One of our hidden gems on the blog last year – and an incredibly popular post – was about Dosa Kitchen, a weekend pop-up in a business centre that ticked all the right boxes when it came to South Indian Food. We were pleased to hear that new premises were being sough, although it took longer than anticipated finding a home worthy of Dosa’s inventive dishes.
This weekend (from December 1st) Dosa Kitchen has opened its doors again, having taken over the former Longhorns site in Jesmond. The self-styled ‘South Indian canteen’ is serving up an extensive menu inspired by the Tamil Nadu area of South India, which includes many vegan-friendly dishes as standard. The brainchild of two obsessive foodies – Mathen Ganesan and Sudharsan Murugavel – Dosa Kitchen has come a long way from its pop-up residency in the west end of Newcastle.
Dosa built up a loyal and dedicated customer base, as well as attracting glowing critical acclaim, in its unusual home. This is something Murugavel attributes to the team’s focus on quality and customer service. Instead of the greasy, belly-busting banquets and garish flock wallpaper associated with more traditional Indian restaurants, visitors to Dosa Kitchen can expect a relaxed ambience in which the quality of the largely vegetarian and gluten-free food comes first. On the drinks front, Dosa Kitchen have teamed up with the pioneering Wylam Brewery to offer a selection of locally-brewed craft beers as well as hand picking a wine offering to complement the restaurant’s range of mouthwatering dishes. My friend enjoyed a glass or two of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, while I stuck to the refreshing coolers. The menu hasn’t changed dramatically, which will be a huge relief for fans. A couple of the dishes – like the Biriyanis – weren’t available during their first service, but there was still plenty of choice. There may be no labelling to denote what is suitable for vegans, but based on my previous visits I was aware I could have Medhu Vada (lentil doughnuts of sorts), Parupu Vada, Sambhar Vada and Idli for starters. Some of these are pictured below as part of the Sunday Sapaad, which will be making a welcome return at the new restaurant too.
We both opted for dosa – Potato Masala for me and Paneer for my friend, as well as a main course to accompany. You can’t visit somewhere called Dosa Kitchen and not try their specialty!
Laura had a Veggie Tuk-Tuk as her main dish, which was made with shredded parotas and an assortment of vegetables. She chose this dish on account of how it can be tailored to suit your palate on the spice scale. Served with (non-vegan) raita she found it was spot-on. The accompaniments to the dosa are always welcome, especially the sambhar and the coriander & coconut.
My vegan main of Vegetable Kuruma was mildly spiced and aromatic thanks to a mix of cashew paste and coconut. We ended up sharing another dosa to finish off the remnants of our dishes.
There was plenty of choice for me with my dietary requirements so no need to telephone ahead to warn of your veganism here. The service was attentive and it was great to see an almost packed restaurant on opening night. Word has clearly spread about what Dosa Kitchen were quietly doing in their old home and were given a fitting welcome in Jesmond. It is sure to be busy so booking is advised.
Thanks for reading,