Monday, 22 August 2011

Restaurant: Karaikudi - Market Street, Georgetown, Penang

I would like to thank my friend Chona Bacani (manager at the Muntri Mews Hotel) for recommending this restaurant to me. It is in the Little India part of Georgetown and, not surprisingly therefore, is an Indian restaurant. Named Karaikudi it is in Market Street in Georgetown.

Quite easy to spot from the outside its interior is somewhat Spartan and dare I say, a little bright for my liking. Some less harsh lighting and a few well placed candles would add to the atmosphere tremendously but you should not let this put you off from trying the place for some good, and very reasonably priced Indian fayre. The restaurant serves a variety of Southern, Northern and the somewhat harder to find Chetinadu cuisine.Pitched at a level that’s somewhere between food court and the more upmarket restaurants like the Kashmir and Maharajah (both reviewed in this blog) it is very popular with the locals, especially at around 9pm on the weekends.

I visited there with a friend and we ordered quite a wide range of food to ensure we encountered a wide range of cooking techniques and styles in order to do as thorough review as possible.

We started of with some vegetable samosas and a portion of these is two pieces which would be enough for one as a single starter and for two if mixed with maybe another starter. The samosas were very tasty, the pastry was not too thick and they were jammed full of a variety of well spiced and seasoned vegetables. In fact you could almost east these without any accompanying chilli dressing or raita which I often find I need with samosas both to moisten them a little and, dare I say, even add some flavour in some cases.

We also ordered some chicken tikka and the portion of this was sizable, maybe 8 pieces or so. This was very nice indeed having been well marinated and cooked very well in the tandoor oven which imparted a superb barbeque flavour to it. Rounded of with a raita and onion salad this dish was superb.

For the main course we opted for a selection comprising palak paneer (rapidly becoming a favourite of mine), a prawn masala and a lamb rogan gosht. All of the dishes were exceptionally nice. The palak paneer (Indian cheese with spinach) was well flavoured with whole as well as ground spices with the green cardamom imparting a particularly nice flavour. The lamb was served partially off the bone in large cubes and in a very rich and thick sauce. The prawn masala was exceptional however and had a very subtle blend of spices with the ginger and tomato being nicely discernible above the other spices. The two garlic naans were very tasty and fresh.

Overall it was an excellent meal albeit the above selection would probably be pushing it for two unless you were both particularly ravenous. Rounded off with two cans of Tiger and a very nice triple blended juice containing mango, banana and ginger the whole bill came to just under RM100 which IMO is very good value for money.

I can thoroughly recommend Karaikudi and will certainly be adding it to the list or regular haunts. Thanks Chona!!!

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