Born in Sri Lanka, raised in India, then returned to Sri Lanka and migrated to Bordeaux in 2007. And we’re thankful for that. Trained in the culinary arts in Chennai, he worked at the Taj Group of hotels in India and Sri Lanka and then worked here at the grand Hotel, and Chateau Smith as a chef. Getting to and from work at Chateau Smith on a scooter proved challenging so he went to work for the restaurant Vinayaka. This March, he decided to start his own restaurant – The Dosa Hut. And again, we’re thankful for that because south Indian food is hard to come by even in places known for Indian food.
I watched Indian students pop by for dosa (dosai to the purists) and eat them with the concentration reserved for soul food. Doesn’t matter which part of India you come from, dosa, idli, vada, are soul food. Usually cheap as chips, clean restaurants, served on a banana leaf or stainless steel. Alan’s wife Jerina makes the batter and the accompaniments. The accompaniments are just as important as the dosa – think a galette de sarrasin. On its own, mehh, but wrapped around a grilled sausage or filled with ham and cheese or scallops! The dosa is the same. The white coconut chutney, the red tomato chutney, the green coriander chutney, all serve their purpose: dunking and dipping fluffy idlis or crispy dosas and vadas. Always served with the Holy Trinity (idli-dosa-vada), is sambar. Every South Indian family and community has its own variation on this many layered lentil stew loaded with vegetables, nicely spiced and rich with tamarind. Sniffling lightly as you eat it, is a must.
Specials: order ahead
Alan is in the process of slowly getting everything organised hence the need to order in advance. Hi is skilled in making dosas thin, big, crisp on the single electric crepe maker, and that’s the taste of home. We have tasted the ghee roast, the masala dosa, Mysore masala, and paniyaram.
Phone: 06 28 70 28 68 Hours: M-Fri 11:30 – 6 pm. Saturdays noon – 7:30 pm
About the author:
Ujwala Samant is a serial expat and has spent time in various countries before returning to Bordeaux after living away from the city after 26 years.