A sudden craving for Biryani (Biriyani, Briyani or Beriani, however you spell it) brought me to Anjappar at Bangsar, a restaurant originating from Chennai that specializes in Chettinad cuisine. Chettinad cuisine is known for heavy use of spices, making it one of the most aromatic in India. And apparently, Anjappar also serves the best Mutton Biryani around according to my Indian colleagues. Well, they should know best.
Unlike our local version of Nasi Briyani that comes in individual claypots, the Biryani here is served traditionally in small steel pots. Cooling red onion Raita (Indian yogury salad) and spicy chicken curry gravy are the usual accompaniments.
Pour the pot’s contents onto the banana leaf provided to reveal the meat and a hard boiled egg. Priced at RM14 each, the portion of mutton in the Mutton Briyani was disappointingly small and consisted mostly bones. But nevertheless, the rice was appetizingly fragrant while the mutton was tender and delicious. I wolfed down everything in just minutes.
The Chicken Biriyani is surprisingly more expensive than the mutton version @ RM16, and the main reason for the price justification is that free range chicken is used. It is a lot spicier compared to the Mutton Biriyani.
Mango Lassi @ RM7, such a wonderful and refreshing drink.
Since our mission was to enjoy mutton, we were somewhat dissatisfied with the amount we had. So, we poked around the menu and ordered Mutton Sukka Varuval, a dish of dry fried mutton cubes with curry leaves, cashew nuts and loads of spices. But first, I need to clarify that it comes in only a small plate (about a palm’s size) and what you see in the pic above is actually a magnified one. That aside, the heavy dose of spices used made it taste really rich and goes excellently well with rice or plain biriyani.
Half Chicken Tandoori here actually means two pieces only, halfed into four portions.
While the drumstick is more succulent, the breast meat portion has a stronger seasoning of tandoori masala, which sort of made up for the dryness. I will admit that I haven’t tasted a lot of Chicken Tandoori, but this would surely go into my book as one of the better ones so far.
Other restaurants usually stinge and even charge you for papadums but you could get it FOC here, just ask for it. The papadums here are freshly prepared to order, paper thin and much crispier compared to the usual ones you see in Nasi Kandar restaurants. And the best thing about them is, they don’t stick to your teeth!
It won’t cost a bomb to have a meal at Anjappar but do keep in mind the food portions are smaller compared to other cuisines because the spices used are usually imported and pricey.
Anjappar Authentic Chettinad Restaurant
6, Jalan Maarof,
59100, Kuala Lumpur.
GPS Coordinates: N3 07.931 E101 40.335