Sunday Sapaad at Dosa Kitchen, Newcastle
When The Secret Diner – a food writer working for The Journal – gives a restaurant the thumbs up, you know the place is top notch. It’s not very often I disagree with his critique (Aveika aside), so when he sang the praises of Dosa Kitchen I felt it was a safe bet for a good feed. I’m not sure why it took us so long to make the trip to The Beacon, where it ‘pops up’ from a Thursday to Sunday every week. I can only assume it’s because I’ve spent many a day in that building during staff training and couldn’t bring myself to go during my days off. As The Secret Diner says in his review, it really is an unlikely place to go for South Indian cuisine of this standard.
We ventured there with rumbling tummies for the Sunday Sapaad, which is like an all you can eat buffet. You are given a tray with many different dishes, dosa, papad and some plain boiled rice. If there’s something you’d like more of, all you have to do is ask the super friendly waiter. Dosa Kitchen post the menu on their Facebook page the day before or on the day, meaning each time you visit on a Sunday you’ll encounter something a little different. I was worried about what Mr. Canny would eat, but as they offer a vegetarian as well as meat feast option I shouldn’t have worried. They substituted the yoghurt-based dishes with something vegan-friendly for him, enabling him to enjoy almost the same menu as me.
The Teen was a little more apprehensive about having food plonked in front of him and not knowing what he was eating, so instead ordered a Paneer Dosa and Chapati Kurma. He’ll admit now he made the mistake of not following suit on the Sapaad, watching enviously as we tucked into plentiful dosa dipped into an array of sauces.
Mr. Canny was full of praise for his substitute dishes, like the Medhu Vada (made from chickpea batter, resembles a doughnut in the photo) and Parupu Vada. I particularly liked the Mushroom Masala, which had a great balance of flavours, and the Paneer Pakoda. We ordered a few more dosa over the course of the meal, which are made with black lentils and rice, to mop up the sambar and chutney. The chef came out to talk with us afterwards and explained that as South Indian cookery is usually plant-based it isn’t difficult to accommodate vegetarians and vegans at Dosa Kitchen.
At £12.25 each, we left feeling satiated. We were made to feel like long-lost friends rather than we were eating out, although the surroundings of the centre will never make for a comfortable dining experience. It was almost a surreal experience, sitting in a business centre eating authentic Indian food. The pop-up is almost elusive, with no website or telephone number. To book I sent them a message via Facebook! Here’s hoping that Dosa’s growing popularity secures it a more fitting home in the future. We couldn’t fault anything on our visit, and will be returning for seconds.. and thirds.
Thanks for reading,
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