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Udupi Palace (Berkeley)

Author: Ken | No Comments
Categories: Berkeley & Albany | Tags: Tags: , , , , ,

1901 University Avenue
(At the corner of University and Martin Luther King)
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 843-6600

Udupi Palace Rating

Udupi Palace is a great South Indian Vegetarian Restaurant at the busy intersection of University and Martin Luther King, in Berkeley, across from the Trader Joe’s construction site, and also the Chaat Cafe. Billing itself as "A place for dosas…" how could I resist?

You walk in and immediately notice that it smells wonderful. We went on a Friday night, a little on the early side, and there was a pretty good crowd—some couples and a large family.

I was very pleased that I chose to get the Samosa: a pair of yummy tetrahedrons; light and flaky (i.e. fried) on the outside, with curried potato and peas on the inside. It’s a rare fried delicacy for me.

Udupi Palace Samosas

A pair of crispy Samosas

The real hard decision was the dosa menu. Dosas are rice and lentil flour crêpes stuffed with something delicious and soft, and rolled into a tube shape that overflows the plate. There were a dozen or so different kinds of dosas, and nearly as many uthappam which are rice and lentil pancakes. Combinations included potato, onions, peas, vegetables, even cheese, and different seasonings. All come thali style with a small bowls of spicy sambar (a lentil soup) and a coconut chutney that I really enjoyed.

But what’s really remarkable—and I’ve been saving this comment for the end because I wasn’t sure you’d believe me—is that the masala dosa that I ordered was as long as my arm, if not longer!

Udupi Palace Masala Dosa

Masala Dosa longer than my arm

Seriously, this thin, light, lentil-flour crêpe was as delicious as it was wide. I tore through it pretty quickly and was rather proud of myself to boot. Kathryn was amazed to see it go. She got a spinach masala dosa which was a nice twist on the theme. The crêpe was green and maybe even more delicious than mine, with a slightly bitter spinach kick.

Near the edges, where there’s no stuffing, the dosa dough is dry but fluffy, yet it’s sort of hard to cut with the dull knife I had. I don’t have any idea whether or not it was radically uncouth, but I picked it up and ate the last tasty bits with my hands, burrito style.

Now here’s the crazy part. For a samosa appetizer and two huge dosas, the bill came to about $16.75 with tax, before tip. Check it out!

2/27/2010 Update—I went back to Udupi Palace with a big group of work colleagues, and I got to see a lot more of the dishes. Just about everyone got a dosa. The Spring Dosa looked fantastic. The Paper Dosa, be forewarned, is gigantic but is not stuffed. There’s nothing inside. The dosa wrapper is dipped into the sambar and coconut side dishes. I think that I would find it unsatisfying.

About the Authors

Ken and Kathryn are the authors of VegJapan, a vegetarian TravelBlog in Japan.


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