Friday, April 27, 2007

Lawanya food stall, Brickfields

In one of my earlier posts, I mentioned that the allure of Brickfields is its people. Beaming, chipper faces. People who recognise you because you haunt the indian stall while pigging out on nasi lemak and tea with gusto. And if you don't turn up to work for a week, they notice your absence. These are the newspaper vendors, the malay mixed rice stall owner, the parking meter attendant, the driver to the boss of the company two doors away......and they're all friends. People with faces and lives. You can tell that I miss them a lot, and sometimes, I sneak away to be alone in Brickfields and in my solitude because I miss them and the environment so much, and despite having been away for so long, they still recognise me and chat with me and ask if my family's okay.

I have been procrastinating about writing this post for a very long time. Among all the indian food places I have been to, this little stall nestled in a lane off Scott Road in Brickfields serves, in my opinion, the best south indian food. When I used to be in Brickfields, I frequented this food stall at least twice a week over several years. My hesitation in writing about this place stems from the fact that I am somewhat unconfident that my writing may not do justice to the delectable food that can be found at this tiny little stall.

Set up in 1984, Mrs Chellam has been running this stall for 24 years. Her husband pops by sometimes, but most of the time she singlehandedly manages this stall. Business must have certainly been good as she also operates a food catering business which was formed in 1992. Sometimes, on weekends, I see her and her assistants laboriously peeling onions and garlic and chopping up huge amounts of ingredients in kaleidoscopic hues in preparation for a wedding or a similarly grandiose event.

Every stall has its speciality. At this place, it is the chicken varuval that makes people return in throngs. The chicken pieces are fried with an assortment of condiments and spices until the sauce is dry and thick. The secret to getting the lovely flavour is the use of evaporated milk instead of coconut milk to thicken the sauce. The sensation of eating these delectable pieces of chicken is like an explosion of flavours from the different ingredients, from the caramelised onions to the aromatic cumin to the fiery chilli.

Almost as good is the mutton curry with its thick sauce made of a blend of ginger, onions and garlic. The meat is tender and imbued with the flavour of all the spices.

fried fish
Fried fish is an option for those who don't care much for mutton or chicken. In addition to the meats, there is also a good selection of vegetables, from stir-fried mixed vegetables to deep-fried crunchy bittergourd.

This place is open for breakfast and lunch on weekdays only.

No. 4, Lorong Scott, Brickfields, 50470 KL.
Tel: 03-2274 9234
HP: 016-221 8074


boo_licious said...

Yum, is this near Woo Lan? I think I walked past this that day when I went to Vishals. Sounds like "lawa-nya" in Malay.

jason said...

The pics sure looks "lawa-nya".. Yumz!

Tummythoz said...

U definitely had me at varuval .. drools.

MeiyeN said...

i've always wanna try indian food @ brickfields but not sure which is da best and how to go.. thanks for da review!

k.t.x said...

heyy, i used to frequent this place when i interned in an office in scott rd in 95! those mat salleh loved this place too.

like how i testified to Kat's WooLan, i'd testify to this particular stall too...darn good.

wmw said...

Now you have got me thinking about chicken varuval again....Me want!

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

boo_licious: yep, this lorong is near Woo Lan. Lawanya with a "w" is kinda interesting as there is no "w" in the tamil alphabets, only "v".

jason: hehe...more yummy when you eat the food!

tummythoz: lol. it's to die for.

meiyen: Brickfields has a lot of good eateries. Depends how much you plan to pig out. :-)

k.t.x: hey, i was there in 95 too...we may have bumped into each other, jostling to get the last of the varuval. :-)

wmw: sowwy. hope u get it soon! errr...u mean u want me to cook ar? gotta wait for precious pea's housewarming potluck party lor.

Barbie said...

Lemongrass, they're open for breakfast on Saturdays too. I don't like bittergourd, but her fried bittergourd slices is to die for. ;p

tigerfish said...

Though I can get indian food here, I don't think they are south indian.

Oh my, I can imagine the burst of spices and flavors in the chicken and mutton dish. I want to eat!

Now I have 2 foodie blogger friends who like Indian food -Shipla and you! Just that I'm a beginner and needs to know more about Indian cuisine. :D

Precious Pea said...

Chicken Varuval, didn't you told us the other night that you can cook this dish pretty well?? WHEN WHEN? Your description + photo of the chicken varuval is a real killer!!!

Henry Yeo said...

I miss Brickfields probably because it is so freaking hard to find a carpark.

Maybe i will just ride the train to KL Sentral and walk the last 1 klik.

kat said...

MUTTON!!! I think I may love mutton more than pork!! No, I take that back. I love pork in Chinese and western style, and mutton in indian style. No pork in indian style, and difficult to find mutton in chinese style (although Overseas rest used to have this fantastic mutton dish..). Sorry I digress!! :P

I also love indian fried bittergourd. No one else does it as well as them!

Why oh why must your food pictures be so BIG???? LOL

KY said...

I didn't know it's already 2008


Lyrical Lemongrass said...

barbie: thanks for the info. btw, da breakfast is pretty good too.

tigerfish: from the array of food that you've cooked so far, I don't think it's true that you don't know much about indian food. you're fantastic!

precious pea: waiting for your housewarming. :-)

henry yeo: parking's not that bad la. I've never failed to get parking. You may need to drive a few circles though. hehe.

kat: yeah, indian style mutton is pretty awesome. So's indian style bittergourd. yumm!!

ky: (x-y)+1. *grin*

Jackson said...

alamak!!! im hungry now...

Kenny Mah said...

I adoreLOVEadore chicken varuval. But is this a bad time to mention that in all my 28 years of being on earth, I haven't been to Brickfields before...

*runs and hide*


*runs back and hugs ya for being there yesterday*

Henry Yeo said...

no problem, just take the train to KL sentral, go down to the sub-basement level, get out of the building, turn right and walk until you past a police station.

Then you would have walked right through Brickfields without ever knowing about it.

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

jackson: hungry? come here and join me for makan lar.

kenny: Come here, dude. *slap* *slap* pay attention to henry's comments.

henry: what will I do without u and ur sarcasm?