Friday, 16 August 2013

Bestari Mamak – Eat the prawn curry!

E-0G-10, Plaza Mont Kiara, 2, Jalan Kiara, Mont Kiara, 50480, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Working in Mont Kiara, I don’t have many options to pick from when it comes to relatively economical mixed rice places. So lunchtime is usually at one of two places: Banana Leaf (sort of a budget Indian curry house that of course doesn’t serve beef) or Bestari (an Indian-Muslim mamak that does).

Service is better at Banana, but there are fewer choices in the mixed rice buffet line and prices are very slightly higher compared with Bestari. So even though the service at Bestari moves slower than lethargic tectonic plates and isn’t terribly competent (they frequently get orders wrong) I still go there regularly because:
1. I like the fact that I have more varieties of food to choose from at the mixed rice buffet line.
2. I personally prefer the flavours of the food at Bestari over those at Banana.
3. This magical, magical prawn curry…

Cue angelic choir.

The curry is mild, rich, smooth and fills the mouth with an intoxicating fragrance. I’ve not encountered this flavour before, and now that I’ve tasted it, I’m absolutely convinced that no other curry will go better with prawns. I want to say more, much more, but I know that my vocabulary is not up to the task of adequately describing how incredibly delicious this is.

Let’s take one more look; maybe staring at it will help me find the words to descr… nope, nothing. You'll just have to go eat it yourself.

It’s not just the curry. The prawns are perfect as well.

Far too many cooks ruin the texture of their prawns by cooking them all the way. This leaves the flesh opaque and tough and not as juicy as it should be.

But not Bestari. Their prawns are always fresh and always cooked just right. The flesh flesh remains springy and firm and slightly translucent. You can feel how juicy they are as you pop each prawn open between your teeth.

It’s one of the items you can choose from when you get mixed rice at Bestari, and it runs out pretty quick. If you want some, you should go there early before the lunch horde (one of whom will probably be me) grabs up all the prawns.

Snack-sized review
Mamak with not-so-good service but decent food at reasonable prices. Nothing to shout about except their mind-blowing curry prawns – a dish at the mixed rice buffet line. Go early before the lunch crowd finishes all the prawns.

Hours: Morning to 10pm. But the prawns usually run out by lunchtime.
Price: Pretty reasonable for Mont Kiara. One plate of rice with prawn curry, two slices of beef cooked in dark soy sauce and some bitter gourd cost only RM8.
Service: Dismal. Sluggish. Forgetful. If you order dishes that are cooked-to-order in the kitchen (such as fried rice and noodles and what not) prepare for a long wait, especially at mealtimes when the place is packed. But I usually just take the mixed rice so this is not an issue for me.
Note: I am writing this based on my experience at Bestari Mont Kiara. There are other Bestari branches where service may be better and the food may be different.

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