Dosa Royale (Long)
Was so excited to see the sign for this place going up right in my neighborhood. AFAIK, this is the first south Indian restaurant in Brooklyn. Finally went, with a big family group, so we tried what felt like almost everything on the menu.
Drinks: We didn't have cocktails but we did have mango lassis, which were delicious—I think they use a high quality mango pulp to make them. Wish they were a little bigger for the price, but they were rich and I would order one again.
the veg and the non-veg thali: The non-veg thali had a fish curry and an egg curry on it. I didn't try the fish curry and the egg curry was only ok. All in all, I was not super impressed by the thalis. First of all, the rice was cold and a little bit hard, as if they had tried to warm up yesterday's but hadn't nuked it enough in the microwave. Also, it had too many similar dishes on it--ie. rasam, samber, and two other dal-like dishes. I'm no fan of rasam, but the other ones were good. I just wish they had swapped out one or two of those for more vegetable dishes and a salad. The carrot sweet with the thali was very good, as was the paratha that came with it.
Dosas: The regular dosas were large and well-made. The dosa royale is huge and comes with 3 kinds of fillings--one would easily feed two people. While I liked the fillings, I didn't like them in the dosa. I'm a traditionalist and really only like the potato masala filling in my dosa, if that. Next time I would order the fillings on the side. We tried to do that this time, but the kitchen didn't comply.
The dosas came with sambar (tasty) and two chutneys. The coconut chutney was pretty flavorless, but that's a lament I have at almost all south Indian places. I've yet to have any coconut chutney like I get in India.
Idli: The flavor of these were good, but they were too dense and dry. I am still searching for good idli in the NYC area. There are a couple of places that do decent ones sometimes, but they are really hit or miss.
Curries: We ordered both the chicken and the lamb. The gravies of both were delicious, but the lamb pieces in the curry were a little small and sort of mysterious. I think the chicken was a little better. The curry portions also seemed a little small.
We also ordered the okra that is listed as an appetizer and that was outstanding. And a side order of puri was also good.
I can't remember what else we had, but my overall impression was positive. The service was pretty good—I liked our waiter and the host, but the guy running the food from the kitchen bordered on the surly and just kind of plunked stuff down in an angry way, which was off-putting. Still, my family liked the dosas enough to go back the next night again,but without me.
The bottom line is that it's a nice addition to Brooklyn and I'm happy to have it in my neighborhood, but if I want a thali and not dosa or meat curries, I will head to Saravannas or some place on Lex in Manhattan.
Didn't try the uttapam. However, forgot to add in my report that we also had the onion rava dosa. The flavor was good, but it was a little greasy and soggy due to the way it was folded on the plate. Which is the way rava dosas are usually folded, but somehow other ones I have had do not end up as soggy/greasy. The regular dosas were way better.
Not sure why we didn't try the uttapam, as I am an uttapam fan.
And not sure what you mean by good onions. Not sure I paid enough attention to the onions in the rava dosa to know if they were "good" or not.
I've only been to Dosa Garden once, a couple of years ago. I had high expectations because at the time it was getting a lot of love on this board, but I found it somewhat disappointing. I remember the dosa being only so-so. Part of the problem was that I was with people who preferred more typical Indian restaurant fare, so we ordered a lot of dishes that Dosa Garden probably doesn't excel at. Next time I am on SI and craving Indian (and not Sri Lankan) I will give it another chance.
thanks for your review!
i went last night...the lamb curry had great flavor! we got the coconut rice as the accompaniment, upon a recommendation from one of the waters. it was funny though, i was thinking about how i normally prefer plain rice when eating something that's saucy and worth soaking up. when the man from the kitchen brought out our food he pointed out that he prefers the coconut rice on its own or with sambar and would normally get the plain rice with the lamb curry. i think i would've preferred it that way, too. anyway, the coconut rice was very coconutty and also cold. perhaps the temperature is a conscious choice?
i normally don't love rasam, but i thought it was great there. what was it that you didn't like about dosa royale's?
i also tried the classic masala dosa....the dosa was nicely done but the curry potatoes were a bit flat in flavor.
all in all, i'm so happy it's in carroll gardens. i love that they're not just a generic americanized indian restaurant in a neighborhood with not so many great options outside of the american, french and italian-influenced realms.