The Chennai Club

  • Dosa Republic is a refreshing take on Indian cooking: more typical of South India than the classic mughal style dishes.” in 53 reviews

  • “In both cases, the dosas were HUGE -- each dosa lasted me 3 meals - so the value is definitely there, at least for me!” in 56 reviews

  • “We ordered the baby idli Indian Chinese Manchurian, Samosa bits, Tangra, and onion masala dosa.” in 8 reviews

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  • 4.0 star rating
    10/5/2015

    The Chennai club is local lunchtime favorite for San Mateo office goers who are in for South Indian food. The place is earthy and not heavy on pocket. It dishes out some real good chicken biryani, chettinad chicken with malabar paratha for the meat lovers and also plenty of vegetarian choices like the Veg thali, Masala Dosa, chennai gun powder uthappam etc.
    The only concern is that service is not consistent and depends on the rush.
    Overall a nice place to enjoy some spicy and flavourful Indian food followed by cooler deserts.

  • 2.0 star rating
    1/22/2016
    1 check-in

    This place is sketchy. The service was a little unfriendly and they refused to honor the yelp check in offer despite the fact that they had a sign advertising to check in on yelp for a discount (see picture). Therefore this was a really bad first impression.

    The food however was Ok which is why I'm giving it 2 stars instead of 1. I tried to order a "roll" but he said they were out of those. The earlier review of the vermin infestation is a little concerning as well.

  • 4.0 star rating
    9/13/2015
    1 check-in

    My sister always has random cravings and this time it was for Indian food. We got 3 items to share among 4 people and it was quite a filling meal.

    We got the lamb dosa and the tikii masala dosa which is the protein wrapped inside a thin crepe (dosa). The dosa was nice and crispy and the protein were both cooked and flavored really well.

    We also go the non-veg thali platter and to be honest, I have no idea what's what, but you kind of just try them all and all them them are pretty tasty and had a lot of flavor.

    Overall, I enjoyed our meal and I would come back to try more things.

  • 4.0 star rating
    7/13/2015
    1 check-in

    My hubby loves DOSA and he talked about it a lot! So he was happily agreed to check out this place when I told him they seem to have a lot of Dosa selections! It was my first time eating Dosa and so were our friends (we went as a group of 10).

    It's a self serve place, you go up to the counter to place your order and pay. The lady (cashier/hostess) was very helpful and friendly. She didn't mind explaining to us what was on the menu for several times!

    Most of us ordered the UK Dosa with chicken tikka masala as she said they weren't spicy.... A couple ordered the lamb and egg Dosa, I got the Chetinad Dosa with chicken and  a couple others got the rice plate with cumin lamb.

    The food was reasonably priced... all the Dosa orders came with 3 pieces of Dosa (Dosa plates are in the $9 range). What is Dosa???? Well, it's basically an Indian crepe (the skin tasted like crepe but a tiny bit sour) filled with potatoes and your choice of protein/mixture and served with some Indian sauces. At This place, all dosa orders came with a lentil soup and a coconut based sauce and a tamrind based sauce. All loved the Dosas but they were a bit spicy (it wasn't for me because I love spicy food). A few of us also ordered the chicken and corn soup that was similar to the Chinese style soup. For $4 the portion was pretty hefty! For smaller stomach... certainly would be enough to make you full! We also ordered mango lassi $3, again, good price, and very refreshing to cool off from the spices.

    It's certainly a great place to eat casual meals... the restaurant smell like Indian food when you walk in... but actually surprisingly, we didn't smell when we walked out... or at least we felt that way ahahahha!!

  • 4.0 star rating
    8/13/2015
    6 check-ins

    Truly enjoyed the food at Chennai Club!  We've driven by many times, but always thought it was a "club"!  After speaking to the owner, Feroza, she explained that "club" was combining the many dishes of South India with Chinese, hence making them into a "club"!  She was also very helpful in deciphering the menu and suggesting items to try.  I've read some yelpers disliking the service, but you have to admit, this is not a traditional sit down restaurant where you are being served by a wait staff.  Instead, you order at the counter and with your number placed on the table, you await until your meal is freshly cooked and brought to your table.  You serve your own drinks, gather your own cutlery, and enjoy the food.  The best part is you don't have to clean up after yourself :)!

