Indian

Restoran Santa

by Li Ann on Thu, December 01, 2011

I’ve always held on to the notion that tasty is more than likely not healthy. Chapati is probably the most healthiest of the breads, in comparison to its greasier cousin roti canai, hence my preference for the latter than former. But I guess that's because I've never had a really good one before...

That smell of fresh chapati just hits you...

Foodster's Verdict

Restoran Santa
  • TASTE
  • Address

    No. 11, Jalan Tun H.S. Lee (another branch at No. 64, Lorong Gombak, Off Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Kuala Lumpur) 50000 Kuala Lumpur
    Tel: 0192699771 / 0169958819 (Kulwant Singh)

  • Open

    Mon-Fri 6.30am

  • Pros

    Dirt cheap, delicious, friendly service

  • Cons

    Parking and traffic can be nuts (take the train) / be prepared to share tables and eat pronto during peak hours

  • Price Range

    RM8, a chapati is RM1.20

  • Parking

    Only on a Tree

  • Certification

    Pork Free

With Christmas round the corner, I thought it apt to check out Santa Chapati House. So on a sunny Saturday, we venture to Lebuh Ampang for the best chapati in KL. This better be worth the train trip and 10min trek! It's usually packed with office workers during the weekdays but on this Saturday, there is hardly a crowd and the workers are gathered at the back chattering among themselves before they spot our entrance. In an instant, a server comes to take our order as we peer at the food counter to check what's on offer.

There is a huge pot of dhall curry bubbling away while another staff manned the counter. Our plates of chapati comes loaded with 2 sides of vegetables and a plate of curry. The dhall is thick and chunky, perfect to go with the light bread. The vegetables are wholesome and fresh. For that day, we enjoy the chickpea masala and spiced potato. Both are redolent with spices and a perfect accompaniment to the chapati. As for the signature chapati, I must admit it's the best I've tasted and I'm an instant convert. Made from a balanced mix of atta flour and ghee, it is crispy on the outside yet fluffy on the inside. Though it seemed huge, the delicious combo of vege, chicken and curry made eating it a breeze and it was gone in an instant. Patrons have been known to vacuum 3 pieces in one sitting!

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Unfortunately, the famed mutton keema is unavailable today. With my appetite yet to be satiated, I wanted more. This time, it's chicken varuval and protha. The bread chef proceeded to heat the griddle and we witnessed the action with bated breath. For protha, a ball of dough is kneaded then flattened and dipped into flour. It's folded again and dipped another time in the flour then left on the hot griddle.

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Once it is crisp, the chef adds a dash of ghee to the protha just before serving and it arrives piping hot and fragrant.

It may be indulgent but the taste is heavenly. The heady aroma fills my nostril as I add fish curry and chicken varuval to accompany the bread. Yums… the protha is crispy and not greasy at all with the ghee lending a lovely fragrance and savoury richness. The chicken is tender and tasty, coated in a delicately spiced gravy. Its subtle heat slowly creeped up on me as I devoured and polished it in no time. I was supposed to share it but I ended up whacking 2/3 of it! I hear the pakora is irresistible but I’ll reserve that for the next visit along with the mutton keema.

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Naming the restaurant in honour of his beloved father, the cuisine is authentically Punjab and hails from passed down recipes of the owner Kulwant Singh. Catering is also available if you’re hankering for his signature chapatis in the comfort of your backyard. According to his employee Samy (a loyal staff who’s been working there from the start), the shop has been operating for 16 years and it is rumoured Pak Lah has Santa’s chapati tarpaoed to his home.

As for me, I prefer eating it fresh from the grill. According to my husband who works nearby, the shop is so crowded on weekdays that tables are shared and hungry patrons will stare at those seated, as if willing them to finish their meal quicker! Saturday is definitely a more relaxing eating experience with the smiling staff always ready to engage in conversation, but the afternoon heat is unrelenting nonetheless. I can’t imagine how swelteringly unbearable it must be for the masses who crowd the shop on weekdays!

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By the way, the server who took our order looked like some action hero from a Bollywood movie set so ladies, feast your eyes on some man candy @ Santa! Maybe Christmas did come early after all… HO HO HO!

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