One of the finest spots in Petaling Jaya?
Living in Klang Valley means one thing when it comes to banana leaf rice delicacy – you are spoilt for choices. If you decide to go banana leaf rice hunting, most of the Klang Valley resident you know will probably mention Kanna Curry House in Petaling Jaya as one of the must-try.
It has been a while since we last had banana leaf rice, and we were ready to indulge in the best one Klang Valley has to offer. On one fine Saturday, we set our GPS and braved the busy traffic to Seksyen 17, Petaling Jaya to find this supposedly fine spot.
Kanna Curry House is not easy to miss. Located amidst rows of private business premises, the restaurant was the only one bustling with people on a weekend. A huge yellow signage bearing their name gave it the look of a typical Indian restaurant – bright and always available when your appetite needs a dose of Indian food.
It was busy as we entered the restaurant. Waiters in yellow uniforms moved about attending patrons, carrying oversized trays of foods and drinks. There were 3 sections set up for dining –an air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned section and an open air dining area across the street.
We settled in the air-conditioned area and immediately, a waiter came to prepare our table. We were ready to relish the aroma of a banana leaf, but as he prepared the table it was a major displeasure to find out that what was laid for our feast was only a piece of green paper that resembles a banana leaf. Whatever happened to real banana leaf was only left to our imagination.
Another waiter came and served some hot rice, together with a trio of vegetable dish – a flavoursome bitter gourd curry, a bland cucumber salad and a mediocre tasting diced potato dish. Three free-flow choices of curry were also available for us – chicken, fish and dhal (lentil). They also suffered the same mediocrity to its taste.
It was the basic set but there were more choices of dishes from the menu which was charged separately.
So should we all make a run to Petaling Jaya?
Our appetite almost went numb. Perhaps we set our expectations too high. However, we decided to move on with the disappointment and asked for more dishes. Kanna Curry House was said to have the best spicy deep fried squids and mutton varuval, so we ordered them with hopes that it would surpass what we have experienced earlier.
We tasted the dishes with a pinch of salt. Not literally though, but much to our pleasure, the squids and mutton did not disappoint.
The deep fried squids were particularly delicious. The batter was not so thick, and somehow they managed to keep the texture of the squids from becoming rubbery. It was also fried with onions and curry leaves that gave a boost of aroma and flavor, it reawakened our appetites.
The mutton varuval came in a smaller plate than the squids. It was piping hot as it arrived. There were only around four to five small pieces of mutton in it, with some dried chillies and curry leaves. The gravy was generous but the portion was still too small.
The taste however, was unforgettable in a good way. As we tasted the gravy, the delicate balance of spice came out nicely; it managed to keep the pungent smell of mutton away. The heat came a bit later and the next thing we know we were gulping down water to wash it away. Despite the heat, we finished the plate anyway. Our verdict was that it deserved the popularity.
Some people told us to fold the banana leaf top-down if we are happy with the food, but fold it bottom-up if you feel otherwise. In all honesty, we were stuck in the middle.
For a two person meal we were charged RM53, and that seemed like a lot on the overpriced side. With a second-rate tasting basic set, they probably managed to get away with their specialty dishes such as the squid and mutton.
Personally, Kanna Curry House is a tad overrated. It may be worthy of a revisit, but only if we do not manage to find any tastier specialty Indian dish anywhere else.
Kanna Curry House No 29, Jalan 17/45,
46400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Phone: 03 7958 4814
Operating hours: Opens daily, 7am to 10pm
/// Written by Ayuni Ayatillah, Malaysia