An unassuming Indian restaurant in Damansara Perdana is quietly starting to win the hearts and stomachs of DP-folk. The Friedchillies team went for a lazy lunch at Chennai Xpress and walked away impressed and with happy tummies...
Great value South Indian cuisine!
No. 22A-01, Jalan PJU 8/5G, Damansara Perdana
47820 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Tel: +603 7733 3175
Service, food, ambiance, value for money
The Indian food scene is mostly dominated by Mamak shops or banana leaf restaurants. And let’s face it, despite good food, those places are hardly have good ambiance. To get that, you’re talking high end Indian restaurants in KL. But that could change if Chennai Xpress has anything to do with it. Chennai Xpress is a small Indian restaurant in Damansara Perdana that’s been around since the beginning of the year.
Owned by a young Indian couple, it’s a quiet and quaint place with air conditioning, proper tables and chairs as well as a relaxing, well decorated interior. A far cry from rowdy, hot Mamak shops or banana leaf places. Comfortable too! Crowds are mostly lunchtime office folk, but come after 2pm and the place will be very quiet.
Quiet and comfy
The extensive menu has great choices including vegetarian options for those who are not into eating delicious animals. There are several starters, snacks, rice dishes and plenty of lamb, chicken and seafood curries. Of course, beef is absent from the menu but that’s not a problem.
Start off your meal with some pappadom and their Rasam, a rich, peppery broth that is smooth and opens up your appetite. Then move on to some light dishes: Chicken 65 (spicy, deep fried chicken chunks) is cooked wonderfully and still moist, if slightly thirst-inducing. Vegetable cutlets are okay and made from mashed potatoes with carrots and onions mixed in. The best starter dish was their Onion Pakoras: battered onion strings are hot, crispy and pack excellent flavour. Dip it in the mint-yogurt chutney and it’s a great way to start the meal.
Main dishes were good, too. Their plain Briyani has good flavour although it seemed a bit undercooked. Butter Naan is delicious, with the flatbread yielding a soft, pillowy interior after your tear open the crispy crust. Have these carbs with any of their curries. We tried the Chicken Vindaloo and it was tangy, tomatoey gravy with good chilli flavour (they even asked how spicy we wanted it) and juicy chunks of chicken. Yummy. Lamb Parattal, a darker, earthier curry with deep spicy notes, was more of a miss because the lamb was a bit chewy. Okra Masala featured slices of okra (ladyfingers/bendi) stir fried with onions, mustard seeds, lentil and was a great, hearty vegetarian dish.
The best thing about Chennai Xpress is that prices are well within reach. Sure, slightly more expensive than a Mamak shop but that’s an apples to oranges comparison anyway. Dishes run from RM4 to RM20. Far below any high end Indian place in KL, for sure. Our meal for 5 came out to RM100. Not bad. Not bad at all.