You will savour this southern invasion

Jun 11, 2012, 11:52 IST | Ruchika Kher

Relish authentic South Indian cuisine at Bandra's just opened South Side Cafe; a simple menu and competent pricing seems to have worked well for the newest entrant in this crowded culinary destination

Opening a South Indian café in the city and calling it the original taste of South India is something that owners often tend to indulge in. So, when South Side café also claimed to whip up an authentic spread, we didn’t believe, blindly. For a reality check, we decided to test the waters in person.

Positioned prominently on a busy Bandra road, South Side Café is easy to spot, although it stands amid a variety of other restaurants. Even on a weekday, the place was filled with customers, which said a lot about their newly garnered popularity.

Set Dosa is a speciality of Bengaluru.

As soon as we entered, a friendly server escorted us to our table. Since it’s a small space, there wasn’t much of a choice for that vantage view, so we followed him without demanding too much. Next, a look at the menu revealed that we wouldn’t exactly be spoilt for choice with a far from expansive menu.

Since Mumbai continues to wait for respite from the high humidity levels, we decided to give a refreshing twist to our lives and ordered for a Watermelon Fresh Juice. But, we had to break our refreshing imagery bubble when we were told that none of the fresh juices were available. Disappointed, we looked for other options. Since we got an opportunity (generated from the lack of fruits for juice) we decided to begin our southern sojourn with the Filter Coffee (Rs 50).

Rava Mysore Masala Dosa with its thick, spicy Sambar is a must-try.  Pics / Ruchika Kher

Within minutes, our coffee was served and we were also given a back-story regarding the drink. The server informed us that their coffee is totally authentic since they mix the coffee powder with an ingredient called Chicori (usually available in Bengaluru) that gives the drink a distinct flavour. We were convinced, since our filter coffee was truly uplifting.

Next, we opted for a few snacks: Rava Mysore Masala Dosa (Rs 95) and Set Dosa (Rs 80). While we were accustomed with a Rava Mysore Masala Dosa, the term Set Dosa was new to us. When the dishes arrived, we realised that the latter was the set of two thick, fluffy soft and spongy dosas, which the server told us was a specialty from Bengaluru. As far as the Rava Mysore Masala was concerned, it was thick and crisp on the outside, but slightly fluffy on the inside. Both servings were delicious and worth a shot, especially with the Sambar that was unlike the ones that we have tasted in the past. This version was thicker, with plenty of vegetables and more spice.

Content with our snack affair till then, we ordered a Thayir Sadam (Rs 70), which is the famous curd rice and pickle preparation. Banking on our pleasant experience so far, our expectations were sky high. The curd-rice meal was a delight; the pomegranate pieces gave it a sweet tinge. A delicately flavoured ending to our delicious evening.

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