Dosa Corner

When a restaurant hangs their shingle out as ‘Dosa Corner’, you can be certain that their dosa is the best of the best.

A dosa is a large South Indian style crispy rice pancake that’s either plain or stuffed with filling and served with a number of sauces. At Dosa Corner, as you’d expect, it’s their signature dish and made with the chef’s family recipe.

“Actually, we sell our dosa for just $1,” smiles Siri Amara, one of the four owners of Dosa Corner. “That’s because we want as many people as possible to come and try our dosa.”

Another, less public reason, is because Dosa Corner has a large clientele of Indian students. With little or no financial support available to international students during the COVID-19 pandemic, the owners of Dosa Corner wanted to ensure that struggling students could still afford to eat.

So the $1 dosa remained on the menu, to offer people missing their families a taste of home.

Dosa Corner opened in 2015 in Barkly Street West Footscray. The four owners – chefs Venkateswara Kancharla, Arshad Shaik and husband and wife Sainath Sririam and Siri Amara – are friends, flatmates and family all rolled into one.

Siri arrived in Melbourne in 2012 from Andhra Pradesh to complete her Masters in Telecommunications. While working part-time in an Indian restaurant she met Venkateswara, who became her mentor, friend and later flatmate and business partner.

During Siri’s time in the restaurant she also came to the realisation that hospitality, not telecommunications, was her passion. So when friends and colleagues Venkateswara and Arshad wanted to start their own Indian restaurant in 2015, Siri jumped at the opportunity and together they found a location in West Footscray.

“We love the close knit community here in West Footscray. Everyone knows each other and everyone is so supportive,” enthuses Siri. “It really does feel like home.”

Dosa Corner’s customers appreciate the restaurant’s high quality food and friendly customer service, offered at an affordable price. Their regulars come from as far as Clayton and Dandenong, with one family visiting every three weeks without fail and another customer (and now good friend) visiting them daily for the goat biryani.

Along with the dosa they’re famous for Chicken 65 biryani, a spiced rice dish with sauteed boneless deep fried chicken (the origin of its unusual name is a matter of contention), as well as the Veg Manchurian, an Indo-Chinese dish of crispy mixed vegetable dumplings served dry or in a gravy.

In fact, vegetarians are in luck at Dosa Corner. Being vegetarians themselves, Siri and Sainath pride themselves on offering lots of vegetarian options on the menu.

Their top tips? “I recommend the dosa (of course) and the veg dum biryani, while Sainaith enjoys the vada, which are sort of like lentil doughnuts,” laughs Siri.

Pair any of those dishes with a $1 dosa and you can be assured of a full tummy for under $20!

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