PETALING JAYA: A large red container sits in the distance with tables neatly arranged all around it. Right next to it a mini fountain which looks rather inviting under the scorching Malaysian sun.
Thankfully this container cum eatery provides much needed refuge from the heat. While seated, you’ll be treated to the sight of a young bearded man wearing a bandana and expertly flipping thosai while adding a mix of colourful toppings from plastic holders perched above the hot plate.
Every now and then, he pops his friendly head out to ensure that each customer digging into their meals, are in a state of bliss.
Meet 30-year-old Mithun Mohan, the jolly owner and thosai connoisseur of Thosai Café, a humble restaurant at The Curve that boasts a total of 78 thosai toppings and counting.
Mithun who hails from Bangalore, India picked up the skill of ladling thosai batter and flipping these delicate crepes at the age of 16 after watching his mother closely in the kitchen for many years.
Don’t expect a limp thosai with a side of reheated curry at this café. Mithun’s staggering variety of vegetarian toppings often sends new patrons into a spin but not to fret, Mithun is ever ready to gently recommend one of his many delicious creations for you.
Some quick calculations mean that you would have to consume his thosai twice a day for three whole months to be able to sample the entire menu!
“We have customers who have tried almost everything we serve here. We began with 30 thosai but we had regulars who kept telling me to concoct something different,” explains Mithun.
The menu at Thosai Café would send your head into a tailspin. It’s incredulous how Mithun conceived such Willy Wonka-like creations such as Chinese Noodles Thosai and Mac n Cheese Thosai – but there’s a story behind it.
Mithun explains that a couple of European regulars kept asking for pasta dishes because their kids weren’t big on spice. So, one day he grabbed a box of pasta and whipped up his exclusive creation – the Mac n Cheese Thosai.
The Chinese Noodles Thosai meanwhile is essentially a portion of mee goreng gingerly placed atop the thosai. According to Mithun, this is a rather tricky dish because if you’re not careful, the thosai will tear as you’re wrapping it around the noodles.
Another unique feature of Mithun’s thosai is the use of semolina and not the traditional rice in his batter. According to him, rice tends to make the finished product soggy.
You can also count on only the freshest of vegetables in his dishes as Mithun himself does the grocery shopping for them.
If you’re not into fusion cooking, fret not as Mithun caters to traditionalists too who can still enjoy their plain thosai, ghee thosai or masala thosai.
A particular crowd favourite is the appropriately named Happy Thosai. Apparently, Mithun whipped up this offering to cheer up a friend nursing a broken heart. Before long, it had caught on with other customers as well.
It is little surprise why this thosai can put a smile on your face – every bite is bursting with flavour. So, take your time and savour this one, folks.
Topped with grated beetroot, carrot, scallion and potato, Happy Thosai also comes garnished with generous chunks of cottage cheese and cheddar cheese. Served with a side of peanut sauce, what’s there not to love?
Closely related to Happy Thosai is the lightly-flavoured but no less delicious Palak Ghee Thosai. Topped with spinach and drizzled with lashings of ghee, this offering is to-die-for.
The Paneer Tikka Thosai is also worth a mention if you love ginger and other spicy delicacies. Served with a generous helping of cottage cheese or paneer, this thosai is marinated with ginger, garlic and a special white sauce.
A delicious skewer of grilled chilli, tomato, capsicum and bean curd sits atop the thosai. The portion is big, making it perfect for sharing. Or if you’re particularly hungry or a tad greedy, you can try devouring it all yourself.
With so many delicious and unique varieties of thosai available here, there’s a little something for everyone.
Given that Thosai Café is located outside a shopping mall, beating the heat is best with Mithun’s hand-pulled frothy Iced Bru Coffee.
It is deliciously milky and refreshing and thankfully not too sweet – the perfect thirst-quencher on a hot day.
Lot no: KG19W, Ground floor
The Curve Shopping Mall
(Next to Borders, beside TESCO)
47800 Petaling Jaya
Daily: 11:00am-2:00pm ; 3:00pm-9:30pm
Contact: 011-5146 4853