Restaurant review: the Dosa and Chutny curry house, West Croydon

By - Friday 5th September, 2014

Liz Sheppard-Jones recommends a West Croydon curry house for those who can take it as it comes

466 London Road, West Croydon CR0 2SS
Time from East Croydon: 25 minutes / 10 minutes by 64 or 198

Just what we expected – dinner at the Dosa and Chutny.
Photo author’s own.

Dosa and Chutny (sic) is my local curry joint and filled with happy memories since my partner and I became Broad Green villagers in the autumn of 2011. The real test is – would I recommend it to others?

It, and its sister establishment in Tooting, are run by people who can’t spell ‘chutney’, which is the sort of thing that upsets me. It’s a basic set-up with a tiled floor and little embellishment – apart from a stylish and unexpected conservatory roof. I always wonder how this came to be there.

Another unexpected feature.
Photo author’s own.

And that’s not all there is to wonder about at D&C: service also has an unexpected quality. Sometimes they say hello and are very attentive – another day you’ll need to lasso your waiter to be served. But setting aside the legendary evening when having thirstily ordered Kingfisher beers we were kept waiting 25 minutes then informed that our fish starters would be along shortly, these days we’re known as regulars and welcomed. It’s a real family place and a fair number of customers bring young children – for me this gives it a friendly atmosphere, but it wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of lassi.

On this particular evening we started unimaginatively with poppadums – the world’s best crisps – which come with an unpredictable but always deliciously fiery selection of dipping sauces.The sauces scored again tonight, but the not-very-crispy poppadums had clearly been sitting around a while.

The tandoor oven – which by the way also performs erratically, so you can’t always guarantee the whole menu will be available – was all fired up and we ordered a few dishes to share: the ‘mix grill platter’, consisting of two pieces of chicken tikka, two of chicken mughlai kebab, two lamb sheek kebabs and two lamb chops; a vegetable biryani; aloo gobi masala (potato and cauliflower in masala sauce); paneer shahi kurma (cubes of cottage cheese cooked with onions and cashew nuts in a saffron sauce); and a garlic naan bread.

I always enjoy the grill platter – spicy mughlai chicken is the highlight – and the chops were succulent. The kebab was on this occasion somewhat chewy. My partner is a big biryani fan, while to my mind you’d need to be a major cardamom enthusiast to really get into this dish, but it worked well for sharing.

Kids’ dosas stand up like witches’ hats on the plate

Aloo gobi was also a winner, with tender potato but a bit of bite in the cauliflower. Generally speaking this restaurant likes it hot, which is perfect for me but if it’s not your thing it’s worth asking staff to recommend milder dishes or tone things down a bit – which they will happily do.

But the unquestioned star of the evening was paneer shahi kurma, which I’d not tried before. It was smooth and subtle with a rich, delicious cashew-nuttiness. The garlic naan was crisp round the edges and squidgy in the middle , totally hitting the spot.

A popular choice at D&C is the dosa which gives it its name. They serve a variety of these large crispy rice and lentil crepes with chutneys, and also a kids’ version which looks great fun, standing up on the plate six or seven inches high, like witches’ hats – although when I tried these on my own children I was met with suspicious looks. For them the peshwari naan bread – sweetened with nuts and sultanas – is the way to go, and it’s also a D&C favourite of mine.

I’m happy at the Dosa & Chutny although I sometimes grumble a bit too. Like the Pelican Rum Bar over the way, it just goes to show that there are good times to be had on London Road if you come and look for them. Like a lot of things in our pre-Westfield part of the world, it’s also excellent value for money. Come and enjoy it while it lasts.

Liz Sheppard-Jones

Liz Sheppard-Jones

Writer and editor. Views personal, not representative of editorial policy.

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