Saturday, 10 September 2016

Restoran Sri Ganesa @ Pudu, Kuala Lumpur

It has been years since I visited Restoran Sri Ganesa that is located right beside the famous Courthill Pillaiyar Temple in Jalan Pudu Lama, not too far from the Puduraya Bus Terminal. Some twenty years back when I was working in Menara Maybank, I used to come here almost daily for their Masala Tosai and it truly was the world's best then. Today, the restaurant had changed so much. Then it was just a simple mess like concept. Now, they are looking more like any other South Indian restaurant in town. Then, all their staffs and cooks were elderly gentlemen. Today, they have employed young staffs from Tamil Nadu. Hoping that the food would still be the same, I dropped by for tea this evening. 

The Restaurant Along Jalan Pudu Lama

Young Staffs Preparing Puri And Mee Goreng
The place was crowded when I was here and nothing seemed the same. Then, it was a small restaurant on a elevated platform that could accommodate not more than 15 people at any one time. Today, they can easily accommodate 70 people. After walking around the restaurant, I discovered that the old section of the restaurant is still there and is accessible via the side entrance inside the restaurant. I just peeked through the door for nostalgic reasons and then came back over to the new area which was better ventilated.Memories from the yesteryear's suddenly emerged in my mind. It is amusing to realise how 20 years had gone just like that. Coming back to this evening, it was quite a challenge to get the staffs attention as there were so many customers and they were all literally running around serving and attending to the customers needs. Luckily it didn't take me too long to attract one of their staffs and I placed my orders, the same Masala Tosai and a glass of tea that I used to order then.

Teh Tarik
In a blink, the Tea was served. Just like how it was then, the tea was good. Served hot, strong and with minimal sugar. Glad that this was still the same and for this drink, I would rate it at 9/10. 

Masala Tosai
Again, it wasn't too long for my Masala Tosai to arrive but sadly, it wasn't the same. Those days, the Masala Tosai used to be rolled and it came with fillings from end to end. Today, it was in a triangular shape and a very stingy portion of Potato Masala was found in the center. Sigh, a huge disappointment. And what was that Masala all about? It just had onions and a little bit of potato. In fact, that would not have even been a single potato served in full. Those days, there would have been easily three potato's in that Masala Tosai and besides that, it would also have some cauliflower, carrots and other spices. I still remember very clearly that we used to have that Masala Tosai without any curries. It was so good on it's own and this one, no way can one have this without any curries or chutney. A huge let down and it didn't even taste good. I would only give this a 6/10. 

Coconut Chutney, Tomato Chutney and Sambar
Since the Tosai was a disappointment, I had to go for their curries and chutneys in anticipation that it would help with the taste. Firstly, their Coconut Chutney. This was again not up to the mark. It wasn't diluted but clearly it didn't have sufficient chili or salt. Nowhere close to what it was. This, I would only give it a 6/10. Their Sambar was better but still not as good as it was then. In fact, I didn't even enjoy it and as such, would give it another 6/10 as well. Finally their Tomato Chutney. Thank God this one was awesome. Yeah, just the way that it was then. At least one thing that tasted the same and I was so pleased. Spicy, sour with a touch of mint, it was heavenly! This Tomato Chutney deserves a 9/10. 

In short, a disappointing visit. Maybe my expectations were too high, or maybe not as I was only reflecting back on how it used to taste two decades back. Even their rice and curries didn't look good. And the guy that was making Poori in front of me, his Poori too looked greasy. I guess this place has lost it's touch. Those senior cooks then really knew their stuffs and served some amazing food. Just sad that it isn't the same now. 

 Address: No. 5, Jalan Pudu Lama, 50220 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Opening Hours: 0800 - 2200 Daily

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