You’ve always been told not to judge a book by its cover. In this case, we’d stretch that idiom to ‘Please don’t judge an eatery by its ambience. Or lack thereof.’ For if you do sin thus, your gastronomical soul shall be denied the chance to experience Udupi nirvana.
How to get there: Narayan Dosa is a hole-in-the-wall (quite literally!) joint at Hughes Road, in South Mumbai. As you walk down Hughes Road, you’ll come across the infinitely more visible Mama Mia. Right next to that, you will see a gentleman standing at a tavaa. Request this gentleman to move aside, and duck around the tava, and squeeze in, to arrive.
Ambience: It’s literally located in a passage behind the aforesaid tavaa. Not much wider than Harry Potter’s Mirror of Erised, and possibly concealing treasures of the same magnitude. It has small tables in a row projecting out of the wall, around which are two benches that comfortably seat…. one each. Once you amble onto a bench, you can begin your culinary journey with a little more comfort.
What to eat: For the marginally slow-witted, Narayan Dosa specializes in…. well, Dosa. (Who would’ve thought, eh?)
The Mysore Sada Dosa is a must try. Any patron would insist.
Yours truly needs cheese in everything coming her way, so for a more balanced review she decided to invite a friend along who has a palate that succumbs to the food delights of a four year old slightly less wantonly.
So, here are our reviews- (we ate 4 dosas between the two of us!)
The Mysore Sada and Mysore Sada with Cheese (oh come on!) are AMAZING. Amongst the best I have ever had. And truly unique in their flavouring. The Chinese Cheese (will you get over it already?) Dosa unfortunately didn’t match up to the Mysore Dosas. The noodles were flavoursome enough, but the dosa lacked crispiness, and the vegetables were hardly distinguishable in taste from one another.
The best thing about Narayan Dosa? The chutney! You are served three varieties of green chutney. Literally different shades, textures and tastes! Be a true Narayan-ite, and mix ‘em all, if you will. And, good news for those who live in mortal fear of spice- these chutneys aren’t at all designed to make you a fire-breathing dragon, so no need to order that extra Maaza beforehand.
This place didn’t give us Sambaar. No real complaints there, because the chutney kept us hooked. My friend said the chutney was literally drink-able. I fully second that!
It’s relatively easy on the pocket as well, costing an average of 30 to 60 Rupees for a dosa.
Are we heading back? Sure! (Race you there!)
Precautions: Wear elastic pants, the tendency to over-eat at such places must not be taken for granted.
Next morning’s bathroom visit report: All Clear! Utterly safe to indulge at Narayan’s. The Bombay water/ germs/ hygiene etc. that may be worrying you, have all decided to take a rain check! Yes, even in the monsoons. Sweet mercy of the chutney Gods!