Aunty Manju’s Banana Leaf Rice is said to serve good banana leaf rice within the TTDI vicinity – a spot where many of my friends and followers go whenever they want to satisfy their cravings. I was told they do a delicious rendition of fried squid and mutton curry, which prompted me to pay them a visit.
The restaurant is especially crowded during weekends and finding a table can be difficult unless you arrive before 1pm. We were there slightly after the lunch crowd left and a table so happened vacated in time for us to sit down. Service is brisk but not particularly friendly, unless you count the guy at the frying station – he’s a pleasant chap.
Food is served on proper banana leaf and you get four types of vegetables to go with rice. Dhal, chicken and fish curry are available; go with fish and chicken, as I find dhal too mild in general. Papadam is served after the curries and vegetables are served but if they forget, remind them.
We opted for the mutton varuval, fried chicken and fried squid – all arrived fairly quickly. I find the fried chicken adequately juicy but lacking spices and seasoning in general. The mutton varuval is pretty good as you get tender enough chunks of meat, packed with flavour and aroma.
I have mixed feelings about the fried squid. On one hand, I like how they are generous with the portion. Some places give really little squid and a whole lot of onions to “make up for volume” but Aunty Manju’s serve more of the former. I do feel the batter could be lighter and stronger in spice, but it’s still pretty decent nonetheless.
The curries could be thicker and more robust in flavour, but I guess it boils down to cooking style. I have yet to try their mutton bone marrow curry so that calls for another visit soon. It can be pretty hot eating here so remember to dress appropriately. I’d say, drop by before the afternoon sun sets in or for dinner and you’ll be fine.
We paid about RM60 for the above, inclusive of two drinks. Reasonable, considering the amount of side items we ordered.
Food: 6.5/10 (pork-free)
Verdict: Order the mutton varuval and fried squid.
18, Jalan Tun Mohd Fuad 1,
Taman Tun Dr Ismail,
60000 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-7733 5954
Business hours: 7am till 12am