Verdict: An oily, but delicious Dosa
Tip: Freshly made, they take about 5-10 minutes.
Location: Raine Square Food Court
There is a certain stigma attached with eating at food courts in Perth and based on what we have seen in some of the bain maries around town, the negative attitudes are somewhat justified. We must say though, not all food courts are created equal. Here at The Pavarotti we will have found some great places in the most unsuspecting food courts around Perth. From one of our all-time favourites, Newton Circle in Carillon City to Dosukoi in Allendale Square. The key is often to avoid the bain marie and look to the cooked to order menu. Haweli in Raine Square seems to follow this mantra. We must say we haven't sampled their ready made options but their Dosa is definitely worth trying.
Good Indian food is hard to find in Perth, especially in the sub-tenor price range. Ever since the Indian joint in 160 Central closed many years ago, we haven't been able to find a Pavarotti priced Dosa in the CBD, until now. For the uninitiated, Dosa is a southern Indian dish made from a rice flour and black lentil batter. They are quite common in the Indian communities of Singapore and Malaysia and have a myriad of variations on the spelling - Dosa, Thosai, Tosai... the list goes on and on. They are cooked on a hot plate with ghee/butter, think of it as a savoury Indian crepe. It is definitely not the healthiest option going around but it sure is delicious.
Haweli serves a few variations, but the Plain Dosa is the only Pavarotti friendly item. The Dosa are cooked to order, resulting in a 5-10 minute wait. They are served on a thali, and accompanied by a Sambar (Vegetable Curry) and a coconut chutney. The Sambar is delicious - the perfect amount of spices combined with a good, but not overpowering amount of chilli. The coconut chutney is also pretty delicious, however, we think it could do with a stronger coconut flavour. Enter the Dosa! It is quite the sight to see: a thin and crispy cylinder nearly two foot long in length. Based on our experiences of eating Dosa in Singapore and Malaysia, it is struck us as more of a "Paper Thosai" rather than a Dosa. There was some variance in thickness of the Dosa meaning a small part of it was a bit stodgy and quite oily. This may have been due to the fact that we had brought some friends along for the ride, and making 7 dosas in a short time frame is no easy feat. Nonetheless, the dosa combined with the sambar and chutney is still pretty damn good and fulfilled a craving that had not been satisfied for a while.
While we won't be there every week, we will definitely be going back when our next Dosa craving hits. Know of anywhere else in town serving up some good Dosa? Let us know in the comments below.