Tucked away inside the St. Andrew’s Square building on Yates Street lies one of Victoria’s newest and most unique eateries.
On July 8th, Prashant “Bob” Unnikrishnan and his wife Lathika quietly opened the doors to Dosa Paragon, a south Indian restaurant that is one of its kind in Victoria, and perhaps all of Vancouver Island.
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Unlike other East Indian eateries in town, this restaurant specializes in cuisine local to the south Indian state of Kerala and everything on the menu is made from scratch by the husband-and-wife duo.
Bob, who has lived in Victoria for the past 6 years, brings his dishes straight from India after having worked in major cities like Mumbai, Chennai, and Bangalore.
Before opening Dosa Paragon, he worked as a chef at several restaurants around town including Irish Times Pub, John’s Place, and Varsha Indian Kitchen.
Straight outta Kerala
“It’s my passion, and I just learned all the basic skills from my mom,” he tells Victoria Buzz. “It’s always [been] my dream to start my own restaurant.”
Around 80% of the menu is vegan and/or gluten free, with special non-vegetarian dishes served on weekends.
Some of their highlights include the Masala Dosa (a rice crepe stuffed with spiced potato), their Onion and Cilantro Uthappam (a savoury pancake topped with onion and cilantro), and for meat eaters, an aromatic and flavourful Chicken Biryani (a spiced rice and chicken dish).
Of course, no Indian meal is complete without a drink to go with it.
Those who prefer a cooler beverage may choose the thick, sweet concoction that is their mango smoothie. For those partial to hot drinks, the restaurant offers an authentic ‘masala chai’ or tea flavoured with a mix of spices and herbs.
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While Bob and his wife have done practically nothing to advertise their new restaurant, the small eatery always has a steady stream of customers to keep them busy – a testament to the nearly addictive flavours and aromas emanating from Dosa Paragon.
They have been so busy, in fact, that the owners have had to extend their business hours up to 9 p.m. to keep up with the demand.
“That’s our motivation,” said Bob when asked about how customers have been responding to his restaurant. “We just want to maintain that momentum as our main goal is customer satisfaction.”
Dosa Paragon operates as a dine-in and take-out eatery, and is also available on Skip the Dishes.
- Hours: Monday – Thursday, 11 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Friday – Sunday, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
- Location: 735 Yates Street