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South Indian masala

RESTORAN RAVIíS,
E-33A-01, Dataran 3 Two,
No. 2, Jalan 19/1, Petaling Jaya,
Selangor.
Tel: 03-7957 1441
Business hours: 7.00am to 10pm, daily.

ARMED with knowledge that Raviís at Dataran 3 Two would be spick-and-span, there was no hesitation on my part to visit them again.

Anyone who has dined here will know of the restaurantís plus points ó it is constantly swept, tables wiped down with smartly dressed waiters tending to your order and, of course, clean washrooms.

Self service: Diners can choose from a variety of marinated items for deep frying.

The familiarity of its bright and cheery surroundings, its South Indian workers dressed in bumble bee colours and customers digging into their food or enjoying a piping hot cup of teh tarik, reminded me just how long it had been since my last visit.

Upon the invitation of its owners, we proceeded to the far end of the restaurant, closer to the chefís corner which allowed us to watch the cooks in action as they tackled orders for chapati, puri, tosai, roti canai and appam as well as stir-fried items.

The restaurantís director Don Kurian pointed out the layout here ó chiller at the front, hot area where pre-cooked dishes were kept in chafing dishes and the chefís corner for hot from the wok, off the pan and off the gridiron dishes.

ďWe are a typical South Indian restaurant with a difference as we also serve claypot dishes of fish, chicken, mutton and prawns,Ē he said.

The claypots used here are not the claypots seen in South Indian cooking shows or in Tamil movies as the owners opted for Chinese claypots for their spicy, masala-rich dishes.

Naan and more: There are various breads to go with curry and dhal at Raviís.

So, Raviís is not all that South Indian as there are Malaysian accents to the way the menu was created.

There are a variety of Indian breads and curries but the dead give-away to the local flavour is the nasi lemak, mee mamak, mee hoon goreng and local kuih like ketayap, curry puff and kuih lapis on the menu.

You will not find any of these dishes at a South Indian restaurant in India which have pretty restrictive menus.

I also noticed Chicken Tandoori, a famous North Indian savoury dish, on the menu.

Savoury find: Claypot Fish Head Curry at Raviís.

In beginning my gastronomic adventure, I asked to try the restaurantís popular deep-fried fare of prawns, crab, fish, chicken and squid.

Sitting in a marinade of chilli, spices and salt ó the fresh flavourful items are identified by the customer and then speedily fried by the quick kitchen hands.

Enticed by the aroma of the fried dishes, we tasted each and every dish placed before us.

It is difficult to find fault with deep-fried dishes but the slightly overcooked large prawns, though somewhat chewy, were nevertheless tasty and the deep-fried bulus fish made its point why it reigns as a best seller here.

The Chicken 65, I felt, lacked the usual slapped on red hue but who can refuse fried chicken.

Raviís grilled items are priced a little higher from the deep-fried fare and offers fish, meat, crab, prawns and squid.

From this section, we indulged in spicy prawns and Spanish mackerel that revealed a sambal marinade that was spicy with a sharp piquancy of ginger.

The Raviís food trail then led us to the claypot dishes and here on, it was a continued encounter with spicy food.

The head cook uses his own masala mix with a range of spices for his seafood, poultry and meat dishes.

I found the masala mix appropriate for meat and poultry items but a tad too strong for the seafood dishes because the spices overpowered the subtle taste of the seafood.

Its Chicken Varuval, Pepper Chicken and Mutton Varuvel are some of the savoury delights you might find at the buffet section which also has a selection of vegetarian dishes.

For hygienic purposes, all dishes are kept warm and covered.

Even flies are not enticed to pay Raviís a visit.

Other tasty treats are Mutton Chop, Curry Mutton, Crab Masala, Sambal Prawn and Sotong Masala to go with either rice, chappati, paratha, aloo paratha, fluffy roti canai, idly, uttapam, poori and appam.

The appam here is worth a return trip as it is the best lightweight meal to have, especially the one prepared with brown sugar....yummy!

The restaurant also does its part in going green for the environment using LED lights and T5 tubes with hydro-carbon gas air-conditioners to cool the place.

This is the writerís personal observation and is not an endorsement by StarMetro.