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Sunday 17 November 2013

Restoran Ali Maju (Sri Rampai)

Restoran Ali Maju
Jalan Rampai Niaga 3
Rampai Business Park
53300 Kuala Lumpur
(Coordinates: E101° 43' 40.1" N3° 11' 54.0")

(Preamble: Kuala Lumpur City Hall recently embarked on a city-wide crackdown on insanitary and dirty eateries within in its jurisdiction. We were shocked to find our favourite Mamak restaurants along Lorong Medan Tuanku closed down as a result of the crackdown. Restaurants like Hanifa and RSMY House of Real Beriani are now temporarily closed for at least two weeks until they pass the next health inspection. Notwithstanding this, we have now lost faith in these restaurants given that a large shadow of doubt has been cast on their cleanliness. Chances are we will no longer patronize these establishments.)

Brendan will be attending a debate camp for the next four days in Sri KDU International School in Kota Damansara. His Aunt Vivien was kind enough to offer him room and board for the next four nights at her place which is much closer to Kota Damansara then our apartment. Seeing as he won’t be able to get his fix of South Indian curry, we thought we’d take him to lunch at an Indian restaurant.

We read about this restaurant (Mani Curry House, 2030-1 Jalan Sentul 51000 Kuala Lumpur, Coordinates: E101° 41' 26.3" N3° 11' 50.0") online and thought we’d give it a try. Parking in this area can be a real challenge, and by sheer luck managed to find a decent bay nearby. I began to take some photographs of the exterior when I noticed the waiters gesturing to someone at the back of the restaurant. They were signaling that I had a camera and was taking pictures, and sure enough a Bangladeshi gentleman approached me and asked me to state my business. When I explained that the photographs were for a food ‘blog’ he asked me what it is that I want to ‘block’.

Cat and Brendan were in the midst of selecting their dishes when I asked that we immediately leave Mani Curry House. The look of horror on the Bangladeshi gentleman’s face was priceless! He must have thought that I was on my own and only came to the restaurant to take some photographs, not knowing that we were legitimate customers actually wanting to have our lunch there. He tried to restrain us from leaving by giving some lame excuse about not understanding what it was I was saying earlier, but to no avail.

jewel/gem or cheap trinket?

While we understand that a business has every right to deny anyone service, would it also be fair that we be allowed come to our own conclusions? When a restaurant is apprehensive about its patrons taking photographs of the premises it can only mean one thing… we can only construe that they have something to hide!

... like the plague?

So to anyone who bothers to read this: would it be too much to ask that you avoid Mani Curry House like the plague…?

Since we were still looking to have Indian curry for lunch we thought we’d try our default favourite, Steven’s Corner in Setapak (Lot 9136, Jalan 2/23D Prima Setapak, Jalan Genting Klang 53300 Kuala Lumpur [+60340229018] Coordinates: 3° 11' 56.50", 101° 42' 49.50") but were aghast to find it closed for renovation. This is not turning out to be our day.

with arms wide open!
in the heart of Sri Rampai

We then remembered Restoran Ali Maju in Sri Rampai and headed there. We were pleased as punch to find it open, and even more pleased to find that they welcomed our camera with wide open arms. That speaks volumes to the supreme confidence that they have in their restaurant’s cleanliness, don't you think Mani?

very spacious
the dishes that beckoned us
we were encouraged to take photos here
so we duly obliged

This has got to be one of the most spacious 1Mamak restaurants anywhere in Kuala Lumpur and only Steven’s Corner Setapak (sadly closed for renovation) is larger in terms of floor space. Brendan had the (what else?) Chicken Curry with white rice while Cat tried the Fried Mackerel with a side dish of Chilied Pickled Cucumbers with her white rice. I on the other hand ordered the Chicken Chop thinking that I’d avoid carbohydrates as much as I could (though the French Fries that came with it sort of defeated the purpose).

1Mamak, a term used in Malaysia to describe the local Indian Muslim community, culture and its marvellous cuisine!

for a change
Brendan's delectable chicken curry
Cat's ordinary fried mackerel
my (low-carb?) chicken chop
they could hardly wait, so they started without me

The verdict? Brendan absolutely loved his Chicken Curry while Cat thought her Fried Mackerel was pretty much on par with the standard Mamak fare. My Chicken Chop was also pretty average and took a pretty long to prepare, Cat and Brendan were already done eating when it was finally served. And the damage? It came to a pretty easy on the pocket RM30.80 even with a round of Coca-Cola for everyone. Would we come here again? Brendan says heck yeah!

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