Spice Court and Copper Chimney
He used to drive his own gastro truck around town, cooking up not just Indian but South Indian (some say the real Indian) food that everyone could afford.
Problem was, most people couldn’t find him. So Allen Sem found a place (Spice Court) in Little India where he could set up in the back.
“I am Tamil,” he says, “from Hyderabad, so I know southern Indian cooking. Just like your Southern cooking, it is more flavorful, more exciting than northern Indian food. Nothing is canned. Every sauce I make here.”
For starters, try the dosa. Along with Hyderabadi biryani, it’s one of the go-to southern dishes, a way-big fermented rice crêpe — a crispy golden flute with spicy potato inside — and a rich sambar (lentil soup) to dip it in, plus dollops of sauces: green mango, sautéed onions, coconut, green coriander, and if you really want to be daring, a lethal little bowl of red chiles, featuring the ghost chili. Allen says it’s “the world’s hottest chili.”
Allen’s place is modest — four tables in a grocery shop, no giant golden elephants — but he is the real thing.
— Ed Bedford
|Occasional live music||No|
|Payment options||Does not accept credit cards|
- 2011 Restaurant Issue: "Ed's Eats" · Oct. 19, 2011
- Feast: "Dosas to Die For: Southern Comfort, Indian-Style" · Sept. 26, 2011
- Feast: "Copper Chimney Comes Ashore" · July 6, 2011