Udupi Palace is one of Toronto’s go-to restaurants for vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free South Indian eats.
Known for their dosa, Udupi Palace is 100% vegetarian, but despite a total lack of meat on the menu the restaurant fills up many evenings and weekends.
This is saying something, because the spot seats 140. Don’t be fooled by the somewhat dingy basement environment, this place serves great food. It’s just a really casual space, most of the decoration focused near the entryway crowded with colourful traditional shrines.
South Indian thali ($11.25) can be made vegan and/or gluten-free, a spicy but comforting assortment of dal, rasam, sambhar, white rice, chapati, yogurt, pickles, two veggies, papad and dessert.
We actually got an extra veggie dish instead of the dessert component.
Chana bhatura ($9.95) is one of the best vegan dishes I’ve ever eaten, or maybe just one of the best in general. Chickpeas are cooked in a sumptuous, silky spiced curry with two softly rippable bhaturas that are perfect for scooping up chickpeas and sauce.
The bread arrives at the table inflated with air until you tear into it.
It’s cooked from scratch in the back, the paper-thin dough shaped by hand.
It’s fried extremely quickly so it cooks and puffs up into its unique shape and gets its bubbly golden-brown exterior.
Paneer dosa ($9.95) is stuffed with homemade cottage cheese cooked with spices, onions and grated tomatoes, as well as fresh tomato and herbs to finish it off.
The rolled-up dosa is pressed flat on a grill and chopped up into crispy bite-size pieces. All dosa are served with sambhar and chutney.
Their paper dosa are something to behold, paper-thin crisp rice crepes.
The unique and varied shapes of the huge dosa actually help servers to know which dishes to bring to which table just by looking at them from across the room.
The pasty dough is spread onto a griddle in a huge circle which is cooked and rolled into a cone to achieve the signature shape.
Paper masala dosa ($10.25) is another vegan stunner, the giant dosa filled with a spiced potato stuffing.
Hubert Dmello is the sole owner of Udupi Palace and has been for some time now. Plant-based Tiffinday products are also all manufactured in the kitchen here.