This is not a sight from a normal mamak shop. Spot those ceramic pots which contains a plethora of sinful pleasures? This photo depicts the business inside a Indian curry house, not to be confused with Indian Muslim operated mamak eateries. Mamak is generally associated with maggi goreng, roti canai and their curry dishes ala Nasi Kandar. A good example: Remember the infamous Nasi Kandar Line Clear in Penang which I blogged about last year?
But in an Indian curry house, you get this! Yes, both meals in a typical mamak and indian curry house are sleep inducing, but the latter has its rice served on banana leaf. Another significant difference from mamak is all the items in a banana leaf set is refillable! Yes, you can call for your second (or even third) serving of rice, vegetables sides and papadam for your bottomless pit! This is the modus operandi in a typical Indian curry house, if there is one significant trait you have to remember, take note of this: EAT TILL YOU DROP! No signs of Rasam, but there is this soup served in small stainless steel cups which tasted like soup bunjut paired with masala spices.
Another noticeable difference is traditional Indian sweets/candies. It's not a common sight nowadays in Ipoh. Little India in Ipoh old town area is the only place which comes to my mind when there is cravings for this traditional delicacies.
Talk about Indian banana leaf rice and you will think of Old Andersonians Cafe and Sri Asoka's Corner (the addictive Nasi "Ganja" Vanggey should not be classified under the same category as its considered Nasi Kandar). Hence, there is not much places to get your banana leaf rice fix (I remember my cravings for it during my uni days and I will head for Sri Paandi if you are in Klang Valley). Else, take a slightly longer drive to the sleepy town of Chemor. Behold the pride of this town - Restoran Samy.
As shown earlier, you get a huge serving of banana leaf rice and sides of the day. There's only 3 side dishes - pickled cucumber, shredded cabbage and mashed potato curry (a typical filling for Puri). I wished they could have 1 or 2 more variety - I remember having some mashed spinach dish and fried bittergourd while I had mine in KL. Hmmm.. the curried potatoes is damn good - adding on more calories to the humongous portion of rice. A meat dish is near compulsory else you will end up having plain vegetarian rice. This is the curry mutton...
...and this the curry chicken. I really loved the mutton curry which had a slightly thicker curry gravy compared to the chicken curry. The curries are not thumb numbing hot, but is still spicy. One small serving could be shared among two, unless you are a meat lover. Or you don't mind burning a hole in your pocket. Mind you, the meat dishes are never cheap in an Indian curry house. The total bill for 4 of us (with 1 serving of curry chicken and 1 serving of mutton curry plus 3 limau ais) came to RM47. If you don't mind spending "a bit" more, be a bit adventurous and try their curry prawns and curry flower crabs. I assure that you will find it satisfying despite coming with a price, a hefty one that is.
Apart from watermelons, the dessert of the day was this Pumpkin Sago Dessert. Served warm, it may be too sweet and rich for certain people but a single serving is fine for me. In fact, I loved to take another serving but the huge portion of calories taken in prior to the dessert is too much for a working adult which have another half day in office. There's bits of sago, almonds, raisins and the bright hue of orange coloured puree might be a mixture of pumpkin, milk, ghee and spices like cardamon and saffron (just taking a wild guess). I totally loved this dessert!
There you have it, Restoran Samy in Chemor town (almost 15 minutes drive from my work place in Tasek Industrial Area) serving authentic Indian curries and banana leaf rice - leaving you to be in a groggy state on a sleepy Friday afternoon. Well, we don't term it as sleep inducing lunch for no apparent reason :)