The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Review: DosaXpress

The Dosa, indigenous to South India, takes centre stage in the back streets of Withington

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As a nation we love food with a bit of bite. It was over 200 years ago an Indian migrant opened Britain’s first curry house, 200 years later the Curry has been ranked the nations favourite takeaway.

The most popular curries come from North India — for example, the famous chicken tikka masala and butter chicken. South Indian cuisine is fairly new to the British palate. South Indian food is far lighter, healthier, and much more suitable to vegetarians and vegans. Overall it is perhaps the hottest of all Indian food.

Meals are centred on rice or rice based dishes. The rice is often in the form of idli (steamed cakes from rice batter) or dosas (pancakes made from a batter of rice flour) and they are dunked in sambaar (a soup like lentil dish tempered with whole spices and chillies) or rasam (a hot-sour soup like lentil dish).

A host of tasty coconut based chutneys accompany these dishes to add some bold flavours and cut the sharpness of the sambar with an edge of creaminess.

Made from scratch with so much love by my mum, dosa has always been a favourite of mine. Hence when I heard a dosa restaurant existed around the corner, my reaction was both excitement combined with a preparation for disappointment.

Gathering my house on a windy Monday night we set out to DosaXpress to cure the weekend blues. I couldn’t wait to introduce them to the magical world of the dosa, with endless choices of fillings I knew there would be something for everybody.

Lured in by a flashing neon open sign, DosaXpress is easily spotted down the dimly lit backstreets of Withington. We were quickly seated in a takeaway-esque style restaurant and I was happy to see four out of the nine tables full on a Monday evening, hopefully a good sign.

The interior certainly needs some work however I fully believed the food would compensate for DosaXpress’ lack of décor.

My face after opening the sticky menu should have been captured, my smile was radiating the room… 46 types of dosa were on offer….46!!! Masala dosa, paneer dosa, ghee chilli coriander dosa, coconut dosa, cheese dosa, madras dosa, chicken dosa and even egg dosa!

Despite the huge selection, I was worried some of the combinations were slightly ambitious and opted for a traditional masala dosa (dosa filled with a potato masala) priced at only £3.99!

As you can see I definitely got my money’s worth, the monstrous dosa was filled to brim with tasty potato masala and came with three tasty chutneys and sambar, it was certainly satisfying and a treat for the eyes as well as the bank balance.

I don’t think it is fair to comment on the presentation when paying £3.99, it was simple and did the job. Can I say it was the best dosa I have ever had, but it is certainly tasty and worth a try for a dosa virgin.

The DosaXpress menu is endless, featuring a range of Indian starters from Chaat to Samosas and if I have failed in selling the dosa, the menu also includes a whopping range of veg and non veg curries.

I would say DosaXpress caters ‘for the many not the few’, it compromises high quality dosas in order to also produce chicken tikka masala and noodles. A key flaw in the restaurant.

However in terms of price I really cannot complain, DosaXpress would be a perfect hangover lunch when you are watching the pennies and need a fresher, tastier alternative to spoons.