Dhakshin in the Indian language Hindi means South and Dhakshin restaurant presents the best recipes from the southern Indian states. The 4 states in southern Indian have a distinct cuisine dominated by lentil pancakes, seafood specialties, tangy curries and fresh vegetables. The menu seems to have been carefully designed to bring in the best of the states and retain the popular dishes as well.
We landed on a Saturday night without a reservation only to realise how popular and busy Dhakshin was. We were lucky enough to get seated though. If you do visit the restaurant, don't get put off by the red and black interiors and walls. It did seem like an odd choice, however, we got easily distracted by the menu and the food.
I am officially bored of samosas and this menu provided the welcome change I required. Be the masala dosa (lentil pancakes served with spicy chutneys) or paniyaram (rice and lentil balls) or perhaps the lasooni squid (garlic squid), they are many options to choose from. We settled for an entree platter priced at $30 that was plenty for 2 people to share. It came with 2 masala dosas, 3 paniyarams and a bowl of crispy fried okra with a tamarind chutney. The platter was well presented, quick to the table and was quite generous as well.
The selection for mains continued to impress. With plenty of vegetarian, meat and seafood options there is much to please all palettes. We settled for a peanut and sesame based curry called mirchi ka salan which was made extra spicy on request. It is not for the faint hearted and was packed with flavour. For sides, we dodged the usual naans and went for the appams (the fluffy rice and lentil pancaked).