In a quieter part of Bangsar lies a cafe that aims to serve wholesome, holistic food at reasonable prices. Check out as Edwan finds out that vegetarian food can be stunningly delicious when done right.
VEGETARIAN FOOD THAT ROCKS!
19, Lorong Kurau
Taman Bangsar Pertama
59100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: Mr. Prabodh - 012 2105310
Mrs Meeta - - 012 3035310
Sunday buffet: 10am - 3pm
Delicious, healthy vegetarian food. Affordable as well!
I always like some form of animal protein in my meals: beef, chicken, shrimp, whatever. So I admit, going to a vegetarian restaurant wasn't really on my bucket list of must-do things in Kuala Lumpur. Me and vegetarian food? Please lah!
... But oh how wrong I was.
Tucked away in Lorong Kurau in the heart of Bangsar is The Ganga Cafe and Deli. The cafe has been around for a few years. In November 2013, the husband and wife team of Mr. Prabodh and Mrs. Meeta took over the operation.
"Previously, the menu was so extensive and so many things was on it," said Mr. Prabodh. "So when my wife and I took over, we decided to simplify a bit lah. The current menu is smaller, but we think it's better focused." Mrs. Meeta is the chief cook and most recipes are her own. She is assisted by two North Indian and two South Indian cooks. All of them are friendly and English speaking, and often double up to serve customers as well.
On weekdays, The Ganga Cafe runs an ala carte menu featuring banana leaf rice and various rotis and curries and dhals. They even have nasi lemak and 'goreng-goreng' on the menu! "Malaysians lah, cannot lari!" said Mr. Prabodh. On Sundays, however, from 10am to 3pm, The Ganga runs an all-you-can-eat Sunday buffet for ONLY RM16! Everything served here is vegetarian, and Mr. Prabodh and Mrs. Meeta emphasizes that everything is cooked with less oil and less fat. They wanted the food to be holistic but still satisfying.
I started my meal with various pakodas, or vegetable fritters. There were potato, banana and onion pakodas, and all of them were incredibly delicious and savoury. Dipped in the various chutneys (my favourite was the tamarind), they were a perfect appetizer. My favourite were the banana pakodas: I expected it to taste like cucur kodok, but they had a depth of spice and flavour that was so good, yet still let the banana-ness shine through.
There was also a curious dish made with soft yellow noodles that were almost pasta like, tossed in spices and dried chillies. This too, was yummy, with smooth noodles and crunchy dried chillies complementing each other well.
The buffet line also hosted a line of curries and dhalls. A dry potato curry has tender chunks of potatoes bathed in an intense spicy curry sauce. A green curry with lentils and (I think) spinach was flavourful and very satisfying. There was also a curry dish that almost resembled a vegetable rendang of sorts. And their dhall is thick, luscious and one of the best I've ever had! All their curries and gravies had complexity and didn't taste flat. Keep in mind that they do pile on the heat a bit, so take that into account if you have a wussy tongue.
Eat the curries with their various rotis and chapatis. They make five kinds of chapati! And honestly speaking, their roti canai (or pratha) is the best I've ever had in KL... in Klang Valley, even. It was flaky, crispy and not greasy at all. Even the chapatis were light and didn't 'sink' to the bottom of your stomach. Also on the buffet was dessert, and the day I went it was a rice vermicelli pudding that was not too sweet and lightly spiced. Temper the heat (sort of) with the free flow of masala tea and water. Try, too, their 'Pranic Juice' off the ala carte menu. It's a detoxifying blend of 7 ingredients including coriander, celery and honey. It really is refreshing and clean-tasting, if herbaceous.
The Ganga Cafe is one of a kind. It's the perfect example of simple, honest food done right by people who are genuinely in love with their craft. One can come here, enjoy their tasty vegetarian fair, and be entertained as Mr. Prabodh and Mrs. Meeta personally greets you and makes you feel at home. I love vegetarian food now. Bold thing to say, but boy, does it ring true.
We plan on going back to check out the ala carte selections, so watch this space! We also like to give a special shout out to Meena of A Whiff of Lemongrass for drawing our attention to this gem!