Akshaya is one of those identical-looking Indian restaurants populating the riverside end of Surawong Road—fluro-tube lighting, big food photos on the windows and black steel chairs that scrape against the bathroom-tiled floor. But what Akshaya offers is quite different.
Rather than the heavy curries of the North which most casual Indian eaters are familiar with, this one does Southern vegetarian food, most notably dosa; giant, crepe-like wraps with various curried fillings. Huffington Post actually rated dosa #4 in its list of 10 Foods to Try Around the World Before You Die and while we wouldn’t go that far for the offerings at Akshaya, it’s hard to think of a better way to spend B116 on Indian food in this town.
That price gets you either one full-size masala dosa (filled with potatoes and lentils) or a masala dosa set, which features a scaled-down (but stil l substantial) masala dosa along with one idly (rice cake) and vada (India’s richly spiced, donut-shaped, savory batter snack). A rounded diet this is not—you’ve basically got starchy carb on top of bread on top of batter—but for flavor and bang for buck, we can’t complain.
The dosa’s rice crepe is mildly sweet, crisp and holds together well, while the vada tastes fluffy and richly spiced, not unlike what you’d get on an Indian train journey. Whether ordering from the set or a la carte, you’ll also get a bowl of rasam, Southern India’s cumin-spiced tamarind soup. It’s well flavored, kind of like an Indian version of a tom yam, but could do with being hotter.
The only curry on the menu outside the thali set (B130) is a hearty potato concoction served with puri (unleavened, deep-fried bread, B90). Though the portion is small, so is the price, and the deep flavor and creamy texture make it a real highlight.
Much of the rest of the menu is pure bar snack, with plenty of deep-fried treats like baji, pakora and samosa—all basically battered or pastrycoated vegetables that cry out for a big bottle of Heineken (which sadly you won’t find at this teetotal venue).
Would we go back to Akshaya? Absolutely. The appearance might not be up to much but it makes for a wonderful fuss-free alternative to Bangkok’s many Indian venues that position themselves as fancy restaurants.
This review took place in May 2015 and is based on a visit to the restaurant without the restaurant's knowledge. For more on BK's review policy, click here.