    We decided to try something different and ordered the Tikka Masala Chicken Dosa, Schezuan Garam Masala Potato, and Chilli Chicken Gravy.  All were so good!  The flavors were bursting!  Not too hot, sweet, nor bland.  It was a party in our mouths!  We also had the ginger lemonade...light and refreshing and complimented our meals perfectly!  We will definitely come back again and try other dishes.

  • 3.0 star rating
    1/31/2016

    The food here is usually decent but the quality is pretty inconsistent. On a good day, I've loved the chili garlic rice and dosas. The chutney and sambar were delicious. They have a ginger mint lemonade which is pretty good.

  • 5.0 star rating
    2/13/2016

    delicious secret spot in San Mateo

  • 1.0 star rating
    11/24/2015

    Closed by the Health Dept due to vermin. Gross! smchealth.org/foodclosure. See the picture attached. :/

  • 2.0 star rating
    9/13/2015

    Baby food?

    strange meal. Ordered the vegetarian and meat thali (dish with many types of items). Both were strangely lacking substance. Had high hopes but I think the location is a challenge for the business and they are cutting corners. No parking, an adult store next to the restaurant, crazy el Camino traffic. I liked the decor and it felt like a great dive (good reasonably priced food) to frequent and had hopes. However,

    -the meat tali was 2 small curries that were pretty tasty - so there is some real potential (chicken and lamb), 6 small containers with watery sauces or soup that I found unsatisfactory.

    - the vegetarian was 1 chick pea blob, 1 potato (yes 1 piece), 6 sauces.....I would have given this review 1 star if I had the vegetarian myself. My wife thought it's like baby food (no solids) that probably is the most accurate description for the meal.

    The sauces were really watery, there was nothing in the soup except a few shriveled vegetables. Dosa was crunchy but I think of that more as a breakfast food/snack (like in India) and roti for a full meal....is that why all the sauces (cos a dosa is usually served with a few sauces and nothing else), but then it should be sold as a dosa not a thali. All the 'thali' web sites show real food not a bunch of sauces - so I'm not alone in my expectations.

    Now to be credible as a reviewer, one has to have some experience. Been to India for work ~20 times, travelled extensively and eaten Indian food lots and lots it times, so I have a base line:

    Since when is a thali mostly water? Also this is America, land of big meals and your money's worth for food, so how can you serve a meal for $11.00 that has a few shreds of meat and vegetables. Also being an Indian restaurant is no excuse for starving portions either since I've always had big helpings in India for a fair price.

    Was it the end of the day and the bottom of the pots had slim pickings? Also we were really thirsty at the end, so either there was a huge dose of MSG or the pre-mixed sauces had tons as an ingredient (management should review this, as that's a real "yuck" in California even if you support that MSG is the '5th taste').....gotta be 1 star guys, but an extra for the decor.

  • 1.0 star rating
    11/15/2015

    UNACCEPTABLE!!! I found Cockroach in my Butter Chicken today!!!! So disgusting!!!

    Been here a few other times before and a few months ago I saw a cockroach crawling on the wall inside. Should have listened to the signs and knew to STAY AWAY!!!. It was only a matter of time before it ended up in the food!!! The staff was friendly and understanding but there is only so much apologizing for this big of a health concern! Who knows what else is going on back there and I hope they can clean it up before someone gets sick!

    I have reported them to the Health department but everyone should stay away until they get their act together!!!

  • 5.0 star rating
    12/5/2015
    1 check-in

    The best dosa i ever had...i loved the sinhala dosa and the lamb..coudnt try any more and wont be around here for a long time...this was a stop on my sf vacation and im so glad i did...wish there were good dosas like this where i live..if they did i'll be there like every week...

  • 2.0 star rating
    7/27/2015
    1 check-in

    Food here is pretty tasty! Although I'm not surprised because I heard that this spot was previously run by the same guys at Curry Up Now.

