Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Return of the Bride, Vishal's Brickfields

Vishal in Brickfields had been unknown to foolishly ignorant me until one recent sunny Sunday morning, on the occasion of the return of our lovely (and soon to be blushing bride) Li Ann, back from her working holiday stint in the UK, tightly escorted by strapping groom-to-be Benji.

Li Ann and the disgustingly fit Benji, fresh from walking the Terry Fox run, jumped into my car and provided directions down the narrow streets to Jalan Scott, where Vishal's occupied the unassuming lot opposite the temple.

The immediate word that came to mind when we entered was "mess hall", in its most charming interpretation. Most of the dining seats in the house were lined up on one side of the long tables to minimise traffic obstruction. Not the best for a five-way conversation so we were lucky to secure one of the few regular 4-seater tables.

As soon as the rice and vegetables were heaped onto our individual leaves, I knew this was no regular BLR joint, what with the gorgeous shades of greens and reds. Like Christmas almost! Li Ann explained that Benji favoured Vishal's for its heady curries. I watched transfixed as the staff splashed fish curry & dhal on mine, all the while muttering "banjir, banjir."

Benji knew his curries all right. The curries here were not as viscous as Kavitha's but it was certainly no less commanding. We were stunned into silence for a few minutes while we paid respect to the blazing spread in front of us before we resumed firing questions about her Continental adventures.

The Poppadum and stuffed chillies took some time to arrive. I am a staunch devotee of the freeform style poppadum rather over the square cracker variety but it's a trivial flaw so will let it pass. Still crazy crunchy even when mixed in with all that soggy rice.

Riz also got the curious-looking minced sharkmeat & egg dish, nicely flavoured with spices and curry leaves. I had long-standing misgivings about sharkmeat but this was a nice, albeit dry repeal.

We finished with Rassam, sour and substantial, not the watered down variety to which I had been wrongfully inducted. I shall forever repent for pooh-poohing this digestive after BLR, for this prevented me from a melancholic, would've-been highly regrettable nap that same afternoon.

Welcome Back Li Ann, and may this be the start of another wonderful adventure right here at home!


Sean said...

shark meat at brickfields?! i know i'm drunk, but that's what i'm reading! have to check it out :D
btw, i gotta say ... thenomadgourmand's blog is now my authoritative guide for burgers, but u've got the BLR market cornered all to youself =)

qwazymonkey said...

Oooh this was where the Queen wanted to bring us to. But too bad they were closed for Deepavali. Must drag HRH back there. Let's grab u too since you're in MVC!

UnkaLeong said...

Now you've got me craving for BLR! The Rassam looks da part ;)

Ciki said...

Li ann is back ar? is this the same li ann i know:)

ciki said...

oh yar, i forgot, kindly update my link to www.cumidanciki.com TQ!

ciki said...

oh yar, i forgot, kindly update my link to www.cumidanciki.com TQ!

Li Ann said...

ciki: yes saya dah balik!

min: vishal usually serves the round papadam variety. we felt dat day was off cos service was slower than usual. always an excuse for another trip! :)

Rebecca Saw said...

wah....must go and see if this is better that the cahaya purnama one in PJ!!

hhmmm...let's see..Ok, this is Sat's lunch!

HairyBerry said...

this is one banjir that we will always welcome! relief is a glass of lassi, for sure.

qwazymonkey, i wanna go too!!! call me!!!

J said...

Banjir is the best! Wat a yummy looking meal - worth every calorie! :) :)
(Darnit. It seems to have inspired a craving for BLF....)

GlassCube said...

slurp...brickfield's best kept secret! too bad i couldn't dig into that plate of shredded shark.
min/liann: we must go to temple of fine arts one of these days. the pappadom there kicks ass!!!

Li Ann said...

Def count us in! Still on rabbit food? hehe

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

wheres the mutton curry, bring that on!

minchow said...

Sean, no way! So much more to learn about BLR! I stumble upon a BLR joint practically everyday that I haven't tried! The carbs involved are scary but the potential potent discoveries... woo-hoo!

Qwazymonkey, yes I googled up Queen's post! I shall be up for Vishal's with the royal entourage ANYTIME!

UnkaLeong, yes I've had some nasty rassam, so didn't think about trying it again until this. Delicious!

Ciki, Li Ann is indeed back! Also updated link already... so how's life up there in dotcom country?

Li Ann, yeah I was really taken aback by the little crackers they took ages to serve. OK, revisit on!

TNG, Cahaya Purnama?? Where is this? You see, BLR names in all nooks and crannies keep throwing themselves in my direction; this is a lifelong journey, it seems!

minchow said...

Nic, all this banjir talk is getting me so very hungry! But BLR at this hour is incredibly BAAAD!!

J, calorie counting is a futile exercise!! I've also thrown out weighing scale for years so no numbers can make me feel bad! Yes I hate Math THAT much! :-P

Glass Cube, Li Ann, let's go let's go let's go. Sunday right? Or are we going organic?

Joe, ohhhh plenty of mutton magic in this place for you!! Go get some!

Little Inbox said...

yea, it's weird to have few people sitting in a row enjoying food...without conversation...lol

J2Kfm said...

gorgeous stuff, i like my rice to be flooded as well.
though i've my reservation when it comes to the dried chilly! salty!!!!!

choi yen said...

sharkmeat? = meat of shark?

iamthewitch said...

Gosh you just ignited my cravings for BLR! Not good... :P

minchow said...

Little Inbox, yeah, not very conducive for conversation at all! Although that said, the food is good enough to warrant full undivided concentration!

J2Kfm, took me a while to get my head around that stuffed chilly. The trick is to bite a little bit and shovel rice in temper the salt!

Mimid3vils, yep! The very same shark with all those monster teeth! They've started serving its meat, mostly in curries elsewhere.. first time I've seen it prepared this way though.

iamthewitch, BLR is NEVER bad! Embrace the craving! :-)