In­dian

Time Out Malaysia Eating and Drinking Guide - - PENANG -

NEW Chet­tiar’s Tif­fin Café 39 Le­buh Pe­nang, George Town (04 262 2443).

This hum­ble café sits almost at the start of Pe­nang’s Lit­tle In­dia on Le­buh Pe­nang. Its menu of­fers not only the usual In­dian favourites (such as curry, samosa, biryani, murtabak and the like) but also fish and chips, prawn noo­dles and break­fast of eggs and sausages. The lat­ter cer­tainly sets it apart from all the other restau­rants in the area, which nor­mally of­fer straightup In­dian fare and lit­tle else. For a smaller meal, we’d rec­om­mend the veg­gie burger at RM6. It comes with a small serv­ing of fries and coleslaw. The veg­gie burger patty is made of 100 per­cent mashed vegetables, in­clud­ing car­rots and onions. It has a ten­dency to crum­ble but the tex­ture and spicy flavour re­deems it in our opin­ion. Be warned that this is a spicy one – slather­ing the coleslaw onto the burger be­fore your first bite cools down the spici­ness a lit­tle. If you’re there for just a drink, the lo­cal cof­fees are pretty good, but do grab a samosa or two. You won’t re­gret it.

Pork-free. Child friendly. Daily, 8.30am–10pm. $

Chet­tiar’s Tif­fin Café Kedai Kopi Toon Leong, Jalan Trans­fer.

By 10am, Deen Nasi Kan­dar is nor­mally close to sold out. The qual­ity of the nasi kan­dar here is ex­cel­lent; topped with selections of beef, squid, fish or chicken, as well as var­i­ous vegetables. Make sure to try the cat­fish head curry.

$

Gem’s Restau­rant: House of Fine In­dian Cui­sine 66 Le­buh Bishop, George Town (04 262 4070/Face­book: Gem Restau­rant Pe­nang).

Gem’s door­knobs ap­pear in the form of two or­nately em­bel­lished ele­phants and its ex­pan­sive din­ing area is strewn with In­dian por­traits, wood carv­ings and sculp­tures. But make no mis­take; Gem isn’t all style and no sub­stance. The fact that Gem hails from In­dia can be taken as an as­sur­ance of authenticity – its team of In­dian chefs spe­cialise in tra­di­tional and con­tem­po­rary In­dian cui­sine, as is im­me­di­ately ev­i­dent in the first dig into the Hy­der­abad Chicken. The name of the restau­rant prob­a­bly stems from Gem’s self-pro­claimed prin­ci­ple of treat­ing cus­tomers like pre­cious jew­ellery, and judg­ing from its three out­lets in Malaysia, its pa­trons must be en­joy­ing the pam­per­ing. Its sig­na­tures in­clude palak but­ter masala, which con­tains pieces of home­made cheese in a spiced curry com­ple­mented best with naan. Also try the fish moilee Ker­ala style and mut­ton sheekh ke­bab, which uses ten­der lo­cal mut­ton, in­fused with a fra­grant spici­ness.

Ha­lal. Child friendly. Credit cards ac­cepted. Daily, 11am–11pm. $$

Kap­i­tan’s 93 Le­buh Chu­lia (04 264 1191).

Open 24 hours a day, Kap­i­tan’s has made a name for it­self and its tan­doori chicken. Kap­i­tan’s is also known for its nasi biryani, naans and badam milk,

a rather ec­cen­tric mix of a drink made from pure cow milk boiled with ground al­mond, cashew nuts and raisins with sugar.

Pork-free. Daily, 24 hours. $

Karaikudi Restau­rant 20 Jalan Pasar, George Town; 1K Jalan Sun­gai Kelian, Tan­jung Bun­gah (04 263 1345/www.karaikudi.com.my).

Nes­tled deep in the heart of Lit­tle In­dia, Karaikudi Restau­rant of­fers quin­tes­sen­tial South In­dian fare. Some of its most renowned dishes in­clude the pep­per-fried ladies’ fin­gers, the mut­ton chukka varu­val (mut­ton cooked with onions, spices and curry leaves) and the masala tho­sai.

Pork-free. Credit cards ac­cepted. Daily, 11am–11pm; closed on Deep­avali. $

Kashmir Restau­rant 105 Jalan Pe­nang (04 263 7411).

The tan­doori chicken at Kashmir restau­rant is highly ac­claimed, as is the naan. Although Kashmir may be on the pricier end of the scale, it ex­cels in terms of range; it not only serves a huge va­ri­ety of North­ern In­dian and Kash­miri ap­pe­tis­ers, main cour­ses and desserts, it also dou­bles as a bar that of­fers a mélange of cock­tails and spir­its to ac­com­pany your meal. Kashmir, with an au­then­tic In­dian flair, is or­nately em­bel­lished and dimly lit in a man­ner that af­fords it a cosi­ness that makes din­ing there a plea­sure.

Child friendly. Credit cards ac­cepted. Dis­abled friendly. Daily, 11am–11pm. $$

Pas­sions of Ker­ala 102-C-3, New World Park, 102 Jalan Burma (04 227 2550); 5 Lorong En­dah 4, Brown Gar­den, Gel­u­gor (04 357 8550).

Pas­sions of Ker­ala is known for its ba­nana leaf rice – a South In­dian dish com­prised of rice ac­com­pa­nied by vegetables, pop­padoms, dhal and curry served on a ba­nana leaf. One can also or­der sup­ple­men­tary dishes such as the sig­na­ture crab masala, deep-fried bawal hi­tam (black pom­fret), sam­bal fish, fried squid and chicken masala, which are served atop a ba­nana leaf.

Ha­lal. Child friendly. Dis­abled friendly. Daily, 12noon–3.30pm, 6.30pm– 10.30pm. $

NEW Pe­nang Spe­cial Samosa 45 Le­buh Queen, George Town (016 401 7595).

This unas­sum­ing stall has a way with the lo­cals, and you'll be pleased to dis­cover a range of deep-fried In­dian snacks on dis­play. Be­gin this hum­ble ex­plo­ration with some golden crispy samosas stuffed with tuna, chicken or vegetables. Other tid­bits like vadai, halwa mas­card and pakkoda are also good for teatime snacks. Be­fore you leave, buy a bag of chick­peas sea­soned with chilli, spices and curry leaves. You won't re­gret it.

Ha­lal. Mon–Sat, 9am till late; closed on Sun. $

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