Monday, January 29, 2007

Colonial Times v Chutney Mary

Serving size at Chutney Mary (top)
Interior of Chutney Mary @ Bangsar (bottom)

I just got back from my second Northern Indian dinner in two days. Now that's what you call a serious beriyani overload! All thanks to overseas family from both sides of the family who returned to sunny Malaysia yearning for some naans n stuff.

Anyway, this offered a unique opportunity to really compare two similar restaurants as at least 3 choices were the same for both establishments. They were Chicken Hyderabadi Beriyani, Lamb Roganosh and Spinach & Mushroom Kuftas.

Today was my third visit to Chutney Mary (not to be confused with the famous Chutney Mary of London!) and after my first time dinner at Colonial Times, I have to say without a doubt, Colonial Times wins hands down.

The beriyani at Colonial Times was absolutely exquisite. So moist and addictive that you could just eat it on its own without any accompaniments. The rice was well cooked and apparently cooked in a herb-infused stock. The chicken was flavourful and spiced to just the right amount.

For the first time the beriyani offerings at Chutney Mary paled in comparison. Although tasty on its own, it lacked the intense oomph that I tasted at Colonial Times.

The same goes for the Lamb as well. Colonial Times served us succulent, juicy lamb roganosh that just melted in your mouth. Chutney Mary's lamb although quite tasty, the cut of meat wasn't as good as Colonial Times, it was rather dry.

Last but not least, my favourite dish, the Spinach & Mushroom Kuftas. I fell in love with that dish when I tasted it at a party at Chutneys PJ (related to Chutney Mary). It was soft and creamy and oh so yummylicious. I ordered that same dish at Colonial Times and wasn't disappointed. Although a tad smaller than the one I had at Chutneys PJ, the gravy and mushroom tasted excellent. However, when I had the one served at Chutney Mary today, I was quite disheartened. The spinach balls were hard and didn't melt well with the creamy gravy.

All in all, a visit to Colonial Times @ The Curve ended the fascination I had with Chutney Mary. The only reason I would probably go back to Chutney Mary's is for the decor and quiet ambiance. Colonial Times would be just perfect if it didn't have an atrocious band yelping their lungs out while you try to eat your dinner. It really is no fun having to yell over badly sung strains of "Av-eree bra u take...Av-eree mooov u make..." in between mouthfuls of naan.

Other than that, if you have a hankering for solid good Northern Indian/Global cuisine, head for Colonial Times @ The Curve. Just a tip for you, seat yourself at the balcony as far away as possible from the band!

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