Monday, 2 May 2011

Restaurant: Sri Ananda Bahwan - Tanjung Bungah, Penang (Top Pick)

Many thanks to Peggy from Ivory (property developers) for taking me here for an impromptu lunch after we had been to look at the Moonlight Bay residences in Batu Ferringhi this morning. Peggy had a couple of clients to show there and I tagged along out of interest just to check if anything immediately appealed as Moonlight is built now. More of Moonlight later. As we had finished there at about lunch time (nothing too specific here :-)) we decided to grab something to eat. Taking advantage of the local knowledge I asked Peggy to decide where to go. We ended up going to a superb Indian mamak style restaurant called Sri Ananda Bahwan. It just rolls of the tongue so dead easy to remember.

The restaurant is opposite the Flamingo Hotel on the Tanjung Bungah road and despite being lunch time it was busy, and I mean busy. They do however have plenty of staff and finding a nice table was still possible. The restaurant serves a wide variety of dishes and has an extensive menu which is very reasonably priced. They also have a tandoor oven so are able to offer a wide range of traditionally cooked tandoori food also. We opted for a selection of dishes including:

  • Aloo Gobi (potato and cauliflower)
  • Palack Paneer (spinach and cheese curry)
  • Butter Chicken Masala (what it says on the tin!!)
  • Prawn Masala Sambal
  • 3 Plain Nan

They were flat out busy so the dishes did take a little time to arrive but it did give me chance to whet the appetite and slake the thirst with a large ice cold Tiger (640 ml bottle) at RM 14. And besides, who cares how long it takes really. It was nice to see that the do serve a very wide range of drinks including beers, lassis, shakes, sodas, canned drinks and several interesting tea and coffee options.

When the meal arrived it was WELL worth waiting for!! The chicken was tender, spicy and rich and the aloo gobi was well flavoured and the vegetables were well cooked with a little bite rather than the pulpy mush some places can turn out. The prawn masala was the only slightly weak offering and for me could have been a little more spicy and rich, having said that it was still very pleasant and provided a nice balance to the meal. The paneer dish though was really outstanding. Well flavoured, intensely aromatic and each mouthful a real delight. Complete with 2 bottles of Tiger (well, it was sunny and it was a public holiday - for some), a mango lassi and tea it came to a staggering RM 77. Staggering for an obvious reason. Many Westerners will be used to paying this for the chicken dish alone.

It is nice when you come across places like this at opportune moments and the quality of the food and prices for me make the Sri Ananda Bahwan well worthy of a *Top Pick*, a place to which I will definitely return.

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