Pancakes for dinner? That is the order of the day at this new Carroll Gardens restaurant.
Dosa Royale, a longtime vendor of Brooklyn Flea’s Smorgasburg market, recently settled into some trendy brick-and-mortar digs on Court Street, where it is now serving up its South Indian-style cuisine seven days a week.
The eatery’s signature dish is the dosa — a thin, mildly tangy, and savory crepe made from rice and lentils, which you can watch the chefs magically materialize from swirling smears of batter via a large window into the kitchen. Crispy on the outside but spongy on the inside, the dosas ($12 each) are delivered to the table as giant scrolls, wrapped around servings of either curried potato, spinach and paneer, or mixed vegetables.
For value and variety, however, it is hard to go past the namesake dosa royale ($18) — a monster version of the dish designed to serve two people, and stuffed with all three fillings. A whopping two and a half feet in length, it almost looks comical on the 40-seat restaurant’s cosy two-top tables, but it is quickly demolished as diners tear off hunks with their hands, dipping them into the accompanying chutneys and soup-like sambar.
South Indian food — which tends more towards lighter, spicier dishes than its northern counterpart, reflecting the region’s tropical climate with ingredients such as coconut and tamarind — is a rarity in Brooklyn, and word about this welcome reprieve from the cream- and oil-heavy curries that dominate the rest of the borough seems to be spreading fast.
Fortunately, the wait for a seat is tempered by an excellent bar program. Five well-balanced alcoholic cocktails ($10–$12) and two virgin variations ($3–$4) incorporate the likes of hibiscus tea, cardamom bitters, and calamansi juice to put a fresh South Asian twist on classic whiskey sours and 1794s.
Dosa Royale [316 Court St. between Degraw and Sackett streets in Carroll Gardens, (718) 576–3800, www.dosaroyale.com].