Banana Leaf at Nirwana's

The famo and I paid a visit to Sri Nirvana Maju in Bangsar Baru today. Sri Nirvana on Jalan Telawi 3 has long been an icon of Bangsar and had always been a favourite of mine (so much so, I’d have random cravings for banana leaf at odd hours of the day). However, we had not visited for sometime due to the opening of Papa Rich right opposite – which has become our new favourite place.

It was good to go back and see if Nirvana had changed for better or for worse. As a drink, I opted for a watermelon juice. It was fresh, but there was too much of sugar syrup in it. Furthermore, you could clearly see that they were trying to save on fruit due to the large amount of ice in the cup.

A basic Banana Leaf meal, at around RM10, consists of rice – topped with your choice of chicken/fish curry or dhal, deep fried bitter gourd, stewed cabbage and carrots, along with cucumber in yogurt. This would be sufficient enough for the humble appetite but there is a display from which you can order sides to spice up your meal like varuvals or curries.

The rice was cooked well - warm and soft, but not mushy. The curry tasted great too – with a subtle chicken flavour to it. The bitter gourd had a subtle bitter flavour which was not too overwhelming; however it was too cold and soft for my liking. The cabbage and carrots were well stewed; but bits of tofu in it gave the dish an unpleasant flour-like texture to it (something hard to explain).

The cucumber in yogurt added a nice balance to the meal and was an ideal dish for KL’s oven-like weather. The poppadoms however, tasted old and rather soft – so I passed on that (though the kiddos whacked them up, so justice was done).

We ordered sides of deep fried fish and chicken. The fish was marinated with a curry-flavoured marinade and was deep-fried to perfection. It had a crispy skin and was moist and succulent on the inside. Due to the light seasoning lemon juice, I was able to taste the natural sweetness of the fish.The chicken did not taste as good. It came with dried chillies, and tasted and old. The meat was not tender – being rather dry and hard to chew. On the whole, Nirvana’s quality may have dropped, but it’s definitely worth trying, though their prices are rather unreasonable.

Presentation: 3/10

Ambiance: 2/10

Service: 4/10

Overall Taste: 6/10

General Impression: 4/10





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