Kaliammans Restaurant @ Penang – Banana Leaf Biryani RiceNovember 27, 2009 | 6,050 views
Wait, what’s up with J2Kfm and his obsession with Banana Leaf Rice meals all of a sudden?!!!! Influences from his peers? Or the awakening of the Indian blood in him? (Sounds kind of wrong though, whoops. Twilight 3 in the making?).
First there was Sri Asoka Corner @ Ipoh Stadium and Samy’s @ Chemor. Then came along NS Curry House, and Old Andersonian Cafeteria near to Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun (that’s Ipoh General Hospital, for the uninitiated). Last month we even went down to Kuala Lumpur in search of good restaurants serving banana leaf curry rice, and ended up at Kanna’s Curry House in Section 17, Petaling Jaya.
Backtrack a little, and let me introduce one of my better banana leaf meals experience recently. Not in Ipoh, not around Perak, nor even in the Klang Valley. But on the good old, quaint and charming Penang island.
When you patronize an outlet with more local Indians dining in than tourists/foreigners, you know it’s gotta be good!
Introduced by a friend who’s working in Penang; An avid food-hunter himself, we were on our way to Kaliammans on Penang Street (not Road, remember), at the Little India of Penang. He was waxing lyrical on the best banana leaf meal on the island, with unlimited servings of rice. Not mere white rice, but the tasty and aromatic Biryani Rice is served on the spot, and you can binge on the fragrant rice to the point of bursting at the seams! And best of all, the Biryani was served warm on our ‘platters’ made from banana leaf ,not stone cold grains of rice like in most banana leaf restaurants.
Not the most creative of side dishes, nor the most imaginative. But still, managed to fulfill their destinies …..
Pile them on, baby !!!
Clockwise from top left : Dry Chicken Curry (Varuval), Mutton Curry, Potato Masala, and the ‘Golden Elixir’
As they said, to fully enjoy your banana leaf experience, you’ve gotta go to where the locals go, and remember to wash your hands clean, and then dig in. Sans the cutleries. The fluffy and aromatic Basmati rice cooked with spices was a most welcoming change from the usual plain white rice, though personally, I found this a little too rich and filling. Bear in mind that you can ask for refills of the rice, the gravy and the side dishes so hold that gluttony thought and start slow.
The Dry Chicken Curry was of top notch quality. Marinated with lots of spices and cooked until dry, the meat was thankfully still moist and firm, and not tasteless/bland/dry like the bark of a tree. You’ll get the idea.
The Mutton Curry was luscious, creamy, and reeking of the most appreciated (by me, at least) gamey taste. I like my mutton to be strong and pungent in flavour, with bits of fats rather than tasteless, tender cubes of lean meat. But that’s just my preference.
The restaurant is fully air-conditioned, and the service was prompt, yet not intrusive. But the most astonishing of discovery was the price for the meal. Only RM7.90 / USD2.30 nett per person, inclusive of a meat of your choice, and unlimited servings of biryani rice and vegetables. Now tell me, where else can you find such good deals?!!
Location & Contact Number :
No 43, Penang Street,
10200 Penang, Malaysia
Tel No : 604-262 8953
Opens daily from 11am until 11pm.
Only closes for Deepavali celebration.
Here’s a GOOGLE MAP TO KALIAMMANS RESTAURANT @ PENANG STREET