Tag Archives: saravana bhavan

More KL Vegetarian Restaurants: PappaRich (via Zoom) + Saravana Bhavan

3 Aug

I had a late night visitor last night, and we were hungry. Hungry for good, fresh, hot food. I remembered that I recently got an SMS about Zoom Delivery – a new service in Kuala Lumpur that delivers 7-11, Ramli Burger, Mamak Stall, Old Town Kopitiam and PappaRich… And they deliver until 3am every day! What pleasures … This is a very exciting development in the lepak culture of Malaysian eating – now we dont even have to go out to eat from our favourite stall foods. Zoom is much less expensive than the other delivery company that operates here, and restaurants that focus on our local dishes. How wonderful and awesome is that?! I had glanced through the PappaRich website and menu, and realised that they offered a lovely vegetarian selection. This is just such a pleasure for me because hang-out places dont usually cater to vegetarians on such a lavish scale. So, we ordered from Zoom Delivery, specifically from PappaRich, and we were extremely happy.

Nasi Lemak

We ordered Nasi Lemak – that perfect Malaysian meal. You can have it for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a late night snack. Soft, warm, rich pandan and coconut flavoured rice. Crisp cucumber slices. Roasted peanuts. Vegetarian version of sambal ikan bilis (anchovies in chili and onion). And crispy fried green beans with a hint of soy flavour. Half a hard boiled egg. Its a masterpiece of a dish, and PappaRich made it totally accessible and delicious for vegetarians. It was filling without being overwhelming, and hit the spot perfectly late at night.

Sweet Corn Siew Mai and Char Siew Pau

We also shared two starters – the steamed sweet corn siew mai – three little dumplings filled with sweet corn – and the steamed pau filled with a vegetarian version of char siew (roasted honeyed pork). Oh my goodness Goddess. Both starters were delightful, but oh I did love those paus. Soft, fluffy and delicious. The filling was perfection. As a vegetarian, this is as close as I will ever get to meat, but it was absolutely wonderful. Full of flavour, deeply caramelised, roasted, rich, oh I loved it. And my non-vegetarian companion was impressed by the taste and texture of the paus. We both loved them. I particularly liked eating the pau with a splash of soy – the sweet and the salty a heavenly melding that made my tummy sing arias of joy… Heh.

We also ordered the sweet lemon iced detox tea and the banana smoothie. The tea in particular was refreshing and helped cut through the richness of the meal. A couple slices of toast with kaya. The food was delivered hot and fresh within the time that Zoom had given us, and cost (including delivery) less than RM50. The delivery guy tried to give me change when I gave him a few extra dollars, and was very grateful when I told him it was a tip. I have known other delivery services to wait, impatiently and expectantly, for their tip.

All in all a totally satisfying experience, both from Zoom Delivery and PappaRich. For those who really cant be arsed to go out at night to forage for food, try Zoom. Its worth it! And for vegetarians who want to hang out with their non-vegetarian friends, in an inexpensive and very accomodating space, PappaRich is totally it. I am their new Number 1 Fan!


My favourite vegetarian restaurant in Kuala Lumpur (and actually in many places around the world), is Saravana Bhavan. They have outlets in the US, UK, France, Canada, Qatar, Oman, the UAE, India, Singapore and Malaysia. I am lucky enough (and eternally grateful) that they have a branch in my neighbourhood. When my sister is here, we eat there almost daily if she can help it. The absolute most satisfying Indian vegetarian food on the planet. And I am not over-exaggerating here. The food is phenomenal. Non-vegetarians dont even miss their meat, and they are given a superb education on the variety, taste, texture and delights of the Indian vegetarian plate.

I love the food here – it is so multi-layered, so delicious, soul-satisfying. I love the cooks and the waitstaff who greet you like family. I love that they deliver to my house in 20 minutes or less, and that I can have a multi-course dinner party for six people for less than RM100.

My favourite dishes from Saravana Bhavan (in no particular order) are:

  • Paneer Tikka Masala: Roasted cottage cheese blocks, charred in the tandoor, deep and creamy, covered in a tomato chili cream masala spice sauce, with curry leaves, onions, thick and so delicious that when people taste it for the first time their eyes roll back in their heads
  • Chicken Fry: Vegetarian “chicken” pieces, dry fried in a thick coating of chili, garlic, onion, ginger, curry leaves, tomato and other amazing tastes. So layered, so more-ish. I dare you to just have one piece.
  • Aloo Palak: A paste of deeply green spinach, sauteed with onions, spices, garlic, potatoes. The essence of green. The perfect spice balance.
  • Onion Raita: Homemade yogurt, thick and curdy, cool and cooling, with sharp slices of onion. Beautiful counterbalance to the hot spiciness of the rest of the food.
  • Bittergourd-65: Rounds of bittergourd, dropped in a spiced batter, and deep fried. Like chips but about a million times better. Spritzed with lemon. Such depth and complexity of flavour.
  • Breads: particularly the chappathi, adai avial (available only on the weekends and not to be missed – a coconut and green chili pancake from Kerala that blows your mind with its myriad tastes), thosai, bathura. Each comes with its own curries – chickpeas in coconut gravy, roasted tumeric potatoes, a savoury simple dhal.
  • And to drink: pineapple lassi or triveni (fresh squeezed ginger, pineapple and grape juice) and hot tea made with rich spices and milk.

Go to Saravana Bhavan if you can. You wont regret it and you will become a regular. I dream about it and crave it when I dont have it all the time. It makes my soul happy. I hope it makes you joyous too.