Canada Dosa Corner
1715 52nd Street SE
After reading review after review of how great this place is, I finally decided to check out Canada Dosa Corner with some friends earlier this week. Located on 52nd street and 17th avenue SE, Canada Dosa Corner is a mom and pop shop specializing in authentic South Indian and Sri Lankan dishes.
We arrived at the restaurant shortly after 7 and was greeted by a potent aroma of spices. Upon being seated, we browsed through the menu and found that we had no idea what 90% of the items were despite having pretty pictures along the side of the menu. Everyone busted out their smart phones and began to Google and Wikipedia what everything was.
The menu features a nice selection of dosa as well as other Indian dishes (One notable item we did not get a chance to try was 'Chicken 65'). Dosa are crepes made from rice batter and black lentil. It is generally served hot and rolled up like a wrap. An Indian burrito if you will. A variety of stuffing is available in addition to the plain variety. I knew I wanted to try one of these, but which one?! Plain? Goat? Chicken? Onion? I can't make these tough decisions on an empty stomach so we ordered some appetizers while we pondered.
We ordered a helping of papadum with mango chutney and medhu vada to start. Papadum is an Indian flatbread that is typically served with some sort of dip. Fried when you order, the papadum was crispy and light. The mango chutney was super tasty.
The second appetizer we ordered was the medhu vada, which is a savory donut. Small pieces of onions are mixed into the dough and deep fried to a crispy golden brown. Also made to order, the vada were mouth-burningly hot. It also could have been the spices. My mouth felt like it was on fire. A prelude to what's to come.
For my entree, I decided to go with the palak paneer dosa which featured spinach and Indian cottage cheese. It sounds relatively mild but don't be fooled! It was hella spicy, or I have a ridiculously low tolerance for spicy food. Likely the latter. But it was really delicious! We were sweating like crazy (also due to the lack of AC) but we couldn't stop stuffing our faces! I did find out later (much later) that you can order the dishes less spicy but you would be looked down upon, no doubt. The dosa came with three dips - Sambar, coconut(?) and tomato(?) chutney. They were equally delicious. I wish I took a better photo of the dosa. It was humongous, extending far beyond the edges of the picture. I swear it could have fed a family of 4. The dosa crepe was light and fluffy and stuffed with the tasty spinach filling. So good! It didn't even matter than my mouth was on fire. No amount of water will put out this blaze.
Atmosphere: 6 out 10. Hole in the wall with interesting decor. The entrance features a garden arch. Nuff said.
Food: 8 out of 10. The food is made fresh when you order.
Presentation: 6 out of 10. Average presentation.
Price: 10 out of 10. Appetizer + entree for less than $20! WTF?! Of all the reviews I've done, this place might offer the best bang for the buck!
Service: 7 out of 10. Friendly service. The owner was very patient with our lack of knowledge on the dishes. Perhaps a little slow on the preparations as not all the main dishes were brought out at the same time since the dosa had to be made separately. And apparently they close at 9 on Wednesdays... We were there till at least 9:30... My apologies.
Overall: 7 out of 10. Authentic South Indian and Sri Lankan cuisine in the hood. Bring your bullet proof vest.