Dosa n Chutny
21 August 2012: Dosa n Chutny - Minus the chutney
With a heavy heart and a tear in my eye (caused by the dust from cleaning the skeletons out of the cupboard in my old house), I left Tooting for pastures new (Clapham South). However, you know what they say, you can take the boy out of Tooting, but you can’t take Tooting out of the boy, and, with this mantra on my lips and a spring in my step I was soon on my southbound way back to the curry capital of Europe.
Temporarily homeless, I had been residing on the sofa bed of my good friend Max. As a sign of my gratitude (not to be confused as a token rent payment, or any other payment for that matter), I thanked Max in the only way I knew how, by taking him for a curry and giving him a mention in a highly esteemed and extremely popular blog. Tom did not benefit from this act of kindness and was forced to stump up his share.
Tom joined us (late…again), ready to get his lassi on. We decided to take a fresh approach to finding our hosts for the evening, and let the scent of curry lead us on. We ended up outside the unassumingly tangerine frontage of Dosa n Chutney. The place was bouncing so we went inside and waited to be seated…and waited some more…until we just decided to sit ourselves down. Ten minutes later we got some menus and so began a magical journey of spice enthused pleasure.
Dosa n Chutney’s orange framed exterior was reflected internally by the mirrored walls. LED lighting and garish furniture is seemingly the order of the day south of the Broadway crossroads and DnC didn’t disappoint. Though a little packed in, it was lively and the mirrors gave the illusion of space as well as the illusion of friendship for Tom on his lonely side of the table. Adding to the colour was the presence of a TV transmitting infectious Bollywood cheer and, with a bus stop directly outside, convenience is also on the menu. All in all, a simple, but charming setting for what would prove to be a delightful meal. 7/10
Starters and Sides
2 x Veechu parotha
3 Mango Lassi
Poppadoms always taste the same, right? WRONG. These were probably the best poppadoms we’ve sampled so far, oily fresh and crisp.
You should have seen the look of horror on Mr Scrimgour’s face when they said they had no mango chutney – it was like he’d just been told Middlesbrough Supporters South had folded. However, the shock was quickly eased by an alternative and original green dip that tickled the taste buds and amply substituted for the mango, which led us to assume this was the famous ‘n’ chutney the restaurant was named after.
The breads were fluffy, fresh and moist, like a…maybe I’ll skip the simile this time. However, the peshwari was not quite as sweet as at other locations, largely due to the minimal coconut filling, but what it lacked was made up by the kothu and biryani. Both of the vegetable variety, they were an improvement on Apollo Banana Leaf’s efforts which were dry in comparison. They also had a bit of heat which amplified the range of textures and flavours on offer from the veg, rice and kothu. Near flawless, and sizeably portioned, these were great sides and were washed lovingly down by the thick and creamy lassi, which did come with mango. 9/10
Hyderabad Bhuna Ghost
Chettinadu Fish (Anchovy) Curry
Chicken Mughlai Kebab
The curries continued where the starters and sides left off.
In honour of our outsourced IT technical support colleagues in India, we had to try the Hyderabad Bhuna Ghost - tender pieces of boneless lamb cooked with ginger, garlic, coriander and whole red chillies-Hydrabadi style. A great dish, with a lovely kick from the chillies, this comes highly recommended. Similarly, the Chettinadu Fish Curry (a house special) was a sublime blend of flavours that was complimentary to the lamb, despite containing anchovies as a substitute for the usual king fish. The Chicken Mughlai Kebab enhanced the meal further, but the tender tandoori chicken was not as impressive as the other two dishes. 8/10
As mentioned already we weren’t exactly welcomed with open arms, and the staff weren’t particularly attentive throughout the evening. The waiter also started reading our order back to us, despite him having read it off a list on my phone in the first place – so not the sharpest chilli in the curry. Nevertheless no other real incidents or complaints, but numbers were lower than further on up the road so top marks can’t be given. 6/10
Value For Money
The whole meal came to about £38 for three, so certainly not the cheapest, but not too expensive either. We were also so impressed with the food and feeling strangely flush that we ended up giving an additional £7 tip. So, never let it be said that the TCB are not generous - not only are we providing top notch journalism for free, but contributing greatly to the local economy as well. 8/10
Fantastic food in a lively setting that scores highly. It was also refreshing to receive a 'full throttle' curry as opposed to the 'curry for the pasty white guys' which we so often receive. The evidence is clearly captured here, en-brow (although it is unclear whether this was induced by the curry or impending homelessness).
Missing out on top marks due to the staff, Dosa n Chutney comes in at a lofty second place so far, just behind Spice Village. Richly deserved for the food, it’s a total of 38/50.
Address: 68 Tooting High St, London SW17 0RN
Cuisine: South Indian
Alcohol Policy: BYOB
Summary: A hidden gem, this isn't the most well-known curry house in Tooting, but offers great food at great prices. Don't let it go under your radar.