Junior Chellapa @ Old Malaya, Raja Chulan
July 22, 2017
Cuisine & culture, colour & character: Junior Chellapa is more than capable of charming fans of South Indian fare. This might be a nascent name in KL's F&B landscape, but a peek into its interior proves that its founders have created a restaurant to respect, teeming with ravishingly intricate artwork (including some of Indian village scenes witnessed by one of Junior Chellapa's founders on a train trip), vintage photographs & thoughtfully selected ornamentation spread across two sprawling levels, proudly showcasing the Chettinad heritage within the colonial-era confines of the Old Malaya gastronomic hub.
Head here ravenous & commence your feast with the very enjoyable crab rasam, delicately spiced, lightly tangy & peppery, brimming with beautifully balanced flavours (RM10). The menu moves effortlessly through the region from Madurai to Mangalore, the former represented by erra thokku, tomato-&-turmeric-rich prawns that pack a tasty punch (RM27), & the latter by chicken ghee roast, boasting juicy flesh soaked in savoury, spice-saturated gravy (RM25). Throw in an aromatically heady serving of goat rib bone curry (RM20), & you'll have more than enough to relish with rice or bread.
The fairly priced selection is expertly executed across the board, served by a team that works hard to please. You'll find plenty of intriguing specialities that span both land & sea, from chunky-smooth New Zealand lamb ribs with tomato masala sauce (RM36) to a whole fresh pomfret fish prepared in banana leaf, fragrant with a creamy paste constructed of cardamom, cloves & more (RM48). Round out your meal with tenderly cooked eggplant masala (RM13) & boiled egg basmathi biryani (RM12), with a lovely orange lassi (RM8) & classic butter milk (RM5) to soothe the palate. Thanks to Junior Chellapa for having us here.
Old Malaya, 4, Lorong Raja Chulan, Kuala Lumpur. Open daily for lunch & dinner. Tel: 03-2020-1020
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