Thursday, 14 January 2010
Basil Leaves, Taman Kajang Sentral
The excitement of a new Indian Restaurant in Kajang with a western name was rather interesting to say the least, so like every other Kajang folk, we anticipated its opening after the signage came up. This dragged from weeks to months. Finally, on 24th December, it opened its doors - after the long anticipation, it was like they say 'potong stim'.
No body talked about this restaurant until my uncle decided to drag me there one afternoon for lunch. Mind you, he knows the owner personally. It was one of the most memorable lunches I have had, in recent times, but for the wrong reasons.
Upon entry, noticed the strange green colour theme in the shop and the pictures of western dishes on the walls - very strange for Indian restaurant to have so many western dishes featured on a large poster-backdrop. Signs of confusion ?
We wanted a nice Indian meal, noticed no menu, no display rack - so we kept guessing. We had to ask for what we wanted, i.e. rice, dry mutton, some dry chicken, fish curry and waited. Food came in very impressive utensils to say the least, but all in small portions. Missing were the vegetables - a must in any Indian restaurants - and we were told, that we had to order it seprately. So we did ask for it by name - cucumbers in yogurt - "Sorry, we don't have that!" What! No cucumbers in yogurt in an Indian restaurant? We then found that they did not have any other Indian type vegetables either and only a Chinese style stir fried garlic vegetable was available (see pic).
There were also no 'resam', no pickles, no yogurt dipped fried chillies??? Certainly was not what we would expect from an Indian restaurant?
And every time we requested for something simple (things commonly found in an Indian restaurant), the elderly waiter would run into the kitchen and bring out the boss, who would then apologise to us that they did not have it. Why didn't he just tell us? The 'staff' were certainly not trained or prepared to run a restaurant. Everyone was a 'greenhorn'. There was so much confusion and frustration from the look of the customers faces around us, we were not the only ones unhappy with the service.
The food itself was slightly below average. The mutton had no real taste, fish curry was ok, considering the fact that there were 2 slices of Ikan Tenggiri in there. Vegetable was very Chinese, didn't quite blend in to the Indian food. The fresh ginger pickle was the only dish worth a mention. Fried chicken was reasonably good as it was freshly fried with curry leafs. The rice portion was insufficient and nobody asked us if we needed more (possibly came at an additional price).
We finished our meal and asked for the bill. For just the 2 of us, with pretty simple dishes. it came to a whopping RM45.20 !!! My uncle who knew the owner, almost fell off his chair. But since it was our first time (and possibly the last), we just paid the bill and left.
Outside, we bumped into an old friend and his wife who were about to enter the shop, going in to try for the first time too- we blurted out our sour experience - they made a u-turn, jumped into their car and drove off to Sri Paandi's in town for a 'better' deal. They just wanted 'real' Indian food!
I'll give this restaurant 6 months at the most if they continue operating like this. Anyone looking for a good deal to start a restaurant in the Taman Kajang Sentral area, just sit back and wait, you may get a good deal taking over the 2 shop lots here soon.