On our way back from Cameron Highlands, Jien and I made a pitstop for Anderson Curry House in Ipoh – a recommendation from a blog reader who claims they serve the best banana leaf rice in Ipoh. We got there slightly past lunch hour on a weekday when most people had already finished eating.
Fortunately, I called ahead to reserve a table so the owner was expecting us and thus, there was still food for us. Anderson Curry House serves banana leaf rice and briyani, with daily specials such as chicken cutlet, vegetable cutlet, prawn sambal, mutton curry and chicken varuval. Fried chicken and fish are also available, but from what I gathered, they are fried in advance and displayed for customers to select.
The food gives off a homely vibe – it felt as though we were dining in an Indian household. Service is prompt and friendly that day, lucky us for we were famished. Anderson Curry House charges RM9 per person for the basic banana leaf rice set, which comes with four vegetable sides and your choice of fish curry, chicken curry or dhal.
Between three adults, we shared a serving of prawn sambal (RM9), chicken varuval (RM14 – medium / two servings) and mutton curry (RM20 – medium / two servings). I liked the prawn sambal best as the prawns were fresh and crunchy, while the sambal was thick and adequately spicy with a sweet undertone.
We also enjoyed the mutton curry; tender pieces of mutton that were well seasoned in thick, rich gravy. I like that they serve proper mutton pieces instead of bones. The chicken varuval was not bad though I would have preferred it spicier. Both the chicken and mutton were tasty and well flavoured, but the spices are more subdued (Read: less “in-your-face”) – which gives off a home-cooked vibe.
I have to say – I’ve never enjoyed such delicious beetroot from a banana leaf rice restaurant. I usually skip this when I eat banana leaf rice but the one at Anderson Curry House had me going for a second serving. Their spinach and cucumber raita were also delicious. Our little girls really enjoyed them.
The fish curry and chicken curry may seem run-off-the-mill, but they tasted quite good and I didn’t feel thirsty after drowning my rice with curries. Their chicken and vegetable cutlet were also tasty and densely packed so it makes a substantial accompaniment to the banana leaf rice meal.
Perhaps we were lucky to dine off-peak hours, but we enjoyed our experience at Anderson Curry House. The staff were also pleasant and accommodating towards our little girls, who enjoyed their meal of rice, papadam and vegetables.
Mango lassi and plain lassi are available for RM5. The mango lassi was thick, creamy and not overly sweet while the plain lassi had a refreshing finish. Both lassi drinks were not watered down, which is rare at a banana leaf rice joint these days.
We paid about RM85 for all the above, including two cups of lassi. Fairly reasonable considering the portion.
Food: 7/10 (pork-free)
Verdict: I haven’t eaten enough banana leaf rice in Ipoh to say this is the best, but it is better than quite a few banana leaf rice joints I’ve tried in KL. Taste wise, definitely more homely.
Anderson Curry House
932, Jalan Raja Ashman Shah,
Business hours: 11am till 9pm