Really good chappati, sardine sambal at Waterfall Cafe, Botanical Gardens Penang

This is part of #RebeccaPenangHalalGuide. See full list here –> List of Muslim friendly food outlets in Penang by Rebecca Saw

Restaurant Name: Waterfall Cafe, Botanical Gardens Penang
Address: Near the entrance of Botanical Gardens, Jalan Kebun Bunga, 10350 Penang
Tel: +6012- 452 5580
GPS:  TBA

Opening Hours: 8:30pm – 7:30pm (Monday – Sunday)
Website: NA
Halal Checklist:
Muslim Owned: N (Indian)
Halal Certified: No
100% Halal Ingredients: Y
Cleanliness Grade – A
Serves Alcohol: N
Years of Operation: Since 1992, currently 3rd generation running the business.
Extra Comments/Notes: Prices are nett.

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From a simple hawker stall at the entrance of Penang Botanical Gardens, this chapatti and curry business has morphed into a full fledge eatery with numerous stalls selling burgers to nasi kandar and fried rice/noodles, all managed by the same owner. This “proper” roofed eatery began business in 2010.
For over 3 generations his family had fed the young and old but mostly hungry after their exercise from the hill and the gardens

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A typical business day begins at 8.30am and the morning menu consists of half boiled eggs, roti canai, chapatti, thosai and packets of hot nasi lemak, mee/mee hoon goreng. Nasi Kandar, fried noodles and rice as well as burgers are sold from 12pm onwards.

chappati, sardine sambal at Waterfall Cafe, Botanical Gardens Penang-013

The zinc roof provides necessary shelter from the elements but the open air eatery cleverly made use of the breezy air and cool ambiance provided without charge by nature.
Operational daily, Waterfall Café is a converging spot for a drink or snack after a sweaty session in the gardens.
signature meal of chapati, sardine sambal and dalcha.

chappati, sardine sambal at Waterfall Cafe, Botanical Gardens Penang-012

Waterfall Cafe most loved item is their chapatti and sardine sambal (sardine chilli paste). My Penang friends tipped me about it and I wasn’t going to leave Penang without tasting it.
I ordered a set and was duly impressed with the soft and puffy chapatti, which was so good that I could enjoy it plain.

chappati, sardine sambal at Waterfall Cafe, Botanical Gardens Penang

But of course then it would have been a waste of the amazing sardine sambal. I love how it was thick and naturally sweet due to the generous onions added into the recipe.
Plus there are actual chunks of sardine. It was very easy to eat since it leaned more towards the sweet than spicy but there were definitely chilies were added into the mix for the heat.

chappati, sardine sambal at Waterfall Cafe, Botanical Gardens Penang-001

I can attest to all the rumours of how good their chapatti and sardine sambal now.

chappati, sardine sambal at Waterfall Cafe, Botanical Gardens Penang-002

My all-time favourite dhal was just as satisfying. Anant explained that everything is made from scratch every day and only the best quality ingredients are used. They don’t miserly on the ingredients either; the sardine sambal was thick with minced sardines and the dhall though watery was full of lentils goodness and loaded with potatoes, cauliflower and carrots.

chappati, sardine sambal at Waterfall Cafe, Botanical Gardens Penang-006

Good quality chillies were used to ensure the full bodied flavor in all their sambals and Anant ensures the consistency of the food as he himself is present in the outlet each day.
The dough for the roti, thosai and chapatti is a closely guarded family recipe.

chappati, sardine sambal at Waterfall Cafe, Botanical Gardens Penang-004

After such a good chapatti I couldn’t resist the thosai. Thankfully I did!
The thosai is good, but I was blown away with the superb coconut chutney. It was thick, gritty, sweet and slightly sour all at once. Nothing like the sad watery paste commonly served elsewhere. This chutney has a lovely body and good complexity in flavor.
I wiped my saucer clean. And that’s coming from me, someone who doesn’t even like coconut chutney to begin with.

chappati, sardine sambal at Waterfall Cafe, Botanical Gardens Penang-007

The thosai was served with dhall and anchovies sambal, also full bodied in flavor and pleasantly spicy.

chappati, sardine sambal at Waterfall Cafe, Botanical Gardens Penang-003

Seriously there’s no better place within this vicinity for a good mamak breakfast. Prices are unbelievably cheap; even by Penang standards.

A roti canai or a chapatti is only RM1.00. A thosai is RM1.50. A pack of homemade nasi lemak, also a closely guarded family recipe is RM1.50. Same for the fried noodles.
Anant shared that they only use quality rice and thus the nasi lemak boast of whole, firm grains when cooked. The rice was lightly scented with coconut milk and the egg was soft and bouncy. The sambal is again, homemade. Even the fried anchovies are freshly fried.

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chappati, sardine sambal at Waterfall Cafe, Botanical Gardens Penang-009

I asked if any of these are sourced from an outside supplier and he firmly shook his head. Everything from their own kitchen; he said proudly.

chappati, sardine sambal at Waterfall Cafe, Botanical Gardens Penang-010

chappati, sardine sambal at Waterfall Cafe, Botanical Gardens Penang-011

I left satiated and really happy with this discovery. Penang born and bred I had exercised at Penang Hill for a good many years while growing up but I have not once eaten at Anant’s stall.
Now back to Penang as a tourist, I’m glad to have met Anant and tasted his superb roti and sambals.
For my next visit, I’m aiming for lunch. Let’s see if Anant’s Nasi Kandar is as good! 🙂

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