The Chef, the Banana Leaf and Vishal..
The great thing about chinese new year holidays is the quiet streets of KL. The bad thing about chinese New Year hols, is the fact that hardly any restaurants are open, the exceptions being Indian, Malay food and or fast food.
Since we had a chef from the UK in tow, we were hardly going to recommend fast-food, so we quickly decided on Banana leaf rice, at Vishal – one of our favourite joints for Chettinad food.
We love the food at Vishal because to put it bluntly, it is cheap and good.
We love the spiciness of the curries and oh, for the love of marrow. It has one of the best bone marrow curry dishes on earth. It is aromatic, pungent, spicy.. it makes you feel like you ran 10 miles (or at least makes you perspire like it) and you’d be hard pressed to find a better western version of this dish.. even the French and English would have to concede to this one.
We get to Vishal, and first things first. Angpow for the unmarried. The chef looks pretty happy (till he checks the value inside we suppose ;P) What he doesn’t know is that lunch is on him.
Anyway, we get there, and find the largest spot – it’s still a squeeze for Andrew, poor chap. Never mind, we tell him the food will be worth it. So, the men come around with the banana leafs (real ones, not the fake paper ones) and then the rice, the (boiled to death) veges, the rasam and yoghurt and pickled chilies get served. Then Andrew points to the platters of dishes and says, we’ll have everything.. and bring me some biryani too. AND while you’re in the kitchen, could you please go see about some bone marrow as well.
As we eat, we marvel and the dishes – hot and pungent with fresh ground masalas, it’s truly fantastic stuff. There’s a nice big hard boiled egg in Andrews Biryani rice, along with another juicy chicken drumstick. And just when we think we’ve had our filled of sun dried meats and salted vegetables, papadam, fish, prawn, lobster, crab, chicken and lamb and what have you, they bring out the bone marrow.
lovely long grain biryani rice – fluffy and well defined with a great flavour about it, and the egg is like the icing on the cake
Oh it’s good.. so good that there’s silence at the table. This establishment is my no means a 5 star fine dining restaurant. There’s no point looking around for a slim posh utensil that will help you get to the bottom of the marrow. Just use your hands and mouth and get sucking. I think I did pretty well, but the Chef got in there quicker. Must be years of practice sucking the marrow out of life.
From the delicate rasam (sour soup made from tamarind), long grained biryani rice, tasty dhal, drumsticks that were spiced with seasoning, tomatoes and onions, to the robust mutton curries, it will literally have you leaving your inhibitions at the door and using your hands to eat your meal, the menu is as Chettinad as it can get, simple at first glance with quite a complex structure.
Of all the dishes we tried that afternoon, the few that refuse to leave my palate are the bone marrow and the mutton curry eaten with sambar and chutney. Vishal is definitely worth visiting alone or with guests. It never disappoints.
al fresco seating.. for a grand finale of a fag, a chat and masala tea..
More foodporn on FB!Add: Vishal food and Catering, 18, Jalan Scott,
off Jalan sambathan,
50470, Kuala Lumpur,
Wilayah Persekutuan 50470