Not until I supped at Chennai Dosa Express did I comprehend the meaning of Hannah Arendt’s famous expression Banality of Evil based on her coverage of Adolf Eichmann’s trial.
Evil does not have to don a grotesque Hitler mustache or come in the form of ISIS’ depravities.
Chennai Dosa Express
2986 Kennedy Blvd
Jersey City, NJ 07306
In Jersey City, evil comes decked up in the form of Chennai Dosa Express, a hole in the wall South Indian restaurant.
If you haven’t eaten at Chennai Dosa Express, consider yourself blessed.
If you have, please accept my condolences!
How depraved must an Indian restaurateur be to serve such inedibly crappy food to a fellow member of the Homo Sapiens species.
I pen this review as a dire warning to all of Jersey City so that my miserable fate does not befall them.
Bad as Bad Can Be
Located at 2986 John F.Kennedy Blvd in Jersey City, Chennai Dosa Express is one of several South Indian restaurants to come up on and around Newark Avenue in recent years.
Chennai Dosa Dining Hall
Hailing as I do from South India, I live and die by Idli, Medhu Vada and Masala Dosa. These are my staple food items and that of over two hundred million South Indians.
So not surprisingly, at Chennai Dosa Express I ordered a Thali that included a Masala Dosa, Idli and Medhu Vada.
Idli & Vada
Pre-cooked and heaped in a pile near the counter, the Medhu Vada appetizers looked yummy from a distance.
Idli and Medhu Vada landed on my table first with Coconut and Tomato Chutneys.
Idli, Vada & Chutneys
What is this monstrosity, I asked myself sotto voce after one bite into the Idli. Yeeks!
Idli was a hard nightmare likely prepared in the Mesozoic era when dinosaurs had free run of Jersey City.
Hoping for relief, I took a bite of Medhu Vada. OMG, this atrocity I would not wish on my worst enemy.
Medhu Vada was cooked on the outside but the inside dough was pasty suggesting the cook had removed it prematurely from the frying pan.
A South Indian restaurant that can’t get Idli and Medhu Vada right is like the Republican Party turning its back on corporations.
Just not right and just does not make any sense.
If the Coconut Chutney had any green chillies in it, then I’m George Clooney!
It’s a shame a lot of New Jersey restaurants fail to accord Coconut Chutney the respect it deserves as an accompaniment to Idli, Vada or Dosa.
The best I can say about the Sambar (self-serve and kept near the counter) was that it was hot (temperature-wise). To say any more about this atrocity would be a waste of my time and yours.
To my great distress, Chennai Dosa Express scored a hatrick with the Dosa.
A more pathetic impostor of the Masala Dosa I’ve not encountered in a long while. The problem was with the batter. It had not been fermented enough for the Dosa to pack an authentic flavor.
Adding to my agony, the onion-potato curry inside the Dosa was not spicy.
Even if the food is offered free, decline it at Chennai Dosa Express.
I have not the least doubt that Jersey City’s soup kitchens and New Jersey prisons, alien as they’re to Indian cuisine, serve more edible food than the garbage dished out by Chennai Dosa Express.
One of the chefs was cooking with the cell phone pressed to his ear and then abruptly walked out with the phone still to his ear. He returned with such a mournful mien a few minutes later that I wondered if I should extend my condolences over the loss of a dear one.
Chennai Dosa Express Rating – Skip It
Starve if you must, but stay away from pathetic impostors like Chennai Dosa Express.
These schlemiels have no business staying in the South Indian food business.
In Chris Christie’s New Jersey, life’s hard enough without having to endure further misery in the form of depressingly bad South Indian food.