As much as I enjoy my Indian food, few South Indian or banana leaf outlets in KL/PJ compelled me to return after an initial visit.
A handful are ok, others I would rate as “decent” but most serve overly greasy food and soggy vegetables.
Yes, I’m rather particular about the vegetables simply because I LOVE indian cooked vegetables!
More often than not, a fulfilling meal for me at an Indian restaurant consists of only vegetables.
I love the soft texture (but not soggy, mind you) and the taste. While the Chinese and Malays rely on soy, oyster sauce, salt and pepper for many of their greens, the Indians throws in a myriad of spices which enhances the best features of each vegetable.
The first time I visited Lawanya the elevated rows of claypots filled with varying colors of vegetables held me entranced for minutes.
Gosh, that’s the most assortment of vegetables in a humble Indian food shack I’ve seen!
And what struck me was the condition and colours of the greens. They were not cooked to an unappetising dull colour and neither do they looked like they were cooked hours ago. The dishes were vibrant, fresh and for a food shack in a back lane, this is the cleanest one I’ve ever encountered!
I saw the queue, hung back and observed the team at work while I listened for the prices as each patron paid.
Impressive, I’ve thought.
As with most rice stalls, the proprietor look at the serving the customer load on their plate and charge accordingly.
In general, a meal with 3 vegetables is below RM5.00 (with a heaping portion of rice!) while a portion of meat or seafood goes for about RM4.00 – RM8.00.
My meal was RM8.50 with a portion of their highly recommended mutton curry, 2 vegetables, chickpeas and beancurd puffs curry and beancurd.
Adding to the value of dining here are complimentary cups of rasam and pappadums.
As for the revered mutton, I concurred that it is a must-order. The meat is tender (I never liked the dried up and chewy mutton kind) and imbued with all the flavour of the spices.
I must eat this again!
Other than the mutton, the chicken varuval is another popular choice.
On Fridays they offer mock meat as well.
After 2 visits I noticed that some of the dishes and vegetables are rotated but I never minded since there are so many dishes to choose from.
I wasn’t able to identify some of the vegetables but because the team is perpetually busy, I didn’t wish to interrupt them with my queries.
Lawanya is as old as I am (minus a few years) and it is officially one of my favourite place for South Indian food now.
The team is efficient, the dining area clean and orderly and the prices fair.
If you haven’t tried the food here, I do strongly urge you to do so!
You will be rewarded with home-cooked flavours in a fuss-free dining environment paying prices that won’t break your wallet.
The customers patronising Lawanya are as friendly as the owners and was happy to chat with me. While in queue, some of them tipped me on what to order while the men I shared my table with explained about Moru, a simple spiced buttermilk cooling beverage that I saw on another table.
Lawanya is open from 6am and nasi lemak, roti canai, thosai and chapati are the breakfast staples. Lunch starts at about 11:30 am and goes on to about 4 pm daily.
Lawanya Food Corner,
No. 1077/8, Lorong Scott, Brickfields, KL.
OPEN: 6am to 4pm
LOCATION: Turn left into the alleyway from Jalan Scott (where Vishal is), next to Hotel Classic Inn.
Waze: Lorong Scott/Hotel Classic Inn.