Restaurant: Chennai Dosa
Chennai Dosa is a relatively new place on London Road, West Croydon, near the end of St James's Road. It always seemed packed, a good sign, and it certainly was when we visited on a Friday night. The restaurant is part of a chain serving South Indian dosas and other specialities and is definitely popular with the south Indian community, again a good sign. Indeed, the menu makes no allowance for those of us unfamiliar with the details of the cuisine, so be prepared to ask.
Eventually we got a table, after quite a period queuing, feeling exposed in the middle of the brightly lit room. Food came fast and was cheap and good, but not spectacular. Mixed thalis looked excellent, with fresh chutneys and a bright orange(!) inflated flat bread like a balloon sitting on top. I'd stick to the vegetarian dosas and 'curries' - the starters were distinctly odd; we ate a lamb spring roll thinking it was a (not very nice) vegetable dish until that came along, it didn't taste or feel like lamb. But vegetarian is definitely a speciality. There's even a six foot family dosa on offer, sounds horrific especially if you don't like the dry crispy bits at the end, like me.
Given the speed and atmosphere of the place, it's the kind of restaurant I'd like to find next to the cinema or restaurant. Sadly neither exists round here and I'm not sure I'd make a special journey to spend a Friday evening there again, but a late night feast? Well maybe.
239-241 London Road, Croydon, CR0 2RL
Tel: 020 8665 9192