What should we know about Kasi?
Popping up suddenly at the end of August in a relatively small space in Temple Bar’s Crow Street, Kasi caught our eye with its colourful décor and relatively cheap prices for so central a location. The authentic Indian street food it promised is an ever more crowded space of late, so in we went to see if this new arrival could stand out from the crowd.
What should we have?
We have never yet said no to puri, the crisp fried bread shells that make the best flavour bomb start to any casual Indian meal. Of the two on Kasi’s chaat menu we went for dahi puri, stuffed with spiced potato and chickpea mash, onion, sev, and mint and tamarind chutneys. These six little bites are lovely, a great contrast of crunchy dough and soft, spiced, intensely-flavourful filling, though the fridge-cold yogurt could definitely have used a little more time to come up to room temperature – we’ll blame popping in right at opening time for that one.
Not sated on chaat yet we turned to the hot options and took on the samosa, with two of the large pea and potato-filled triangular pastries swimming in a similar mix of chutneys and yogurt and doused with generous amounts of crispy sev and sharp onion. What makes chaat such great comfort food is the dynamic contrast of flavours, so many individual elements harmonising into an ultra satisfying mouthful, each new spoonful a slightly different balance that constitutes a riff all of its own. They nail it here.
Kathi rolls come in chicken or paneer tikka, served with a side of mint chutney for dunking. The paratha wrap is thin and flaky, tasty in its own right and a perfect vehicle for the chilli mayo mess of marinated chunks of meat or cheese and veg within. This would make a substantial lunch on its own and, given the rocketing price of even a sandwich around Temple Bar these days, a pretty good value one too at €11.50.
There’s increasingly stiff competition on Dublin’s dosa front, and while there’s plenty to recommend (Dosa Dosa and Indian Tiffins among them) we’ve never had any in Ireland as good as those from the recently-shuttered (RIP) Iyer’s in Cork, so we came in here hopeful of a new favourite.
An immediate advantage is the sheer size of the thing – we had as hard a time fitting this in one frame as Kasi apparently did getting it onto the tray. The gorgeously brown underside was cooked to the point of crackling almost on sight, though a slightly soggy-soft interior suggested just a little more time mightn’t have gone astray. This masala version came stuffed with yet more spiced potato and sides of coconut chutney and lentil broth – flavour-wise, it's a hit.
Are there drinks?
Softs only we're afraid.
Why should I go?
There are not many spots left in this part of Dublin that can fill you up without leaving your pockets empty - all this, enough to feed two well, came to just €40. Between its wide and well-considered menu and a casual vibe that lends itself as much to quick bites as lingering lunches, Kasi has the goods to make the most of its prime city centre location and satisfy a whole range of needs.
3-4 Crow Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2