A perfectly rolled, perfectly light and crisp rice pancake canoodling a firm pile of filling is the perfect dosa, as served here, with a trio of interesting sambar. The simplest is the masala dosa and is arguably the best, as advised by other eaters. It is the recommended choice for appreciating the perfectly caramelised onion and softening potato with the classic mix of spices. However, there are at least 17 types of dosa produced here and it’s well worth all the return trips to try them all.
Idli is another happy find, the steamed and spiced rice cake originally from Gujarat. It is a joy, in fact, to find a menu almost all devoted to southern Indian foods. The dosa make a lunch on their own but also make a good start to dinner, although dried chilli paneer is hard to pass up.
A famous main here is lamb malli peralan, a coriander curry of delicious depth. Have it with rich ghee rice. Another find is a fantastic kappa fish curry, which is gingery and mustardy with red snapper. If you too find thali presentations hard to resist, try this paneer thali of seasonal veggies served with a paneer masala.
Desserts are the luscious kulfis here. The gulab jamun turns out to be wonderful, like little cardamom-flavoured koeksister balls in syrup. There are lassis and milkshakes that are pretty special, like the strawberry-rose flavoured Bombay Crush, creamy with a little cardamom and vermicelli.
They have the most refreshing homemade mint-and-lemon fresh drink that is great with the richer foods, but they also have other juices, coffee, iced teas and masala teas. Also try the South Indian milky spicy tea.
This is a difficult one. If you’re of the area or cuisine you might not need advice, but the waitresses who are not Indian are not trained to answer questions about the menu. They seem to be trained to deliver food and remove plates without engagement. Other eaters in the restaurant provided menu advice and directions to the loo.
It doesn’t look like a hut – it’s a most attractive little restaurant with blue-grey pastel walls, pale basketry and a very pleasant atmosphere among the other tables and guests.
Watch the chef at work as he makes the finest dosas.
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Dosa Hut has a selection of starters: dosa starters, vegetarian starters and non-vegetarian starters. The chicken tikka starter, served with french fries and lettuce, did not disappoint. The chicken was succulent while the bright spices it was covered in provided a burst of flavour. Part-tangy, part-spicy and consistently delicious, the chicken tikka starter is worth a try.
The dosa hut fish curry is a 'chef’s special' and its ingredients are not listed on the menu. The 'chef’s secret sauce/gravy' is a fiery, red concoction with a kick. It’s spicy but not too overpowering and goes well with the fish. Patrons can have it with a choice of side dishes, including basmati rice or vegetables. It also works as a standalone dish as the rich sauce and fish are quite filling in their own right. Dosa also offers a selection of chicken, lamb and vegetarian mains, as well as a selection of biryanis.
Dosa Hut is a strictly Halaal, dry restaurant. Patrons can quench their thirst from a selection of lassis (Indian-style, yoghurt-based smoothies), soft drinks and juices. The mango lassi, although very sweet, is a burst of flavour. It comprises of fresh mango, milk, yoghurt and cardamom. It has a refreshing effect on the palate.
The service is adequate. The staff know the menu, are friendly and eventually get the job done. The service was a bit slow even though the restaurant was not full; however, the staff’s chilled demeanour and authentic warmth were infectious and made up for this.
Dosa Hut is a favourite family spot, as well as a chilled environment to meet with friends over a bite to eat. It has a chilled, no frills, no fuss vibe about it. People come here for the food, not to be dazzled by the décor, which is quite simple. The atmosphere is cosy, intimate and relaxed.
Let the kids have fun trying the lassis of different flavours.
