Chel­liah Toppu Bant­ing

Time Out Kuala Lumpur - - Food trip­pin’ - Food trip­pin’

An hour’s drive from KL will take you to Bant­ing, a town known for be­ing the home of the Sidek sib­lings and Chel­liah Toppu Bant­ing. Lo­cated just af­ter the Pub­lic Works Depart­ment build­ing, the un­marked toddy shop lies be­hind a bun­ga­low at the end of a dead-end road. But this is no speakeasy: owned and op­er­ated by Chel­liah Navaret­nas­inggam and his wife, the shop has been around for close to 50 years, and is one of the state’s few li­censed brew­ers of toddy: a tra­di­tional al­co­holic drink made from the partly fer­mented sap of the co­conut palm. The toddy (from RM11) comes in two sizes – in a chilled 1.5 litre bot­tle or a larger clay­pot jar – and can be drunk with Guin­ness or beer. We rec­om­mend hav­ing it on its own chilled and fresh: at this stage, the drink is sweet, re­fresh­ing and has a pleas­ant af­ter­taste of young co­conut. Leave it for a cou­ple of hours, how­ever, and the drink starts to de­velop a tart flavour as the nat­u­ral mi­crobes con­vert more sugar to al­co­hol and acetic acid.

Aside from toddy, the place serves up sev­eral types of In­dian meat cur­ries (from RM7) in­clud­ing chicken and mut­ton, but the wild boar curry is its stand­out dish: un­like pork curry, the flavours in this curry are deeper and richer, and the kitchen doesn’t hold back on the fatty chunks of boar – just what you need to off­set the al­co­holic sweet­ness of the fresh toddy.

Off Jalan Sul­tan Ab­dul Sa­mad, Bant­ing (03 3181 5657/­li­ahTop­puBant­ing). Daily, 10am-6pm.


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