December 20, 2010

Indian Cuisine | Vansh, Starhill Gallery, KL

Living in Malaysia amongst its multi-racial and multi-cultural people, there are many types of food and restaurant available. There's always the variety in choices and there's also that specialty of each restaurant which tantalizes my taste buds and can make me drool just by reading the description. Today, it is all about Indian food and let's see if this one particular restaurant in Starhill Gallery - VANSH - can deliver.

Vansh, Starhill Gallery

One of the things that I love about Indian food is the distinct spiciness which is very different compared to other spicy food that I can find. Briyani is one of the first things I would order at an Indian restaurant, along with Tandoori and maybe some Naan and Samosa. When Vansh prepared these (and many more), I was more than ready to try them out and see for myself if they're any better than how I usually get my Indian food.

I have to say that I am in love with the Lamb Briyani. The tender and juicy lamb hidden inside the Briyani is refreshing to my dry mouth. Not to mention that the portion is big enough for two! I also love the Samosa (vegetarian) due to the soft skin and not hard like the usual Samosa sold by the roadside stalls while the sauce was slightly sour, much to my liking. Not to forget, the Tandoori Lamb Chop (2 lamb chops marinated with spiced yogurt and roasted in the tandoor) just dance in my mouth and I managed to finish everything, right down to the last meat on the bones. I am not much of a lamb fan but that lamb was exceptional.

The Naan however, though it came in three variations, disappointed me. It tasted dry to my mouth and even the Butter Naan tasted plain to me. Although the Kashmiri Rogan Josh (lamb cubes simmered in a fennel scented yogurt gravy) looked beautiful but coupled with the Naan, it was still a disappointment. And then there was the Palak Paneer, at RM 28, it made a non-spinach fan like me look it in a different view altogether. Yums!

As the food kept coming, I managed to grab a little bit of this and that since I was afraid my stomach won't be able to handle the amount of food I am to ingest some more.

There was both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food served, maybe due to the fact that some Indians are also vegetarians for religious purposes. In my opinion, the Vegetarian Kebab Platter which features aloo mutter tikki, tandoori mushroom and tandoori paneer tikka is far better tasting than the Kebab Sampler Platter featuring malmali sheekh, murg malai tikka and tandoori tiger prawn. I say this because of  the stronger spicy and sour taste in the Vegetarian Platter in comparison to the bland taste and rough meat in the Sampler Platter.

Not long after that, I tried the Chilli Cheese Kulzza (fresh fluffy bread packed with mild yellow cheddar, piquant chilli and fresh coriander) and I just can't stop helping myself to a second and third piece. It is presented like a pizza and even though the chilli tastes weird when combined with coriander but I prefer it more than the Naan. I did not try the Honey Kulzza (RM 20) however because I do not like onion seeds and there were too much onion seeds on it for me to handle. The Lamb Vindaloo on the other hand, tastes pretty much like the Rogan Josh. I sort of wondered if I had tried the same thing but on the second try, I was right. There was nothing distinct about the vindaloo although the lamb was tender and the spices delicious.

Of course, nothing is better than ending an Indian meal with Masala Chai (tea) but I had to help myself with a few spoonfuls of sugar. I'm not so into the bitter cardamom taste though it is said to have medicinal values. I think the sugars I heaped into my cup neutralized the medicinal uses of the tea. LOL! And then, they served  us desserts - Khajoor Kulfi (homemade frosty flavoured with exotic dates) and Lychee Kulfi (homemade frosty flavoured with exotic lychees), something which I had never tried before. I absolutely love the Khajoor Kulfi. Dates never get out of fashion!

Although there are some food that went well with my taste buds but I think there are some too that requires a little bit of improvement. Dry or rough food in any restaurant is something not appreciated by the patrons. I'm sure everybody agrees with me when I say we'd love nothing more than to put something in our mouth and feel the taste and texture just blends together and make our tongue tingle with pleasure.

But don't just take my word for it! Try it yourself!

Vansh Restaurant.
Lot LG 9, Lower Ground Floor, 
Starhill Gallery, 55100 Kuala Lumpur
03-2142 6162

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