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Beer, Dinner, Dosa, Lunch, South Indian, Spicy, Toronto

Madras Palace: Take 2


1249 Ellesmere Road, Scarborough, Toronto

Cost: $40 for two (incl. tip)


The last time we went to MP, we had some service issues, but we’ve since realized that the key is to go when it’s not crazy busy because the food really is exceptionally good.

This time we got there for dinner around 6:30 and while there were still quite a few diners preoccupied with their dosas, we still managed to receive plenty of attention from our servers.

The owners of MP, the Purushothams opened the restaurant in 1991; the first South Indian eatery in Scarborough. For this reason, you don’t really mind the decor, which has already undergone an update into its current look of Floridian-style cane seating, dark green walls and wood paneling. Sure they could benefit from a sleeker design in keeping with current trends, but that would certainly risk losing it’s homely, authentic feel. Although, I must say they could turn up the dial on the light switch and their bathrooms could use some revamping.

If you only need to wash your hands however, there’s a sink placed conveniently on the same floor at the back of the restaurant. Anyone who’s been to India knows that it’s very common to have a sink in the corner of the dining room for convenience and hygiene, especially because South Indian food really requires the use of fingers for eating.

But, on to the food!

We already knew what we wanted, so we got a masala dosa to start, a Kerala fish fry (I admit, this is the same thing I had last time I was there!), the chilli chicken masala, one chapathi, some plain rice, a beer and we knew we’d have a coffee after.

I timed the wait, thinking it would be a long time before we got our dosa, but less than 20 minutes later, our crispy pancake arrived, piping hot!

The potatoes are spiced just enough to satisfy any pangs of longing for back home. Every finger-ful of dosa that’s dipped into the separate compartments of coconut, tomato and cilantro chutney creates the perfect savoury combination on your tastebuds. The sambar is so incredibly tangy that you needn’t have any accompanying dosa to go with it, it’s delicious on it’s own. It’s just heaven on a thali (plate).

Everything went down really nicely with our Kingfisher Indian Beer.

We sure cleaned up well!

Next up was our Kerala fish fry, chilli chicken, rice and chapathi.

All I can say is Yumyumyum!

The Kerala fish fry was must better presented this time and the king-fish was fresh and well marinated, tangy and spicy very spicy. Also, curry-leaves are my all-time favourite herb (Karuveppilai in Malayalam or Kari Patta in Hindi are leaves that grow on small tree plants native to India). I love it fried and garnished like this, in everything, and hate to see it wasted on someone’s plate! The aroma and flavour of them really highlights a lot of Indian cooking. It’s sort of like the bay leaf in coconut milk curries. I also lovelovelove bay leaves.


Okay, moving on.

The chilli chicken was incredibly hot and spicy, but oh-so-delicious! The curry was dense and the chicken perfectly cooked to fall off the bone. We both felt our pores open and sinus’s clear during this meal!

You will not have fully enjoyed a meal at Madras Palace without leaving with an excellent cup of

I think you really have to know your stuff when you go to MP – or go with friends who know the food. I’ve read too many negative things about the food on Restaurantica because people don’t know what to order! You don’t order mattar paneer here, if you want mattar paneer, go to Lahore Tikka House or Babur! If you want really authentic Kerala/South Indian cuisine, this is really one of the best places to get it. The other place is Saravanaa Bhavan, but that’s for another review.

Madras Palace on Urbanspoon


4 thoughts on “Madras Palace: Take 2

  1. Ooh! So close to my house! I’ll have to check that place out soon. Looks great!
    There’s a great Thai restaurant (it’s not pretty at all though) called “Thai Cashew” at Kingston Rd and St. Clair. The cook is a sweet woman from Bangkok, Thailand and the food is so great – definitely reminded me of my delicious food and times in Bangkok, Thailand! The curries are great and so is the Chicken or Beef Larb (pronounced “lap”)

    Posted by Bex | August 30, 2008, 6:01 am
  2. Great post – this looks like a fabulous Indian restaurant. And I love how great your pictures are – very nicely done.

    If you’d like to share your images on Restaurantica, we can now load them for you. We’re in the process of adding a boatload of new tools and features to make reviewing your favorite (and not so favorite) restaurants even easier.

    Check out our new blog (and add yourself to our mailing list) so we can let you know more: http://www.restaurantica.com/blog/Psst-Restaurantica-has-a-Secret/101/

    See you on Restaurantica!
    Restaurantica Team Member

    Posted by Lucas | August 31, 2008, 8:18 am
  3. An awesome review of one of my all-time favorite restaurants in Toronto!! Other amazing dishes at MP include their hoppers or kothu roti and chicken 65 with a Tiger beer. The coffee post-meal is also a must – your pics make me want to leave work and go there right now 🙂

    Posted by Spanky | September 10, 2008, 6:04 am
  4. I’m coming to visit soon!!! (hence me going through your blog.. again!) I am making a note that I want to eat this if I can!!! 😀 😀 hehe..
    Merry Christmas!

    Posted by Christina | December 26, 2008, 3:44 am

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