Review: Dosa Kitchen
Stephen Stokoe was invited along tonight to try out Dosa Kitchen for a taste of South Indian cuisine.
Even before you get through the door at Dosa Kitchen the senses are heightened by the delicious scent of spices gently releasing their aromas as you approach which sets the taste buds tingling and whets your appetite for a delicious meal.
The restaurant itself is on the first floor of the building and on two levels. The brightly lit area is filled with people even as early as we arrived at 6.30pm. We are warmly welcomed by Steven who takes us to our seat by the window. Steven has been with the company for over 6 years and is clearly passionate not only about his work but also the vision of the owners to offer not only delicious food but a culinary journey through authentic South Indian cuisine. He is keen to make his diners feel at home explaining with pleasure that if you are unfamiliar with the menu or the food then he only too happy to help.
We perused the drinks menu which contains wines, beers and signature cocktails specially selected to complement the food being served. It is admirable to note that a lot of the beers and ales are sourced locally from Wylam Brewery. The wines too are provided by Lanchester Wines who also consult on keeping the list up to date with new grape varieties and blends to offer the perfect accompaniment to the meal.
The menu offers a great variety of starters for all tastes with chicken, lamb and vegetable dishes all in evidence. You will not find curry house standards such as Tandoori chicken or onion bhajis on this menu because as one of the owners, Sudharsen advises ‘We are not a curry house.’ Indeed as our starters arrive there is a delicious array of delicately spiced chicken, more heavily spiced king prawns and a vegetarian starter of crispy onion pakora. This was followed by three of the most deliciously and carefully spiced curries with different levels of spiciness. Steven enthuses about the dishes and tell us that when he mentions spicy in Dosa Kitchen, he is not talking about heat. He is describing the complexity and richness of the spice blend. Having tasted good Indian food before I can confirm the food is among the best dishes I have ever tasted.
Dosa Kitchen started life as a pop-up kitchen on the Westgate Road, long before pop up restaurants were even a thing offering real South Indian food and this admirable philosophy has propelled the management into their permanent home on Osborne Road. Boasting Hairy Biker, Si King as one of their regulars, I can see why this famous foodie is such a fan.
The name of the restaurant comes from their signature dish the dosa which is a kind of huge savoury pancake and can be served with a variety of flavours. The batter is made of rice and lentils which is mixed with other ingredients and then fermented. While the dosas may only take around 30 seconds to cook the preparation of the batter takes 48 hours to give that authentic and delicious flavour which customers at the Dosa Kitchen come back for time and time again.
Another feature of Dosa Kitchen is their Sunday menu – the Sapaad which translates from Tamil as meal. This is a complete meal includes starters, sides, mains and desserts which change on a weekly basis. The menu for the rest of the week is set aside on Sundays and the chefs are allowed to flex their culinary muscles to creative inventive dishes based on the rich history of South Indian cuisine, old family favourites and dishes created by themselves in the traditional style.
If you are wanting a chicken tikka masala, a lamb bhuna or even a rogan josh then Dosa Kitchen will not be for you. If on the other hand you want to get a genuinely delicious taste of South India with exquisite service and spices that tickle the tastebuds and trip on the tongue then Dosa Kitchen has it in abundance. It would be prudent to book – especially on a Sunday. I’ll definitely be returning soon!
Dosa Kitchen, 7 Osborne Road (rear), Jesmond, Newcastle upon Tyne. NE2 2AE (0191 250 9725)
Starters £4.95 – £7.75 Mains £9.25 – £13.25 Wines from £18.50
– Stephen Stokoe