Authentic South Indian Food at Thanjai in Montréal, Canada

Whenever a lot of people think about Indian food, they seem to inevitably reach for the butter chicken. I consider it more of an Indian diaspora dish. I never order it. And I never let anyone else order it either.

I am always on the prowl for a good Indian restaurant. After a raving recommendation from an acquaintance of mine, off I went to Thanjai

Friday night, 7.30pm.

The restaurant was half empty when I first arrived, but it quickly filled up and before I knew it there was a queue at the door. I was assaulted by the scent of a happy mix of familiar spices the moment I walked in. 

Thanjai’s menu largely consists of South Indian favourites like dosa, with a variety of different (and interesting) fillings, as well as biriyani and kothu parotha.

The speciality of this place is a six feet paper dosai. Imagine a dosa the size of a tall friend of yours. The TVs at this restaurant show how the chefs make this tall dish. Pretty crazy stuff. 

So I ordered samosas as a starter.

Piping hot, fresh, delicious, satisfying. They didn’t have mint chutney, much to my dismay. But other than that, it was all good. 

And then came the chicken kothu parotha, which the menu describes as chopped parotha with chicken vegetables, eggs and a spicy gravy. (Lamb, egg, vegetable options available.)

I must say, I don’t think I’ve ever had anything like it. The spices tasted familiar, but the dish itself was really something unique. I ordered the medium spice level; and that prompted my partner in crime to order a lassi.

I didn’t think it was that hot, but everyone is different. 

And then arrived the dish I came to this restaurant for. 

Paper dosa!

A childhood favourite of mine. I’d make it at home, but it’s just not the same. I hadn’t had it in ages, but the moment the dosa touched my lips it felt like the most ordinary experience. 

I loved it.

All in all, great food, good service, nice ambience and reasonable prices.

I’ll be back real soon.

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