Finally a good dosa in Bandra. Arun Kumar's in the Bandra Croma Khao Gulley

That's Arun kumar in the yellow apron

I had almost given up hope of getting a decent dosa in Bandra, the suburb of Mumbai where I live.

The dosas from our local Udipi joint are plasticky regardless of whether I call for them home or go there and eat. Added to that, the restaurant has that rancid oil smell that typifies Udipi places of the suburbs. An odour which is magically and thankfully absent in places in Udipi joints in town such as Swagath at Fort and the Matunga joints.

A couple of evenings back I tried going to an Udipi restaurant which some folks on twitter had recommended to men in Bandra's Hill Road. I stepped in, saw that it was empty, dank and dusty, with trash lying on empty tables and left this 'Heartbreak Hotel' immediately without trying anything.

The same is the case at other end of the pond. I went to an Udipi joint in Bandra E recently and was served a doughy, un-cooked rava dosa and the place had a stink.

There was a restaurant called South Side Cafe, which had opened near Khane Khas at Bandra W, which served lovely dosas but then shut down when the young owner's father told him to go and join the family mining business in Karnataka.

I do like the occasional dosa in the evening or even as breakfast. I don't make dosas at home. My inability to get hold of a decent dosa near home bugs me.

Then epiphany happened last evening.

I was returning home from Gostana, where I had gone to meet their new mascot, Zizou.

With Zizou in Gostana

I was very hungry and remembered that there is a dosa guy in the lane opposite Croma behind Bandra's Linking Road. I thought I'd try my luck there.

It's a mini khao gulley (food street) with a sandwich guy, a Frankie guy, a vada pao guy and the dosa stall.

I placed an order for a Mysore sada dosa.

I am a bit unclear about what's the gold standard in 'Mysore' dosas. Some people here make it red, some green, some brown. What I do like is the light masala added to the dosa which enlivens things.

It was 9 pm and almost time to close. I waited for my dosa while folks at the stalls washed their dishes at the end of the day which was a bit disconcerting.

My dosa was soon ready and I took my first bite.

I broke into a big smile. The dosa was crisp and yet had a moist base inside because of the light masala added to it. The masala not only created a lovely texture but packed in a lot of flavour which enticed one without overwhelming.

I had a sip of the sambar and saw that it was not sweet unlike what is served in suburban Udipi joints which cater to a pre-dominantly Gujarati clientele who like a touch of sweetness in their food.

I complimented the person making the dosa, Mr Arun Kumar, who said he originally hailed from Karnataka. 

'Our sambar is never sweet,' he told me firmly.

I was so happy to have had a good dosa in Bandra after ages!

The dosa cost 40 bucks and I expect to feature soon in some listicle on 40 eats under Rs 40 somewhere!


Zenia Irani said…
Ohh yaay! Thank you for discovering this. The one thing I miss in Bandra is good south Indian food.
Have you tried Manju Dosa in Khar, near Ahimsa Marg? his dosas are pretty good too, though he's always packed at any time of the day.
Kalyan Karmakar said…
Hey Zenia, glad you liked it. i used to go to Manju's pretty often while returning from physio and wrote about it too. Here you miss the stench of the drain which is there at manjus!
ravi said…
Guess, he is from North Karnataka or the Central Karnataka.
Coastal Karnataka's Sambar is sweetest and Old Mysore region adds a pinch of Jaggery to neutralise the effect of the heat of spices, but is hardly sweet.
Unknown said…
hey ..even i like d mysore masala at dt place.i hvnt eaten such tasty mysore masala anywer till of dem place same masala dosa under d name of mysore masala.i alwys have d cheese mysore masala its been 8 yrs i hv been visiting dis place wenvr i go to bandra
Unknown said…
i m a regular person at his place since
past 8 yrs.i jst luv d way de make it no matters i alwys hv it.