Looking for a place to fuel our post-climbing hunger, we decided to make a trip for Indian food. I’m very familiar with East Indian food, but not so much with South Indian and Indian Chinese food. Marina Dosa & Tandoori Grill is a small restaurant in a strip mall. It seems to be family run. The maximum seating is for four as they are in booths. Good to note, in case I want to bring back all my friends. There is a counter in the back with a large menu board, presumably for ordering takeout.
Having no idea what we were ordering, a nice lady sitting at the table next to us helped us understand what we were considering. The server also came by and she was very helpful. I sort of thought that we could eat family style, but as the dishes arrived, it didn’t seem like the correct choice. We definitely splurged on the food; both of us were fascinated by all the unfamiliar dishes.
We ordered vegetarian samosa cholle to start. Imagine some beautifully fried samosas. Then smother them in a chickpea curry. Samosa cholle, and a meal in itself.
We moved onto one of the restaurant’s specialties, dosa. We ordered the Marina masala dosa, which is a South Indian crepe that is wrapped around a filling. Ours was stuffed with onion and potato, served with sides of a soup with cumin and spice undertones, coconut chutney and a spicy tomato based chutney.
Our next course was vegetable Manchurian, which is a Indian Chinese dish. Fried vegetable croquettes in a sweet and spicy sauce. It tasted a bit like sweet and sour sauce combined with a good dose of soy sauce and Indian spices. We ordered it medium spicy and it was. Not like in some other restaurants who treat medium spicy as mild for Canadian taste. An intriguing dish, I will have to try to make it at home.
We moved on with lamb kothu paratha, which is a stir fry made with eggs and chopped up paratha bread as a base. Paratha is also known as parotta. I’m more used seeing paratha as a stuffed bread on East Indian menus. It was served with a side of a yogurt based sauce. We also had a side of naan thinking the dishes would be more like East Indian style. The dishes are meals in themselves; no additional starch was needed. Our server mentioned that the dishes could be eaten as is, or with a side of naan, roti or rice. By the end of the meal, we weren’t sure if family style was the correct way to order as we were only given one dinner plate and that was halfway through our meal. No matter, the food was delicious. The flavours are strong and bold; enticing for people with adventurous taste.
The server was very friendly and helpful. The dishes took time to come out but that is the price to pay for well prepared food.