21 Jul Banana Leaf Rice at Old Andersonian Club and Cafeteria
Being typically Malaysian, we are foodies …. and are blessed to be in a country where we have a multitude of different cuisines due to our cultural background such as Malay, Chinese, Indian or even Thai(!). Like everything else in Malaysia, our food is a flamboyant combination of all the diverse people who make up our country. Here at home, there is always an abundance of places to eat at any time of the day, from expensive restaurants to simple street stalls or hawker centres.
Since we had reviewed Chinese and Malay food, it’s time to taste some banana leaf curry rice and decided to trod down to Old Andersonian Club & Cafeteria (which is the alumus of Sekolah Menegah Kebangsaan Anderson) located at the corner of D.R. Seenivasagam roundabout which, coincidentally near the school itself. After some digging, this cafeteria was rated as one of the top 10 best authentic Indian cuisines in Ipoh and it has been famous in serving authentic Moghul (Mughlai) cuisine and Banana Leaf Rice since 2006 according to their owner, Mr. Karthar Singh. One of the unique point about this place? It serves the best of both worlds on one platter; Southern and Northern Indian fusion in the afternoon, and pure Northern Indian cuisine at night.
When stepping into the cafeteria, we came to realise that most of the tables are pre booked with ‘reserved’ signs; but thank our lucky stars, managed to get a bigger table for the girl’s lunch date! Since it’s our first time here (locals from Ipoh don’t really get around! Surprise! Surprise!), we didn’t know what to order and asked for some suggestions and explanations from the the friendly owner. Lunch was buffet style where you get to pick what you want and it will be served to you. Each of us was given a piece of banana leaf with white rice on top, and on the table came the usual 4 vegetable/chutney accompaniments of the day with choices of 3 Curry – Chicken, Fish and Dhal (Lentil). While some prefer mixing all 3 curries, some of us opted to try the Chicken and Dhal Curry mix on top of our white rice, as we believed that chicken curry goes better with white rice, don’t you think? A complimentary steel cup containing Rasam (sour spicy Indian soup made from spices and dried chili. Every Indian home has it’s own secret recipe) was served with the sets.
5 Banana Leaf Plain White Rice with 7 Dishes
Plain White Rice with Chicken Curry, Fish Curry & Dhal Curry
Mutton Vindaloo, Chicken Masala, Prawn Masala, Chicken Cutlet ordered plus our Family Member getting ready to Dig In! Mr. Karthar Singh is the owner of The Old Andersonain’s Cafe.
Among many dishes displayed, we ordered some of the ‘must-have-dishes’ as in Chicken Masala, Mutton Vindaloo with Potatoes, Baby Squid with Yogurt and Turmeric, Chicken & Fish Cutlet, Fried Chicken, Shredded Fried Potatoes, Prawn Masala, and of course, Papadam. All of their dishes were served in a small round metal bowl and charged at RM12.00 per bowl generally, with the exception of Mutton Vindaloo and Prawn Masala at RM14.00 for the more exorbitant dishes . Based on our past experience of having Indian food is that it can be very spicy at times, but to our delight, it had the right amount of spices but was not chili spicy calling it the ‘perfect balance’ based on our collective opinion. There were some of our family members who preferred it a little more spicy, but that’s another story …. The Chicken Masala had the right amount of chilli spice and creamy meatily tender. Many of us loved their Aloo Gobi; fried cauliflower with turmeric and spices and the cauliflower was softer after it soaked up the gravy, releasing it’s flavour. Some of us weren’t a big fan of lamb but tasted a bit of it since it is one of the famous dishes, to be honest, the first sip of it was rather spicy to us (this is the gang that can’t take spiciness) and so I stopped taking the second mouthful but honestly the mutton was tender, which is pretty rare these days.
Overall, the meal was quite satisfying and we would definitely come back for other dishes or maybe a cup of Mango Lasi next round! For 6 persons (including takeaway for papa), we spent about RM115.00, that comes about RM20.00 per person for an authentic Indian Cuisine was fairly reasonable as it is full of different type of spices. If you are worried about parking slots, don’t worry as they have their own compound just in front of the cafeteria, quite well shaded as there is a big tree at the front of the cafeteria. For your information, this location is near Ipoh General Hospital and so car parking can be hard to find, so it’s a golden egg that they have their own parking compound!
Papa unfortunately was busy again, and he has this weird philosophy that if you eat food cold (he had the takeaway for dinner!) and if it taste’s good, then the food in his eyes would be good! The next day, he only said the same of the Spicy Gang – The Food was not spicy enough but the mutton was tender; perhaps the food would have tasted better on location when it was freshly cooked and hot. We could not coax any other comments out from him ….. hurm …… A word of caution; Reservations is recommended!