When we returned home from our SE Asia trip the one cuisine that stuck out in our minds was the terrific Southern Indian food we had in Malaysia and Singapore. The banana leaf lunches eaten with our hands was definitely a memory our taste buds wouldn't let us forget. Upon our return I soon found myself googling Southern Indian cuisine, Portland and the search yielded review after review for a restaurant called Chennai Masala on the far west side off of Hwy-26. I quickly book marked it and waited for an opportunity to head out west to try their much raved about dosas. Over the weekend that opportunity came and we braved the pouring rain and windy Hwy-26 to get our hands on some Southern Indian cuisine.
When we arrived we were immediately seated and we noticed two big things. First, we were 1 of only 3 tables that was not Indian, and we weren't provided any menus. After asking the wait staff we were informed that the dosas were only available for dinner and lunch only consisted of a buffet. We have had our share of Indian buffets so we weren't disappointed especially when we notice most of the patrons were eating with their hands, so we had a feeling we were in for a treat.
The buffet had your typical offerings of curries (including fish curry!) and an assortment of saucy vegetables dishes, including my favorite okra and spicy potato dishes. What was untypical was the carbs, which consisted of more than just your standard basmati rice and nan. There was Indian (South Asian style) noodles, a delicious cous cous, and IDLI! Idli is a terrific sponge cake made from ground semolina floor (same flour used for cous cous) and it was kind of sour and spongy to soak up all that wonderful Indian curry and sauced vegetables. We had to try really hard not to eat with our left hands, which was surprisingly more difficult than we remembered.
When we left I asked Mike would he drive all the way out here with no other agenda than to eat at Chennai Masala and he said yes, especially since we need to try the dosas!