Thursday, October 12, 2006

Gandhi Vegetarian Stall, Bricksfield, Kuala Lumpur

I was thinking to myself, with a name like that, it's bound to attract some attention. In truth, I would never have found this place if not for my a friend whom was in turn introduced to this stall by his colleague. Bricksfield as I've heard is Kuala Lumpur's equivalent of Little India. And Gandhi's isn't exactly located where the pedestrian is the thickest, so this is one of those hole in the walls which requires some familiarity to locate. But it's also just about 10 minutes walk from KL Sentral station.

I was told that this place was well known for their delicious vegetarian food. The original owner is retired and the eatery is currently managed by his son who is also a competent cook in his own right.

Since it was a first visit, I left the ordering to the friend has been here on enough occasions for the boss to aloha him. So dinner was the ikan bakar, chilli chicken and apple laila. The former two dishes don't contain meat of course.

We were served with rice and curry which was refillable on request. Ended up eating a lot of rice because the curry was good stuff. Before I even knew it, I had eaten more than usual. I kid you not. It might not have been the best curry in the world, but it's pretty DFG.

The ikan bakar was a mock barbecued fish. Having had vegetarian "meats" before from Chinese places, I've got to admit that this by far takes the cake of being the one that tastes the most like real fish meat. It has a had crusty and spicy exterior akin to the charred sections of barbecued stingray and it's really good.

This chilli chicken is made of bean curd skin (tao ki, for those that know it by that). It is arranged to look like chicken wings and for the moment when it was served, I had actually forgotten that this wasn't real chicken, thinking about how inconvenient it might be to have bones in my food. Heh, it looked pretty convincing as chicken wings with the fried skin soaked in gravy very much like braised chicken. Also spicy and great tasting. The gravy tasteed like kung pao chicken.

We ordered the apple laila having no idea what it was except that it probably has apples. The name sounded interesting. The dish was actually lightly stewed apples in a starchy gravy with lemons and chilli. Lightly stewed because it still maintained a crunchiness. It was very appetizing and I've never had anything like it anywhere else.

The damage for dinner was just 30 ringgit for the food, lime tea and plum juice. For what it's worth, that was definitely good and inexpensive. One of the gems in a run down looking district worth taking the trouble to locate. Gave me that "I forgot this all doesn't contain meat" experience like Original Sin did.

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