CAFE REVIEW | OVERDOSA
Overdosa – Indian Crepe Merchants?Where: 50 Rose Street, Fitzroy.
When: Sat & Sun 11am till sunset
Price: $5 – 9 (Vegetarian, Vegan and Gluten Free)
It’s not often that you try something new in Melbourne and as soon as it touches your lips you think to yourself, ‘wow.’
I had one of these rare moments last weekend when I stopped in at new pop-up sensation, Overdosa, located at 50 Rose Street in Fitzroy next to the popular Rose Street market.
In case you have never tried one before, Dosas are a crispy lentil based savoury pancake, and a staple dish in Southern India. They are typically stuffed with a delectable range of vegetarian fillings and accompanied by chutneys and sauces.
And for those who have specific dietary requirements, Dosas are gluten free, dairy free and, wait for it, VEGAN.
Overdosa’s current menu offers a difficult choice between three amazing fillings: Classic Potato Masala, Spicy Tamarind Pumpkin, and my personal favourite – Smoky Eggplant with Green Peas.
Each Dosa is served with a zesty fresh side salad of grated carrot, roasted sesame seeds, fresh mint and coriander and topped off with your choice of three home-made chutneys: Zesty Curd and Dill, Classic Coconut, Green – with mint, coriander, and peanuts, and Hot Chilli.
“We decided to keep our dishes mild for the average dosa eater, and instead are introducing some spicy sauces as a bit of a challenge for people who want to try something different,” said Melbourne Uni student Kunal Khanna.
Khanna’s best friend, flatmate and now business partner, Tyson Savannah has taken lead in the hot sauce department.The part-time mural painter and RMIT graduate is experimenting with a new recipe so hot that it might make even the hardiest chilli lover beg for mercy.
“We try to make the macho guys cry,” said Kunal.
This rustic street eatery has been a labour of love for the young Fitzroy-based entrepreneurs, Tyson, 28, and Kunal, 27. The dynamic duo were inspired by the bourgeoning Melbournian food truck movement and thought they’d try their luck.
“We decided on dosas because they are the staple street food in Mumbai where I grew up,” said Kunal.
This first idea followed with a year of research, seeing Kunal head back to India to learn how to exactly replicate the craft.
“I went around the streets watching all the dosa makers. Asking lots of questions, taking videos, photos, and annoying them pretty much. I spent about three hours every day for a month,” he said.
Through months of trial and error, the boys have managed to perfect their dosa recipe and technique. They said importing specialised equipment from India has been key to authenticating their craft by replicating the centuries-old methods.
They received the official tick of approval from the harshest critics when they opened a stall at the Ganesh Indian Festival only a week after their launch.
“We had people come up to us to say that this was the best dosa they had since leaving India, five years before,” said Kunal.
The project has received finance and support from a range of sources including the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS). They are currently sharing a creative space with the Mottainai second hand bike workshop, but are hoping for community support to help them raise the funds needed to get their food truck on the road.
“Keep your eyes open for us on crowd funding get ups in the future,” said Kunal.
With only five weeks in, the duo has hit the nail on the head with their fresh take on this South Indian staple, and the public seem to love it.
Do yourself a favour and get in to the pop-up space in Rose Street and grab a bit of Southern India. Or as the boys like to say – Get it India!
Tiernan Christensen is a born and raised Northsider. He is a practicing lawyer, weekend writer and photographer. He writes about issues that are closest to hearts of Melbournians: food, wine and politics.