Annalakshmi1 Jun 2012
Walking through Annalakshmi’s welcoming doors and into a grand family-style dining hall filled to the brim was a reward in itself. Treated to wafting hints of exotic flavours coupled with attentive service and an inviting ambiance, it is the most heart-warming greeting one could expect. The high volume of guests was a clear indication that the dining experience ahead was not going to disappoint.
While an a la carte menu is made available during the week, a full vegetarian buffet comprising a blend of local, Northern and Southern Indian dishes are sometimes offered as part of a special promotion on selected occasions. Our timing could not have been better because it was Mother’s Day and that was reason enough to celebrate.
A beautiful spread of starters, main courses and desserts had been laid out and it was easy to tell that original recipes had been carefully observed to preserve the authenticity of each dish. The Cauliflower Cheese Soup, Dahi Vada and Mealmaker Cutlets were excellent appetisers to begin the meal with. While light on the stomach, it was apparent the arrangement was deliberately designed to whet one’s appetite.
After a highly satisfying first round which was washed down with a delicious Mango Lassi, we quickly found ourselves at the buffet table once again hungry for more. Waiting our turn, the fragrance of the Pulav had us at first whiff and we knew immediately we simply had to have some.
Accompanying that one serving of rice mixed in with vegetables and seasoned with herbs were spoonfuls of Dhall with Chickpeas, Taufu Pok Kulambu (Onion and Garlic Gravy) Long Brinjal Hot Curry and Leek and Carrot Varai; dishes which are hands-down a fresh taste of heaven, minus the usual spicy twang.
The Til Mil Aloo Mutter (Dry Curried Potatoes) and Palak Panner (Green Vegetable Mix) which followed were a handsome pair when consumed with crispy papadams and a slice of lightly-browned Chapati fresh off the grill. A second helping was in order. We succumbed to our craving for more rice and curry before taking a quick break. A chilled glass of Lime Juice during the interval offered our gorged bellies instant relief, making room for the big finish later. An enticing selection of desserts looked up at us with charming eyes.
The Raita (fruit yoghurt) and Chapakali (mini Gulab Jamun cupcakes) graciously helped sweeten our disposition but it was the Black Pulut Payasam which took the cake. Thick in texture, rich in flavour and made to perfection, that final treat was the winner. This dish certainly won itself only praise and no complaints.
Overall, the encounter was pleasant with generous surprises here and there. However, we appreciated more the fact that the restaurant channels a significant amount of its profits to charity. Great food at the heart of nobility—bravo Annalakshmi, well done! We’ll be back soon.
Address:116 Jalan Berhala, Brickfields, KL
Telephone: 03 – 2272 3799