Monday, 20 February 2017

Restoran Shanmuga Vilas @ Tanjung Malim, Perak

Having started in the year 1959, Shanmuga Vilas is the oldest Indian restaurant in Tanjung Malim, Perak. Then, there was another one called Sorna Vilas which was just a few doors away but sadly, they went bankrupt in the late 90's. 

Shanmuga Vilas Along Jalan Douglas
After the town council closed up the main trunk road heading into town, business had been very much affected for most of these restaurants that are located in the original town of Tanjung Malim. Today, the other side that used to be non existent till around ten years back has become the new town and is busy all day long. Despite that, the food here is still the best taste wise. I have not come here in a while myself and having missed some good South Indian food for a while, I decided to have dinner here this evening. This restaurant is located along Jalan Douglas, right opposite AmBank.

Vegetarian Banana Leaf Meal @ RM 6.50
The vegetarian meal set here comes with three vegetables, usually they would have two vegetarian curries, Appalam, Moor Milagai, Fried Bitter Gourd and Fried Tapioca. Apologies as not all those mentioned are in this photograph as they came after I took this picture and I was already too hungry then. 

Potato & Chick Pea Perattal

Mashed Mix Vegetables with Ghee

Beet Root
All the vegetables at this restaurant are very good. As mentioned earlier, the food here is simply fantastic and you tend to get many food items that are not easily available in most restaurants. Vegetables too vary daily and so if you're one who has your meal here daily, you would not get the same variety on a daily basis. The setback however is the price. That is a huge problem here. The price varies daily and depends on the mood of the lady boss. Once again, locals are charged differently and outsiders are charged differently. I have witnessed incidents where outsiders were charged RM 30 for two Banana Leaf Meals plus two plates of Chicken Varuval. I know many locals are disgruntled because of this and have boycotted this restaurant and any outsider who comes here once would definitely not return simply because of the charges. Even the price that is quoted here for me has varied on a day to day basis. Funny but true. Coming back to those vegetables, they were all excellent and I would give them 9/10. 


Kirai Kulambu
Their Sambar is very unique, some like to call it Paruppu Rasam as it has a mild sourness to it but then, it is very similar to the ones that you would get in Tamil Nadu. Again as you can see, the Kirai Kulambu is made using Ponnangani Keerai which is rich in medicinal values and a dish that you hardly get elsewhere. Both were excellent and I would rate them both at 10/10. 

Milagu Rasam
The Milagu Rasam here is my favourite. In fact, I would never order a drink at this restaurant and the lady boss knows my requirement. She would serve me two tumblers of Rasam at the end of my meal. The truth is that I do come here very often despite the prices being on the steep side. It's all because I love their food and the satisfaction that I get from my meal here is simply indescribable. And before I forget, this Rasam deserves a 10/10. 

Rice + Rasam + Papaddam @ RM 5.00 and Mutton Varuval @ RM 8.00

Mutton Varuval
This was from a few days before when I was here for their Mutton Varuval. I had some rice, Rasam and Papadam as you can see from the above photograph and for that, I was charged RM 5.00 . Not a thing that I would do often but I do not mind spending like this once or twice a week. Their Mutton Varuval is excellent as they cook it using wood fire instead of  gas stoves. It tastes so much better and the meat is lean. Another point to note is that they do not use lamb or local mutton. They only buy Australian Mountain Goat which is one that is quite expensive. If you're a fan of mutton, you have got to try their preparation. I would definitely give this a 10/10. 

Rice + Rasam @ RM 4.00  and Chicken Perattal @ RM 7.00

Chicken Perattal @ RM 7.00
Also from a few days back, I was here for Rice, Rasam and Chicken Perattal for which I was charged RM 11.00 . As you can see, their prices fluctuates on a daily basis. Probably they have a basic amount that they would want to get out from a customer and based on that, the prices vary. Again, their Chicken Perattal was excellent. Sorry for the bad picture quality but rest assured, it was delicious! Just like the earlier Mutton Varuval, this too deserves a 10/10. 

In summary, the food here is excellent but you can hardly see many customers on a daily basis. Most of them would be from out of town, especially parents of those university students who have come down to visit their children. There may be a handful of locals, mostly just here for drinks or perhaps a quick meal. That being the case, they prepare very limited amount of food on a daily basis, just sufficient to cater for that small pool of customers. However, if you are willing to spend for some very good Tamil food, then by all means please visit them. There's no other place in town that could even come close to them in terms of taste. That's for sure!

Address: 6, Jalan Douglas, 35900 Tanjung Malim, Perak, Malaysia.

Opening Hours: 0800 - 2100 Daily

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