Krishna Bhavan (Paris): The Spice is right - Ann Mah | Ann Mah

« | Home | »

Krishna Bhavan (Paris): The Spice is right

By Ann | March 31, 2009

Dosa-licious at Krishna Bhavan (photo: Anna Tunick)

As I’ve mentioned before, the French seem to have an inordinate fear of spice. Which is fine if you’re willing to subsist on croque monsieurs, but sometimes I crave a little heat, a little exotic, a little wow. Happily, I have discovered all that and more at Krishna Bhavan, a vegetarian Indian restaurant next to the Gare du Nord. Not only is their food spicily delicious, but being from the south subcontinent (or possibly Sri Lanka), they specialize in dosas, idli, sambar, and upma — quite possibly my favorite foods in the world.

I love the texture of dosas (photo above) — crisp in some spots, spongy in others — as well as the slightly tart tanginess that comes from their ground, fermented rice and lentil flour batter. You can order them plain (4.50€), or filled with a spicy potato mixture (masala dosa, 5€). Tear off bits of the crepe and dip them alternately into the spicy, soupy lentil sambar or coconut chutney.

Clockwise: sambhar vadai, chai tea, dal soup (photo: Anna Tunick)

The sambhar vadai (2.50€, pictured top, brownish, with cilantro on top) is a doughnut of lentil flour submerged into a bowl of spicy, soupy lentil sambar, the whole hearty and satisfyingly stodgy. The lentil soup (pictured bottom, lemon yellow with cilantro) has a soothing coconut creaminess. Chai tea was milky and fragrant with the bite of cardamom, cinnamon, black peppercorns and other spices. I have found further subcontinent satisfaction from the idli, or steamed rice cakes, dipped into more sambar. I also love their upma (3.50€), a savory, starchy pile of semolina, like an Indian variation of couscous, eaten with highly spiced vegetables and… more sambar.

The best part about Krishna Bhavan is the food. But the second best part is the price. This is a genuine cheap eat — I have never spent more than 20€ here — for two people. And on both occasions my dining companion and I ate like it was the last food we would ever see — and we STILL had food left over.

I’ve read recently on some food websites that some people think it’s “wrong” or “nonsensical” to eat non-French food in Paris. Maybe so, mes amis. Stick with your uninspired baguette sandwiches if you like. I’ll be chowing down like a pig with its feed at Krishna Bhavan.

Krishna Bhavan
24 rue Cail, 10ème, métro: Gare du Nord
Tel: 01 42 05 78 43
Open 7 days a week
View their menu here.

Topics: Dining Out and About | 9 Comments »

9 Responses to “Krishna Bhavan (Paris): The Spice is right”

  1. Camille Says:
    March 31st, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    Eating non-French food in Paris is essential if you live here! Thanks for the recommendation!

  2. kathy's red door welcome Says:
    March 31st, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    I love Indian food. Wish I was in Paris right now, so I could try this place out.

  3. CK Says:
    April 1st, 2009 at 7:47 am

    Another big plus for this restaurant is the service. It’s fast and friendly. Go early or reserve if you can — it does get very busy.

  4. Bob Says:
    April 2nd, 2009 at 1:50 am

    mmmmmmmm! I love dosas, idlis, and all that south Indian vegetarian stuff, the hotter the better. Fortunately, we do get a version of it here on Pioneer Boulevard but nothing like in London. Can’t wait to try Krishna Bhavan’s food.

  5. heather Says:
    April 3rd, 2009 at 9:53 am

    so jealous of this!!!! the indian food is HORRIBLE and overpriced here in miami. get this, we got one chicken dish, one side order of rice (sold separately), and one order of naan (two small anemic looking pieces) one night this week for takeout for $24 from downtown coral gables’ highly rated Mint Leaf Indian Brasserie.

    i miss dosas big time. we had amazing ones when we lived in atlanta since there was a largish indian community near where we lived (decatur).

  6. heather Says:
    April 3rd, 2009 at 9:57 am

    forgot to add more rant: on your “inordinate fear of spice” comment–this is one of the banes of my existence in working with lots of europeans in a language department. when i say “we’re thinking of having mexican. you guys like spicy food?” their eyes go wide … it’s like i’ve said, “we’re thinking of dining naked” or something. im doing a big dinner for glenn’s bday tomorrow night and i have to admit i left the spice-haters off the invite list and stuck with a small group of heat lovers.

  7. Ann Says:
    April 3rd, 2009 at 11:32 am

    I can’t stop thinking about Krishna Bhavan, so anytiime anyone wants to make a trip here please let me know!

    Heather — I bet a naked dinner would go over better with your European colleagues than a spicy one (oh, ho ho — cheap shot!).

  8. heather Says:
    April 3rd, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    je suis tout a fait d’accord. ils auront beaucoup moins horreur de dîner à poil que de dîner trop épicé!

  9. Oscine Says:
    April 18th, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    For dosas, we also love Ganesha Corner, just down the block, at the corner of Perdonnet and Louis Blanc.

« | Home | »