    So why the poor review? Because the service here needs some serious work. The guy who took our order saw that we needed some help and just watched us as we tried to figure out the menu. After working it out on our own and asking him a few questions, he begrudgingly answered us with answers that were of little help. Honestly if you don't want to help your customers decipher the menu or suggest dishes to newbies, then this is probably the wrong business for you.

    I think I'll stick to Curry Up Now where the food is just as good, but there service and atmosphere are 10x times better.

  • 3.0 star rating
    11/21/2015
    1 check-in

    I grew up in Chicago and Chennai, and would like to believe I have my finger on the pulse of authentic South Indian cooking. While it was nice to meet Tamil speakers serving dosas and other South Indian specialties, I also disliked the attempts at going so far left-field with vegan dosas that were simply not tasty. Also, the portions were ridiculous - nobody can eat this much food. One dosa is good enough for two or three people, or two or three meals. I wish places like this would just concentrate on the classics. No need to adjust greatness.

  • 4.0 star rating
    12/17/2015

    I just had lunch with my brother and really enjoyed this place.  
    The chai is excellent and the food is good.  We decided to come back and get just the dal and a large uddapam.  We tried the Thali veg sampler which we liked.  Good place we 'll be back.

  • 3.0 star rating
    1/24/2016

    Just finished lunch.  The food was excellent as usual but the order was wrong.  The gentleman taking the order is usually entering the order correctly.  It"s the lady that gets it wrong.  Today was the third time she entered the wrong order.  due to the previous two times, today I specifically asked her whether it was the chicken marsala dosa.  She assured me it was but I got a paneer masala dosa.  Absolutely no chicken in it.  I then checked my receipt when i did not find any chicken and it was not a chicken dosa.  I was a great paneer dosa but not what I asked for.  That is why I did not give them more stars

  • 4.0 star rating
    6/1/2015
    4 check-ins

    Dosa? Yes please!!
    This place used to be called Dosa Republic and somehow they've changed names and my old review went missing. Regardless, I came back recently with a co-worker and had my dosa fill.

    Nothing fancy or fusion for me. I like my dosa plain and simple filled with seasoned potatoes and onions.

    The chutneys were delicious although I miss the greenish chutney that the South Bay dosa places serve (mint? maybe?).

    Service was fast and the dosas were thin and crisp in areas and tangy.

  • 4.0 star rating
    10/4/2015

    I visited this place a long time back when it was dosa republic, tried their chettinad dosa and thought I wouldn't be back here. But a friend urged me to try it again, and guess what - now I am a regular here. :D
    Their veg thali is the best south Indian food in the peninsula. The Chennai onion dosa is my favorite as well. I ve tried the American Punjabi dosa and Sinhala disa which were okay. I'm of the opinion that dosa filling should be mild in spices. They also have daily specials which I am yet to try.

  • 2.0 star rating
    5/9/2015
    1 check-in

    Ambiance : Pretty small. And with lots of tables, there isn't much personal space.

    Service : You order (& pay upfront) at counter and wait for it to be delivered at
    table. Service was quick. Sadly many items were just in menu but not available.

    Food : Varieties of dosa (some were very unique). We tried Tangra Dosa, Chettinad dosa & mysore masala. Being south Indian restaurant, you would expect these dosas to be delicious. But they were just okay. Even basic things like 'Dosa should be crisp and thin' were missing.

    Price : Expensive for the quantity & quality being offered.

    Very disappointing. Will not come again.

  • 4.0 star rating
    9/10/2015
    1 check-in

    This place is definitely over rated, it offers a decent variety and good option of dosa

    1. Not a typical Indian place, offers wide variety of dosas and other South Indian food
    2. I like there interiors and cleanly maintained environment
    3. Does is good, not great as other people are stating
    4. Will try again and recommend it for friends
    5. Price is really arguable, pricey but not overly priced

  • 5.0 star rating
    9/26/2015
    1 check-in

    Always love this place for lunch. The staff is very friendly and always prompt when coming to pick up your food. I love the CTM a lacarte and hakka noodles with chilli chicken its very tasty and spicy! If you want spicier go ahead and ask!