While I was still working in PJ, Raju’s at Jalan Gasing had always been the top choice for Banana Leaf among my colleagues. There are a couple of reasons they like this place but the main ones are: fried chicken and a large outdoor seating that could accomodate big groups.
Strategically located near the green lung of PJ – Raju’s is quite cooling even in a hot afternoon much thanks to the many big trees around that act as nature’s umbrellas. So, when compared to the other Banana Leaf restaurants that are usually cramped, Raju’s dining environment is more open and inviting.
Raju’s mascot would be the first thing to greet you upon reaching the restaurant. I am still struggling to decide whether it is a smiling tosai or cigarette.
I am aware there are many complaints about Raju’s service. But I had been here quite a number of times and we never had problems with the service. You see, friendly service with a smile! That, or because of my camera.
Although they are also famous for their roti canai (how good I don’t know since I never tried), Banana Leaf with fried fish are what I always order here. Yeah, I am not exactly a big fan of their fried chicken – a bit too tough for my liking. If you are wondering, that vague looking piece of dark thing is actually a fish roll, ok?
Kashmir Cafes is a neighborhood restaurant in SS3 that is making a comeback after they closed down many years ago. The current location of Kashmir Cafes is only a few shops away from their previous one, hence the apt slogan of “old taste, new place”. But first, I just want to cut to the chase by saying Kashmir Cafes serves really good banana leaf rice, even better than the big boys in PJ like Raju, Sri Paandi and Kanna Curry House.
The main reason I feel the banana leaf rice (RM5.50 for vegetarian set) at Kashmir Cafes is better because the side dishes are not mass produced like others, which aims to cater to the large customer base. So what you get here is more quality tasting food.
To be honest, I never really fancied the assortment of vegetables so I usually have to order extras like curries or fried stuff to complete the meal. But so far, Kashmir Cafes is the only exception for me. Their vegetarian sides not only look decent, but are also tasty enough (this coming from a meat lover) that I could actually finish a banana leaf rice without any meat.
There are quite many Banana Leaf restaurants in PJ and the famous are Sri Paandi, Raju and Kanna Curry House. Recently, Sri Paandi has become my favorite one for being reasonably priced unlike the other two, which could get quite cut throat just for a simple meal. Even though Raju is the most expensive of all I like still like their airy environment and efficient table service. Sri Paandi on the other hand, is lacking on these two.
Here, it cost RM4.50 for a traditional banana leaf rice set (vegetarian) with free refills of rice, vegetable curries, papadum and chutney. This should be the chepest banana leaf rice in the vicinty. Others would cost at least RM5 to RM5.50 for the same and free sweets are also given if you ask for it.
Ah Mamak Restaurant, how I miss thou! When it comes to mamak food I dare say Malaysia has the best. I cringed when I saw my plate of maggi goreng was fried with ketchup in Singapore. Seriously? Ketchup in Maggi Goreng? omg.
So I always make it a point to get myself a mamak fix whenever I return to Malaysia, even if it is a short trip. So recently (well not so recent actually), the famous Murni Mamak restaurant from SS2 had opened a branch at Aman Suria. It is a good news for frequent Murni goers because the original shop at SS2 is simply too crowded. And not to mention the hygiene is questionable too.
This photo has Murni SS2 painted all over it lol. If you are a first timer at Murni the only drink you should order is their signature Ribena Lychee juice. They are not stingy with the Ribena syrup so the taste is really ‘kao’. At the SS2 branch usually it would be served in a bottle though.