Lip-smacking Indian Fare @ Sri Ananda Bahwan, Old Town, IpohNovember 19, 2009 | 9,304 views
Remember this hunk of a model back then?
A summary of all the Ipoh food I have written before revealed the rather unflattering truth; I REALLY need to push on and write more on other cuisines, especially Malay food, and Indian food. The smattering of knowledge with regards to the existence (or the lack) of worthy Malay restaurants, ‘warung’, or even roadside shacks in and around Ipoh, renders my search for blog-worthy materials close to futile.
But thanks to the encouraging (notice I used the word ‘encouraging’, instead of aplenty) number of Indian colleagues and friends, I am slowly getting accustomed to the myriad of Indian cuisines in Ipoh, from the classy North Indian food, to the spicier and robust South Indian fare. Read all about the banana leaf escapades for a gastronomic journey of the most fiery kind.
The wondrous colours, taste, and aroma of Indian cuisine @ Sri Ananda Bahwan @ Old Town of Ipoh …
Mutton Kothu Parota (top left), Masala Thosai (top right) and Poori Set (bottom pic)
Chicken Kothu Parota – A mish-mash of ingredients, cooked on the hot pan peppered with acrobatics courtesy of the ever-eager Indian staff (you have to witness the preparation steps to fully appreciate it) and a whiff of spices, resulting in a most complicated ensemble of flavours.
Mr Z, who introduced us to all the excess calories (hehe, joking only, k?), The unrecognizable utensil used to cook ‘Puthu’, and the Madras Coffee to go along with the Indian sweetmeats
Routinely, I went for the usual outings to Indian restaurants to appease the irregular cravings for something spicy. But nothing short of the common Roti Canai (and the endless variations such as Roti Planta, Roti Telur, Roti Bawang), Capati, or Thosai, for the limited knowledge of yours truly, paired with the average Mamak stalls/restaurants serving more or less the same lackluster selections.
But at Sri Ananda Bahwan (let’s call it SAB for short) serves a different type of Indian food come dinner hours. For they have a separate Evening Special menu, featuring a list of mind-boggling and practically unheard of items. Dishes such as the more familiar sounding Idly, Masala Thosai, and Poori, to the vaguely familiar Uthappam, and down to the almost alien-sounding (to me, at least) Idiyappam Baya, Adai Aviyal, and Kothu Parota. Having problems pronouncing them? No fret, so do I. But the staff at Ananda Bahwan were always pleasant enough to explain in whichever language they could muster (sign language included!), to get their messages across. Do take note that some of the workers are not your typical English-speaking Indians, so be patient.
Among the evening specials I have personally tried, the Kothu Parota (or Kothu Paratha) is a most delicious option, consisting of a mix of finely-chopped onions, eggs, paratha bread (or Roti Canai, to you and me), green chillies, potatoes, and your choice of chicken, or mutton (there was also a vegetarian version available), fried with what seemed to be curry powder, salt and whatever spices they threw in. The result? A most luscious, savoury and filling plate of Kothu Parota, served with some pickled and dyed-red sweet onions, and a steel cup containing yoghurt with julienned cucumber, carrots and raw onions. Close resemblance to the Chili Paratha I had in Karaikudi in Penang.
The Rava Thosai is a light, crispy piece of Thosai served with some sides of curry, dhal, and chutney. The most noticeable difference between this and the usual variety is the many holes in the dough, and the crispy, almost snack-like quality of the Rava Thosai. The Special Masala Thosai came with loads of curried potatoes, ensuring an intensively carbo-laden meal, and a darn filling one to boot. The usual sides of curries, dhal and chutney completed this set. The Poori at Ananda Bahwan is less oily when compared to Kalai’s, and finishing the two pieces in the set was not much of a hassle. The dhal curry (lentils cooked with spices) accompanying the Poori was top-notch, but sadly served cold.
To finish off the meal, I like to wash them all down with a cup of Teh Susu Lembu, or Cow’s Milk with Tea. Or for a different caffeine experience, try a serving of their popular Madras Coffee (refer to my old post).
Yes, you may walk out feeling like you’re about to burst, when your diet plans go haywire, and you ended up pointing to almost every single item on the menu. But a dinner here will not break a hole in your pocket, with the average items costing less than RM5, except for the Tandoori items, or Special sets.
Here’s their official website : http://www.srianandabahwan.com/
Address and Contact Numbers :
Sri Ananda Bahwan Restaurant,
7, Persiaran Bijeh Timah,
Tel No : +605-253 9798 or +6012-477 5981.
Directions : If you know where Sin Yoon Loong and Nam Heong, the famous coffee shops in old town of Ipoh serving the most original white coffee, then you can locate Sri Ananda Bahwan easily. From Jalan Bandar Timah (a one way road), once passing by Sin Yoon Loong coffee shop on your right, and Nam Heong on your left, turn right into Persiaran Bijeh Timah. Sri Ananda Bahwan is on your left. Notice that there are TWO Sri Ananda Bahwan in the same row, a few shops apart. One being the original shop with no air-cond, while the other is fully air-conditioned.
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