Bringing the Heart of South India to Thunder Bay

By Susan Pretty

Looking for a new taste sensation? Then Deccan Spice might be the place for you. Co-owners Syed and Zeba Shujath have created a calm, relaxing ambiance that will transport you to the heart of South India, and a menu that is ripe with intriguing flavours, and includes traditional breakfast items as well as a wide variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes.

We begin our meal with the mysore masala dosa, a large, thin rice crepe filled with onions and potatoes served with a satisfying sambar (reminiscent of a thick lentil soup) and peanut chutney for dipping. Zeba lets us know this dish was not for filling up on, and typically is more of a starter or snack. We also tried the Chicken 65, consisting of marinated chicken pieces, fried and flavoured with soy sauce and ginger. “A bit of Indochina,” Syed informs us.

We follow that with their best-selling dish, Hyderabadi chicken biryani, a fragrant chicken and rice dish with saffron and a bit of chili, which Syed says goes very well with “Masala Pepsi.” Masala Pepsi, you ask? Envision an ice-cold Pepsi with lemon, salt, and pepper. “It’s confusing!” Syed chuckles. “But it works well together.” Next is the chicken kothu paratha, Indian bread chopped and minced with chicken, egg, and a blend of spices. A warm, comforting dish, it is reminiscent of an exotic-tasting stuffing.

Have a sweet tooth? You’re in luck! Carrot halwa is a tempting treat made of grated carrot, raisins, and cashews served up warm and sweet. Rasmalai is decidedly sweeter, a tender dish of rich cheese balls served in a scented cream, rather like a rice pudding.

The fine folks at Deccan Spice also do catering for up to 15, and can make birthdays extra special by custom-making a favourite dish with a bit of advance notice. Future plans include a meal plan and a lunch buffet. Currently open for dinner only, and closed Tuesday, the restaurant is on Skip the Dishes for your dining pleasure.