When it comes to food, I have a special kind of love when it comes to Indian food. Growing up near a banana leaf restaurant in Subang Jaya, my parents and I frequent the establishment every weekend for some good mutton curry. Since then, my love for Indian curry and especially on banana leaf became one of my favourite soul food.
Now when it comes to curries, none can beat the Indian style. Although I love some of the Chinese styled fish head curry like the one in Damansara Uptown hawker centre, Indian style curries have a different taste to it. One of the obvious difference is the rich flavour of various types of spices added in the curry. Some may use the factory made pre-packed curry powder but not many of them grind their own powder.
That is the unique specialty of Cheeni’s Banana Leaf restaurant. Located in Plaza Damas, Sri Hartamas, Cheeni’s (not so) secret ingredients are in the curry powder itself. They grind their own curry powder for all their dishes and they doesn’t stop there. They also grow their own vegetables in their farm and directly buys their seafood supply from a fisherman’s village up North. Everything they serve are made fresh and without any artificial flavouring or pesticides.
I can totally vouch for that because recently I went to Cheeni’s Banana Leaf restaurant to sample some of their signature dishes. It was well worth it because I get to sample the freshest and most flavourful curry ever. You know the curry is good when you can eat with your hands but the smell doesn’t stick to your fingers for hours. At Cheeni’s, the smell on your fingers will disappear when you wash your hands. That means the curry powder is 100% pure with no additional flavouring added.
Now let’s dig in.
First on the menu is their famous Mutton 65 and Chicken 65 dishes. Honestly this is only the second time I tried this dish whereby my first time wasn’t that tasty. But the ones prepared by Cheeni’s is totally out of this world.
The Mutton 65 may look hard but once you put it in your mouth and take your first bite, it is actually very tender. I can really come back for more of this. And tapau lots more too.
The same can also be said about the Chicken 65. Same flavour and same tenderness of the chicken cutlets. Now I’m having a hard time deciding on which one I want to tapau. Both are good and both are flavourful. These are a must when you dine at Cheeni’s.
Next on the menu is their famous signature dish, the Crab Curry.
It is one of the best crab curry I have ever tasted. I had my shares of good chili crabs, curry crabs, masak lemak crabs and salted egg crabs, but Cheeni’s Curry Crab is something that I would love to have today, tomorrow and the next day after that. By then all the crabs will be gone leaving only the curry. That’s when I will use some white breads to pick up what’s left. Oh yes it’s that good. And no, they are not paying me to say this.
One look at that claw and you’re hooked. The taste of the curry seeps well into the crab meat. Every bite I took reminds me of all the best curries I’ve ever tasted in a single mouthful. Now that’s what I call, quality.
We also sampled a really good Fish Curry. They served a tenggiri fish for us on that day and it was well prepared and cooked. I am not really a fan of tenggiri fish but somehow Cheeni’s managed to turn me into a tenggiri fan. But only if it’s cooked at Cheeni’s and in a curry.
The Fish Curry was a little bit lighter on the gravy. Don’t let that fool you because the kick you get in the back-end is something to cry for. Make sure you have a full glass of milk next to you if or when you have this dish. If you love spicy, this is for you. All that spice and heat made this dish well balanced especially with the tenggiri fish.
What is Indian Banana Leaf food without the veggies right? I think I may have eaten this vege called “muringa” before but I can’t remember where. However, this particular one has become my favourite Indian style vegetable. You only eat the inside, but not the outer shell, just like Edamame. I love this.
My cravings for Indian banana leaf rice was fulfilled that night itself. A total of four awesome main dish was served and I love all of them. I love that they use all pure ingredients for their dishes without additional flavourings and MSG. I can safely say that everything was made with love.
We definitely enjoyed our time at Cheeni’s sampling one of the finest Indian cuisine, in my humble opinion. I for one will make some time to head over to Cheeni’s again in future for more curry-lucious meals. As their own tag line says, “OCD – Obsessive Curry Disorder”, which is so damn true.
If or when you wish to satisfy your cravings with some awesome Indian Banana Leaf rice meal, make sure you head over to Cheeni’s in Plaza Damas. Address below:
Cheeni’s Banana Leaf
K-01 Ground Floor Dorchester Apartment,
Plaza Damas, Jalan Hartamas 1,
Sri Hartamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur.