Thursday, January 25, 2007

Sri Nirwana Maju, Bangsar - Banana Leaf Rice

When my office was in Brickfields, we were spoilt for choice when it came to Indian food. We had our favourites, like the stall at the alley between Jalan Tun Sambanthan 3 and Scott Road which had the world's best chicken peratal (fried chicken in very dry, thick curry). Our main problem, again, was familiarity and a resistance to try something new. With so many options to choose from in Brickfields, why venture further for the same kind of food?

Because of our cockiness about our knowledge of Indian food, we hardly ever explored outside Brickfields.

Now that we are no longer in Brickfields, we have become a lot more adventurous with food.

We chanced upon Sri Nirwana Maju in Bangsar when I went to AmBank to settle my monthly car HP installment payment. I was poorer, but starved due to a diet of bread and more bread for 4 days. The restaurant is located next to AmBank and is packed with people at lunch time. I dread to think how we're going to brave the traffic now that Bangsar Village II is open. The traffic jam leading to Bangsar this evening was horrendous!! Back to the topic at hand (I do get so easily carried away!), we were very lucky to find a table for four and grabbed the table. Yes, the Makan Club is quite resourceful in getting tables. :-)

Thanks to Smokin' SOB's intimate knowledge of Indian dishes, we could sit back and wait to be served. Four pieces of banana leaves were promptly placed in front of us, and shortly after that came the rice, sliced cucumbers in yoghurt, fried long beans and crunchy fried bitter gourd (see picture above). We were also served fried papadums (spicy Indian crackers), rasam (a spicy Indian soup that tastes quite similarly to mulligatawny soup), dhall, fish or chicken curry, pickles and yoghurt. These are the fixed items, and one can order various types of meat dishes to complement the meal.

Smokin' SOB must have thought that we were famished as he ordered fried tenggiri (mackerel) (hot from the stove), mutton peratal (mutton in thick curry), fried fish flakes and chicken. I thought the fish flakes dish was rather tasty and it's something I'd order again.

Banana leaf rice is an interesting concept as the servings of rice and vegetables are unlimited. The spiciness of the dishes coupled with the richness of the food are indicators, though, that one should not overeat. Etiquette also dictates that if you find the food good, you should fold the leaf away from you, and if you feel otherwise, then fold it towards you. We think that folding the leaf away is just to stop the curry from spilling all over you. :-)

Sri Nirwana Maju
43, Jalan Telawi 3,
Bangsar Baru, KL.


Anonymous said...

Stumbled upon your old post. Ermm... I must say that the correct way of eating banana leaf rice is to fold them inwards towards you when you had a good meal rather than the opposite. Great food review. My source of food location inspiration :)

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

yes, you're absolutely correct! Thanks for the correction, and thanks for visiting. :-)