Dosas, appams and parathas with a distinctive Madurai flavour stand out at Dosa Bar, amidst the many dosa joints in the city
The dosa remains the undisputed king of South Indian snacks, believes Kona, with the backing of years of experience in the catering industry running in the family. And so, despite the generous splattering of dosa joints in Bangalore, she was confident that she could keep the tava fire burning successfully on a dosa theme at the Dosa Bar.Proprietor Kona's father Narayanswamy is a well-known hotelier back in Sri Lanka where they run the Ambal group of restaurants, and are known for their Indian food too.Their specialty is typical South Indian cuisine. Kona holds a hotel management degree apart from her specialisation in baking she did in Colombo. She, incidentally, is a good cake decorator too and has won an award for being the third best cake-maker in Colombo.
The USP of Dosa Bar is its authentic Madurai flavour. Kona achieves it with the expertise and experience of two chefs who have left their mark over the last 20 years at restaurants like the Saravana Bhavan and Arya Bhavan back in Tamil Nadu.The sunny south feel is all over these crisp dishes and their accompaniments, which include four types of chutneys and a sambar, infused with the flavour of dal, drumstick and small onions and most importantly, some 14 secret ingredients.There are 10 avatars of the dosas, including the paper-thin rava dosa, the masala dosa without the red-chutney smearing but with a befitting filling. The cheese dosa is popular with the young crowd and the ragi and onion dosas are also super hits. Kona's idea is to promote the dosa as the main dish, an entire meal in itself. "Many customers prefer the dosa to a full meal," she says. The Madurai magic meanders through the rest of the menu at this airy, self-service joint - the adai made of five dals, spices and a spot of hing and parathas, including the coin and kotthu variants. The parathas here are different not only in their character - they are fluffy and layered - but also in the accompaniments they come with. Besides the loyal kurma, they tempt you with a salana, a thin gravy and raitha.The way the Chettinad appams are made gives them their distinctive flavour. Rice and coconut are ground fine and fermented for eight hours and a special appam pot brought from Tamil Nadu is used to prepare the appams. The stew that goes with it adds to its originality. The plain, lemon and veg idiyappam biriyani makes up an important part of the menu, so also the plain koli paniyaram and the masala koli paniyaram. The Madurai experience is not complete without the pongal made from ponni rice and ghee, seasoned with whole pepper, cashew, curry leaves and seeragam and has the right accompaniment - the sambar and coconut chutney. A exciting addition to the menu is the fried idli, where a plain idli is divided into four, dipped in batter and fried and again re-fried in a gravy of onion and tomatoes. Sunday brings out the special rava kichidi. A sumptuous snack for two costs just Rs. 100 in this joint.Hot jalebis will soon be included on the dessert menu. Contact Dosa Bar at 9886356572/ 9886012872.Ambience: Informal
Speciality: Cheese dosa
Wallet factor: Rs. 100 for twoM.V. CHANDRASHEKAR