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Dosa Hut is a South Indian eatery in Fordsburg, the kind of place where you’ll see expat Indian families enjoying a meal – and that’s how you know they’ve got a good thing going. This place is all about the food, minus the fuss. Dosa’s are the speciality here, so don’t leave without trying one. A dosa is a paperthin fermented rice pancake, spread thin and cooked until crispy on the outside. The pancake is traditionally filled with a potato curry and served with yellow lentil gravy and chutneys. These can be enjoyed as a shared started or as a main course. There are various other delicious fillings aside from the potato, but I’m all for the original. Make sure you share some of the starters to get a taste of all the spicy treats. One of my favourites is the prawn dry fry: the prawns are coated in a spicy masala batter, cooked till crispy and served with lemon wedges, pure heaven with each bite. The deep-fried crab is sensational. Cutlery is provided as a suggestion next to the stack of napkins, but its best to get the full experience the traditional way, with your fingers. The mutton korma is delicious, but I prefer the traditional chicken curry, comprising of beautifully spiced, tender chicken in tomato gravy, just like my mom makes it. The real show stopper is the fish fry masala: a whole fish, marinated in red masala and then deep-fried, topped with tempered curry leaves and spices. The fish just melts in the mouth along with rich tomato and tamarind sauce served with it. Mop it up with some of the garlic naan or roti. No visit to Dosa Hut is complete without trying this dish. Despite all the meat and seafood available, this place is a vegetarian’s paradise, with more than 20 different dishes available. Try the Kerala style mushroom curry, the roasted eggplant curry in tomato and onion gravy, or one of the different paneers.
Due to the restaurant being a Halal establishment, no alcohol is served. But don’t despair – they make a mean mango lassi and an apple shake that’s perfect to wash down the spicy meal. Alternatively, opt for one of their homemade juices, like the mint and lemon version or the freshly squeezed pineapple juice.
The service is all about efficiency and the waiters buzz around the restaurant ensuring orders are taken and delicious plates of food served. Don’t be surprised if your drinks arrive mid-meal, as they all prepared on order.
The restaurant is located close to the Fordsburg outdoor market, which runs until late every day. You might have to jostle for a parking spot, as the neighbourhood is a constant hive of activity with food stalls and vendors selling everything from clothing to Indian sweetmeat. The inside of the restaurant is clean and comfortable and reminiscent of an eating house more than a restaurant. Don’t let that deter you; it’s all about the food.
They also offer a catering service, so speak to one of the managers about hosting an evening of Indian delights at home.
This is an authentic Fordsburg gem. Dosas, as they should be, are the first items listed on the menu. The dosa crepe is faintly fermented, and it is a thrill to watch the chef make them, so ensure you are seated near the flat-top.
There are 14 different dosas, from a plain version to those containing masala or onion to more complex fillings of egg, chicken, mutton or mushrooms. They arrive at the table in interesting folded shapes, some like cones, others like cigars, others just half-moons, and are accompanied by three sauces: a very hot sauce, a mild flavoursome red pepper affair and a plain cooling white coconut sauce.
The starter items are absolutely delicious: gobi 65 is a dish of cauliflower florets marinated with 65 spices, battered and then deep fried. Also try the aubergine fingers in a fragrant, mild mix of spices, or the equally good deep-fried prawn fritters.
There are more than 20 vegetarian items listed in the mains section, including a kadala curry, parippu keera, or paneer burgi, made from grated cottage cheese. A huge list of meat curries, biryanis, South Indian rice pulao dishes and three Dosa Hut specialties (which include kappa fish curry made with cassava) is also available. And if you were able to resist the temptation of the Indian sweet-meat stores on the way in, you can order gulab jamun (sweet milk dumplings) for an after-dinner treat.
No alcohol is served, but to counterbalance the spicy food, opt for some great home-pressed juices like lemon, mint and lemon, pineapple or orange; Indian shakes such as a Bombay rcush or badam (almond) milkshake; or a lassi, which is made with yoghurt and flavoured with salt, mint, mango or banana. A cautionary note here: the lassi is so good that the temptation to finish it in a few gulps is enormous, but let’s not spoil the appetite so quickly.
There seems always to be a manager on duty, stationed at the front door to keep a protective eye over the restaurant. The waiters are well informed about the style of cooking and the menu. Ask for their opinions and suggestions.
This is more of an eating house than a restaurant – décor and other elements associated with conventional restaurants are minimal (in fact, the walls are bare), and most tables or banquettes are for many people – friends or families that come together for a meal – but there are also single men dining on their own, reinforcing the eating-house notion. It is situated right next to a smartish small hotel, which no doubt contributes some customers. When you arrive, you'll notice the flat-top burners where the dosas are made in clear view of anyone passing the street.
This is a shopper's paradise for those looking for something different, situated up the street from the Oriental Plaza (which could be viewed as the fenced in, ‘safe’ version of Fordsburg by some). The streets surrounding Dosa Hut are alive with a multitude of shops selling fabrics, clothing, daily necessities, kitchen paraphernalia, spices and groceries – all sorts of things that will make you want to empty your wallet.