick Review

                            Just went to the Scarboro location. It was pretty good. However, the thali was a bit of a disappointment. Most of the items in the combo were not hot, and the dhal was just plain sad. The poori was okay, but something was off. We also had the idly - that was delicious, especially the sambar. (The difference was clear, as the sambar with the idly was piping hot, while the one in combo was almost cold). As well, we had the paneer dosa - pretty nice, though personally I like the masala dosa better.

                            Finally, the best item of our order was the Dhal Butter Fry - it was spicy, flavourful and just plain delicious. For dessert, I had a Badham Kheer - a milky drink with crushed almonds. It wasn't too sweet and heavy, and made for a nice finish to the meal.

                            Overall, I was very happy with the meal, though I will not likely order the combo again. Definitely, I'll be back there. Good call Suresh!!!!

                            1. South Indian Dosa Mahal at St. Clarens and Bloor is delicious. The atmosphere is not great, and the neighbourhood is somewhat less than salubrious, but the food is good.

                              1. Glad you enjoyed the food at Saravana Bhavan. Hopefully your second visit will be even better.
                                Over the weekend, I stopped by Moti Mahal during Diwali. The place was insanely busy.
                                I ordered the plain dosa, the idly dish, and some goat kebabs, 2 sweet lassis.
                                Firstly, the sweet lassis are probably the best in the city. Perfectly thick, sweet with a slightly sour afterbite.

                                The dosa was quite large, but extremely wafer-like. Typically when Dosas are made, depending on the cook and style, they can be crepe like or wafer like. These were wafer thin all over. It was commendable how they were able to get it so perfectly formed, but it wasn't a proper dosa.
                                The idly fell apart as soon as I touched it. Taste was okay, but a bit bland. the kebabs were fantastic.
                                The sambar and chutney dips were also great.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Suresh

                                  The Moti is my go-to joint for Indian but something about their dosa isn't right. I stick to northern there and it's excellent.

                                2. My (Indian) parents ate at Saravana Bhavan in Mississauga this past weekend for the first time, and were very disappointed with the food quality and portions. I didn't get detail on what they ordered, I only know it wasn't dosas. I've never eaten there so can't comment.

                                  The place I'd like to recommend is Madras Dosa Hut on Albion at Islington (SW corner). It's hard to miss -- it's up on a hill with bright neon green lettering on a black sign. It's a dive (don't look at the ceilings) but the food is excellent! I've had their dosas and vegetarian thali numerous times and always wonderful! Their puris and chappatis (which are actually much more like parathas -- much richer than a chappati should be) are fresh, soft and delicious. The sambar (lentil-based soup that comes with the dosas) is watery and no good, but never mind -- the masala filling and accompanying chutneys are more than enough! The vegetarian thali is my favourite....very generous (neither my husband or I can finish it) and always delicious. Can't be beat for $7.99!!

                                  Based on positive reviews here, I've been wanting to try Brar Sweets in the same area but can never resist Madras Dosa Hut. But we may be trying Brar tonight!

                                  PS - the kheer (rice pudding) that comes with the thali as dessert scares me a bit...it tasted "off" (as in, sour) the one time I tried it and I haven't tried it since. At the end of my meal I don't have room for it anyway!

                                  1. I had yet another very memorable experience at Anjappar Chettinad in Scarborough. I just finished my review which goes up tomorrow.
                                    The Ghee dosas are fantastic as are the egg and masala variety. The idly's are thick and fluffy, without a powdery aftertaste. The chettinad chicken curry is spicy but the spices don't hide the essential flavours of the dish, unlike other places.

                                    This place is almost perfect, it better be, my mom took me there. I hope they stay consistent.

                                    not many sweetlovers on this board, but ill say it anyway, the gulab jamun is the best in the city.

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: Suresh

                                      Could you give the adress for Anjappar Cherttinad please?

                                      1. re: Leslieville

                                        That's easy to find with Google. Here are a few reviews plus the address: http://www.restaurantica.com/restaura...

                                        1. re: foodyDudey

                                          I've been going lots to a little takeout joint around the corner from that place called 'Chennai Kitchen'. It's in a strip mall at 292 Markham Rd. They have great stuff to go. I regularly get the 'rice and curry', but ask them to mix and match on the rice, so they give me two kinds plus a heap of string hoppers. The veggies are whatever they're cooking that day. The eggplant is excellent as is the beetroot when they have it on. The pittu is also delicious. (Make sure to ask for extra butter chillies on the side.) Big meals for 4 bucks.
                                          I haven't tried their dosa as I like to eat them on the spot, but I'm sure they're good.
                                          They are caterers for the South Indian community so the back room is always busy. They also sell dosa mixer/grinders.
                                          Not worth the drive from downtown, but great if you're in the area.

                                        2. re: Leslieville

                                          Sorry about that,
                                          Anjappar Chettinad is located at 3090 Eglinton Avenue East, Scarborough

                                          review and some photos here;

                                        3. re: Suresh


                                          Anjappar Chettinad
                                          3090 Eglinton Ave E, Toronto, ON M1J2H1, CA

                                          Chennai Kitchen
                                          292 Markham Rd, Toronto, ON M1J, CA