Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Luc's 1st Banana Leaf Rice Experience @ Curry Leaf, Damansara Utama PJ

Being a Belgian, it was Luc's first experience having his food served on a banana leaf! This would have been something common for us Malaysians but for him, our lunch at Curry Leaf restaurant at Damansara Utama (also known as Damansara Uptown) is an eye opener. It was in my plan to take Luc and Sophie out for an authentic banana leaf rice experience but Sophie couldn't join us for lunch as she was not feeling well. 

Curry Leaf at Uptown is the 2nd outlet from its original restaurant in Seremban which is also known as Curry Leaf. The restaurant in Seremban has been in operation for 15 years and this branch in Uptown is managed by Michelle and her husband Dewayne. The restaurant is started by Dewayne's parents whom his mother is a Chinese and his dad an Indian. Together they create wonderful recipes for this restaurant and Michelle whom used to work for L'oreal is now hands on at the restaurant with knowledge in cooking and also about the Indian cuisine.

 It's located along the same row as HSBC and beside Pathlab. This is a simple, clean and fuss-free restaurant. A plus point of this place is that it is not stuffy.

Just like any curry house, you can pick your own dishes here from their big variety of meat, fish and vegetables dishes everyday. The price is clearly displayed above the food counter. According to Michelle, the vegetable dishes will be changed daily to avoid food fatigue but a few clear favourites remain day to day.

Their lassi drinks are a must-try here. They use fresh fruits and also  fresh cow's milk which is then fermented into yogurt. So basically a Lassi is a traditional yogurt-based drink originating from India's Punjab region. Mom chose a Peach Lassi (RM3.80) and Luc took a safe choice of Mango Lassi (RM3.80) but I decided to be adventurous and ordered a Salted Lassi made with chilli and also diced onion. Sounds weird right? A traditional lassi is savoury whereas a sweet lassi usually containing fruits instead of spices is more popular among non-Indians. It turns out that the Salted lassi was not too difficult to stomach. It's lightly spiced and a little salty. It's definitely a "first" for me as I have not been too adventurous with Indian cuisine. The Mango Lassi is really nice, full of fresh mango flavours and it wasn't too sweet.

The most popular dish here is of course their Banana Leaf Rice. Here, the real banana leaf is used as a plate and the waiter will serve a few different vegetable dish onto the leaf and then followed by the rice. There's a choice of white rice or briyani and 3 different curry sauces. The real deal is of course to eat them with your hands but I probably shouldn't scare Luc during his first banana leaf experience.

All the vegetable dishes that were served on that day were delicious. I love the Aubergine with onions which is sweet and savoury. That is the most popular vegetable dish from the restaurant. So far I have not tasted anything like this in other curry houses. Actually I like all the vegetable dishes here.

Curry Leaf Fish Head Curry (RM25 onwards by weight)

Asked if I like fish head curry and of course I nodded my head. I think it comes from my dad as he's the real champion when it comes to eating this dish. He can leave no fish head unturned and he would make the fish die a worthy death. The fish head portion here is quite big and what I have here is the smallest portion. It's better to have 3 or more people eating this so that you can have more space for other dishes. The fish was fresh and the curry was flavourful, spicy and there were lots of lady fingers.

Chicken Stuffed Naan (RM6.50)

The restaurant offers a wide variety of naan (a type of oven-baked flatbread). One of the naan that we managed to try that day was stuffed with minced chicken and topped with fresh parsley. The naan here is soft, freshly baked and best eaten warm. And on the top left corner of the picture is one of the dishes that I enjoyed most here. It is the Fried Squid with sesame seeds (RM10). It was so crispy and light that I can keep on eating and eating them.

Kashmiri Naan (RM5)

The Kashmiri naan is also a signature dish from the restaurant. It is a sweet naan topped with fresh mango slices and dried fruits. This is indeed a very creative combination.

Who would have thought that the mango and dried fruits would compliment the naan so nicely?!! I finished half of the naan myself and I had one more of the same naan to be taken away too!! I think the winning combination of these ingredients has to do with the fact that the mango is fresh, juicy and sweet.

We managed to try their Squid Briyani (RM9) which comes with a generous portion of squids too. The briyani was wet and has a lingering flavour of spices. And the picture next to the Briyani is the Chicken Lakshimi Kebab (RM6.50) which looks like a layer of egg that wrapped over the chicken cubes. This is another dish which I have not tried before. To end the meal, Luc had a Bru Coffee (RM2.70) from India and mom had a Ginger Tea.

The restaurant has a number of signature dishes which includes Chicken 65 (RM10). I asked Michelle why it is called 65 and she told me that this dish used to require all the chicken cubes to be weighed 65g each. Wow... I really have no idea that this is a deep-fried chicken with spices originating from Chennai. The Mutton Roghan Josh (RM10) is recommended as I am not a mutton person but I don't mind eating this because it is not gamey at all. Even my mom who doesn't take mutton due to the strong flavours indulged a few pieces.

A picture of us and a table full of yummy goodies!

I really have to thank Michelle for her hospitality and the invite for lunch. It has been a nice experience for the 3 of us because I am so unadventurous when it comes to Indian cuisine and now I have a chance to learn more about it. Luc enjoyed his first banana leaf rice and we would be coming back when we are in town the next time!

The restaurant is opened for breakfast from 7.30am to 10.30am and 4-10pm where there is a breakfast menu. They also provide function rooms upstairs and also catering services.

Curry Leaf
No.75, Jalan SS21/37,
Damansara Utama,
47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Tel: +6017-3377880


suituapui said...

Oooo...this looks nicer than what we had at that Fierce Curry place that my friend brought me to. My daughter loves banana leaf - too bad we do not have that here. Sigh!!!

KY said...

should have gone all the way and made him use hands! haha

Sean said...

yay, good to hear that luc enjoyed the banana leaf meal! i guess this is fun, while he introduces you to more of his country's cuisine, you can introduce him to more and more of malaysian food in the many years to come. :D

Ken said...

Oh! We have something similar here in Penang too, surprisingly, one of my best friends from China seems to enjoy eating this way while i'm not too fond of

eiling lim said...

STP: well you can always drop by here when you are in town!!

KY: But i also don't like using hands.

Sean: Yeah that's what we do, we exchange cuisines and he introduces me to all the belgian beers.

Ken: You are not fond of using the leaf or using hands?

Ciki said...

glad he survived the fiery experience!


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Anonymous said...

dont waste your time and money to eat here!!!

Anonymous said...

The food is nice to see but not nice to taste.

The chicken curry was a turn off.

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