Passions of Kerala, Penang, Malaysia

When my cousin had visited, it was fantastic company to scout around for great eating  places…so we decided to put technology to good use and searched for restaurant serving vegetarian food in Penang….one particular one caught our eye….Passions of Kerala…
Being from Kerala, both of us missed it and set off with our hope flying higher than a kite and our taste buds….on the gear…
Passions of Kerala is located in New World Park outlet, which is a quite office area, not much of tourists around. But the  unassuming restaurant is a bustling place  in the afternoons….
It was a little wait to find a place to sit…it was a blessing in disguise so we could read all the newspaper blow up placed right at the entrance
The ambience was skillful outside. Inside it had easy sitting places….which could hold quite a crowd.
We were received with a basket of crunchy papadoms….followed by the well used menu.
They were an array of crunchy starters which we could not decide upon….finally we settled on deep fried crispy okra, a banana leaf meal -which they are famous for-as the main, and a few drinks to start off…
Munching on the papodoms we kept observing the crowd…mainly working people, and you could evidently see that they were quite a number of regulars there.
Our crispy hot okra arrived and it was irresistible…along with our drinks. The okra fries were good, drinks… decent…
Our banana leaves were laid and with swift steady hands we were quickly served with the side dishes and rice. Then we had a long wait for the sambhar as it was house ful.
Now comes the man behind the  scene, Mr. Madhavan, who pauses at every table to talk to his customers, some of them so used to him. We had a nice chat and he advised us to try the home speciality of aviyal and pumpkin curry. It was interesting to know that his passion for food came from his father,and we could evidently see that he was happy to see his business thriving.
Ok, now back to food.
The side dishes served with the banana leaf meal were more so catering to a regulars palate( I guess), had  a greens stir fry, a tofu and sprout tomato ketchup based curry, and  mixed vegetable curry in thick coconut milk with a sweet pickle and sambar.
The star of the show I would say was the pumpkin curry….. fingerlicking good….with the sweet pumpkin balanced with the fire of chillies…. hmmmm
The aviyal was a good portion to share… and as Mr. Madhavan rightly pointed out…. an excellent try for a Chinese cook….
The meal was sumptuous.. and quite a value for money…the banana leaf meal priced at RM 5.50.
There are a few things which I would like to point out here….go in there for a good banana leaf curry meal… not an authentic Kerala meal and if you are a staunch vegetarian use the outside table as the smell is a bit overpowering inside.
Overall it was a great experience, a great insight into a man’s passion…
Would I go back again……yes … I will love to try their Gelugor outlet……especially for the yummy okra fry.. May be this time… even the crispy bitter gourd..and the sweetest pumpkin curry…..
Don’t forget…. fold the banana leaf towards you…when you had a good time….we sure did… hope you do too…

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