I remember when I was still working in PJ, my colleagues and I would have banana leaf rice for lunch quite often. Not because we lacked choices, but because there were simply too many good banana leaf restaurants in town such as Raju’s, Kanna Curry House, Sri Paandi, Kashmir Cafe.. and the list goes on.
We’d regret having banana leaf for lunch as it never failed to make us sleepy at work afterwards. And yet we never learned the lesson and kept going back. Apparently, one of the better banana leaf that I missed out trying was Acha Curry House, an institution at Petaling Garden with a couple of surprises up their sleeves.
While most banana leaf restaurants serve chicken curry, fish curry and dhal for the gravy, Acha stands out for having salted fish curry, onion curry and crab curry too. That’s the first surprise.
2nd surprise? Excellent ikan bilis sambal. It’s so good that you won’t have any qualms paying extra RM1 for it. So crunchy, so tasty, so yummy.
And what else? Let’s see. The mutton varuval (RM7) is lipsmacking, the bitter gourd (RM4) is nice and crispy, and the fried fish (Tenggiri RM6, Ikan Bulos RM4) is fresh and well marinated in their own secret spices. Compared to the other bigger names such like Raju and Kanna, you won’t find as many fried items here such as prawns or sotong but that is compensated with better choices of curry.
What made our visit more special, was that Acha was celebrating its third year in business that day. So they cooked up a special chicken briyrani which they are extremely proud of. By the way, I was coerced into taking this photo. I thought it was rude to decline the request, and even ruder not to show it.
I am a sucker for Mango Lassi so I’d never miss having it. It’s RM4 a cup here, rich and very mangoey exactly like how good lassi should be. An interesting alternative would be soursop juice but I have had enough of that while operating my own fruit juice cafe.
Acha is no doubt a great place for banana leaf rice but it feels understaffed. This becomes even more evident during the peak lunch hours and orders go missing. Fortunately, the staff’s friendly and willing attitude makes up for the slight shortcoming.
Acha Curry Banana Leaf Restaurant
No 271, Jalan 5/51, Petaling Garden,
46000, Petaling Jaya
Business hours: 7.30am to 4.30pm
Tel: 012-273 5096 / 016-296 8809