Canada Dosa Corner - Calgary
Thanks to alau's post on her blog, I decided to try out Canada Dosa Corner. I'm always looking for new "hole in the wall" type places in the NE to try. Definitely head over to her blog to get the full back story scoop on this restaurant.....now on to the food.
I had never been to a Sri Lankan restaurant before so I wasn't sure what to expect. The owner was very helpful in giving recommendations about what to order. Unfortunately, the menu doesn't have any descriptions or pictures so you are kind of lost unless you get help or know Sri Lankan food. I've eaten their twice and both times I got ulundu vadai to start with string hoppers with chicken korma and korthu for the main course. The ulundu vadai is like a savory deep fried donut served with a spicy sauce. String hoppers are vermicelli noodle nests that you spoon the korma (curry) over. Korthu is a chopped dish that has onions, bread, egg, meat and ????. It's kind of like a hash. It's spicier than you would think since it's not saucy at all.
Overall the food is very, very good. I find it very inexpensive for all the food you get. It is quite spicy. I think the spice is nice but my Canadian friends have mentioned that is quite spicy to them. The owner is very nice as well and very appreciative of the business. It seems to be her & one other lady working there so if you walk in & no one comes to help you, you should let them know you are there. The food is very fresh & is made to order. It is not super fast but you can get in and out for lunch in 1 1/2 hours.
One thing to mention....I found that the food was very different the two times I visited. Great both times but not the same. I was okay with that but it might bug some people. It's also hard to get exactly what you had the time before b/c they will often throw things in & then when you ask for it they're not exactly sure what you are asking for.
Sorry for the long review. I would definitely recommend you give this place a try!
Canada Dosa Corner
1715 52 St SE, Calgary, AB T2A, CA
I stopped by for dinner Wednesday night - dosas were on special. I ordered a masala dosa and string hoppers because, like John Manzo, I was interested to see a restaurant serving string hoppers in Calgary. I was told that the string hoppers dish an excellent choice as the chef was just making some up fresh.
My masala dosa was excellent: not greasy, a bit crispy, large portion, accompanied with some chutney and daal - I beleive t was supposed to be sambar, it wasn't, but it was good nonetheless. The best dosa I have had for a while, with sambar it could have been even better.
About 20 minutes later I got a bowl of kothu roti instead of a serving of string hoppers. It was tasty, but not what I ordered, and I am not crazy for this dish regardless. The service was friendly and eager but everything was crazy slow. This was a Wednesday night around 6pm, there were 3 other tables and a guy waiting for takeout. The guy getting takeout waited at least 40 minutes for his pickup (I don't know how long he was waiting before I showed up), but he seemed happy to get it. Dishes show up when they're ready, so if you aren't planning to share, it could be awkward, as there can be quite a delay between serving dishes to a table - I watched a table of 2 adults and child get their dishes served out over close to an hour, the man was still waiting for a dish when I left. A Sri Lankan couple at another table ordered a special curry of some kind around the time I made my order, and received it around the time I paid and left. Another couple had problems with the debit machine and the guy had to leave to find an ATM to get cash to come back to pay.
It's cheap, the food was good especially the dosa, and maybe the string hoppers would be great if you got them. It's definitely not a professional kitchen, by North American or Sri Lankan standards - and yes, I've been there, and I was cutting this place a lot of slack. I'll give it a thumbs up for being the only Sri Lankan place in the city, and I might try it again and see if I can get string hoppers if it is still in business in a couple of months. If you go, be patient, be prepared to wait, be prepared to get something different than you ordered, and bring cash.
I also read alau’s blog post about Canada Dosa Corner, as well as John’s review, and was very touched by this lady’s story, so I stopped in for lunch last week - and was VERY happy I did. I am not familiar with Sri Lankan food, but this was a real treat. While I was waiting for my order a couple of fellows at another table were served a wonderful looking dish that I just had to ask about. I was told it was Sri Lankan chicken curry - which I did not see on the menu, but which they were apparently familiar with from the old menu; a little while later I was presented with a small bowl of the curry for me to taste. It was one of the most delicious curries I have ever eaten - deep, rich, complex flavour very different from the usual Indian curries I'm used to, and also love. I will definitely be back for more of that. The dishes I had ordered were also excellent. The service was fairly slow because she cooks everything fresh and to order, but I was told they will be starting a lunch buffet this Monday, (they have been closed Mondays in the past, but will be open 7 days a week now), and that should hopefully solve the problem of too long a wait for the lunch crowd. There seems to be a learning curve happening here with the change in the menu and hours of operation. They told me they will be opening at noon on Mondays, but at 11:00 AM the rest of the week. I hope this restaurant can survive until it becomes better known for its really good food.
Canada Dosa Corner
1715 52 St SE, Calgary, AB T2A, CA