Veranda brings “South on a Platter,” featuring flavours from Karaikudi, Kerala, and Andhra Pradesh.
Veranda in Bangsar aims to bring guests the best South Indian cuisine. True to its tagline “South on a platter,” the food features diverse and vibrant flavours from Karaikudi in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Andhra Pradesh.
For those unfamiliar with South Indian cuisine, Karaikudi is famous for its freshly pounded Chettinad spices which lend an aromatic touch to the dishes.
Meanwhile, Kerala cuisine is famous for its use of coconut, ranging from coconut milk, grated coconut, and coconut oil. This brings a creamy and tropical element to the meal.
Over in Andhra Pradesh, flavours get bolder and more intense with the use of fiery chilli peppers and tangy ingredients to round up and enhance the flavours of the dishes.
Here’s what we got to eat that was lovingly prepared by Chef Gaya:
- Malli 65
The Veranda Thali
Main sides – Non-Veg
- Gongura Mamsam
- Meen Moilee
- Paal Paniyaram
The Taste Test
While waiting for our meal, we were served the welcome drink Mooru and spiced fried peanuts.
Mooru is a blend of tairu (yogurt) that’s spiced with cumin seeds, ginger, green chillies, and coriander leaves. Due to the hint of spice flavours, the drink is refreshing and perfect for warm days.
The first appetiser to arrive is Malli 65, a chicken nugget dish that has been marinated in a herby mixture of fresh coriander and mint leaves, green chilli, ginger, and garlic before it’s deep fried. The chicken nuggets were tender, juicy, and nicely spiced.
The second appetiser Seeyam is made from a batter of ulunthu (blackgram) and raw rice, tempered shallots, ginger, coconut, mustard seeds, and curry leaves. The slight spice from the deep-fried ball is balanced out with the delicious sweet tomato chutney.
The main – the Veranda Thali – is comprised of:
- Veetu Sambar (lentil curry)
- Thakkali Rasam (A flavourful South Indian soup with asafoetida to help with digestion)
- Paruppu Urundai Kozhambu (a vegan meatball made of lentils, fried and added to a Chettinad curry)
- Beans Carrot Thoran (A medley of French beans and carrots stir-fried with tempered spices and coconut)
- Chettinad Vendakai Mandi (A tamarind gravy, usually cooked with ladies fingers and chickpeas)
- Gutti Vankaya Fry (A special from Andhra Pradesh, it’s brinjals stuffed with a mixture of freshly roasted and pounded peanuts, coconut, and spices)
- Thenggai Sadham (the small rice serving is made with freshly grated coconut and spices)
With dishes mainly from Chettinad, the meal was served with ponni sadham (rice), appalam, mor milaghai (curd-soaked and sun-dried red chillies), paruppu podi, ghee, and pickle.
Together, the flavours of the food were amazing. The fish in Meen Moilee was deliciously soft and tender. Since the fish slices were marinated and gently simmered in mildly spiced coconut milk, the fish meat and the sauce tasted like nasi lemak (but better).
The Gongura Mamsam is great for those looking to eat something meatier. An Andhra favourite, the mutton was tender and perfectly cooked with gongura leaves (sorrel leaves).
Finally, the great meal ends with a sweet dessert Paal Paniyaram which is Chef Gaya’s favourite. It’s a Chettinad original featuring lightly fried lentils and raw rice dumplings soaked in coconut milk and cardamom mixture.
For those who are brave, they can also give Paan a try. Paan is usually an after-dinner treat that consists of a betel leaf filled with chopped betel nut, slaked lime, and red katha paste.
The Paan is an acquired taste. The closest description I could give is that paan tastes like how a Lush bath bomb smells (to me). It’s fragrant and that’s one of the reasons why it’s not a favourite for some people.
I like it as it’s like having a mint after a huge, flavourful meal to clear the palate. If you don’t prefer having paan, I recommend drinking mooru at the end of the meal as it works similarly to a palate cleanser.
The Malli 65 is my top favourite due to its tenderness and juiciness, followed by the vegetable dishes. For those who love eating fish, the Meen Moilee is a must-order.
All the dishes in the Veranda Thali tasted good on their own and mixed so it definitely won’t be a boring meal.
The spices are used in the dishes to enhance the flavours of the food and not to burn you, and that’s how it should be.
Also, it was a treat to have a hot cup of masala chai at the end of the meal.
Veranda – South on a Platter
Address: 23, Jalan Telawi 2, Bangsar Baru, 59100, Kuala Lumpur
First session: 11.30am-3pm
Second session: 5.30pm-10pm
Tel: +6011-6329 2032