Madhuri Mahal is a tiny, three table and a wash basin, South Indian restaurant in the China Cluster of International City. To say its interior is basic would be…um, absolutely correct – there’s not even a door between the dining area and the noisy kitchen. That said, if you’re in the mood, and looking for a little adventure, it’s all wonderfully authentic. I’ve actually been to Madhuri (on my way to the beautiful Kodaikanal hill station in Tamil Nadu) and got a real sense of déjà vu at this place. All we needed were a couple of patterned, psychedelic coloured lungis and we’d be good to go.
I had heard these boys were dosa experts and was there to give them a try. Their breakfast menu is extensive and includes stuff I never thought could be had with a dosa – like egg. My friend and I ordered an egg dosa and an onion dosa. An egg dosa, for those of you who haven’t had one, is just like an anda paratha.
The dosas here are not as crispy as usual and are folded into triangles rather than rolled into tubes. I was expecting the onion dosa to have a fried onion filling but instead, it came filled with almost raw onions (of course chopped), which I was pleasantly surprised to find were really good.
Especially when dunked into the delicious mint chutney which came with each dosa. I did not think much of the sambar, which was served in miserly quantities – all three tables asked for top-ups.
One needs to be very open-minded and objective when commenting about service at this little restaurant, or should I say the lack of it. The boy behind the counter, who doubles as cleaner and waiter, could have done with a shower and change of clothes. He reeked. But, like the chaat vendor who has a little scratch of his lungi before making your pani puris, it only added to the overall flavour of the experience. Listen, there are much, much better places in Dubai to get a dosa than this table-sharing hole in the wall in International City but few can offer the roadside character this one does.
Waste NOT. Want NOT.