PETALING JAYA, June 24 — After 20 plus years, May n Mikes Spicy Corner which served Malayalee food has shuttered. In its place, Shobana’s Kerala Kitchen opened about two months ago.
However, the iconic dishes served previously at May n Mikes like fish puttu and mutton varuval can still be enjoyed at Shobana’s. It is still under the hands of the same cook, the petite-sized Sri Wati. The Indonesian woman has been cooking for the previous establishment for 20 years.
Heading the front of the house and the kitchen, you have Yogi Yogesvary. The former housewife was persuaded by her husband to help out the current owners who are close friends. The place is named in honour of the owner’s late mother.
Some changes have, of course, been made to the menu. Like the introduction of chicken biryani, available on Fridays and Sundays. On Sunday, you also have sambal ikan bilis. Occasionally, depending on supplies, they also offer masala crab on Saturday. Yogi also explained to us that since they use a point of sales system to track their sales, the prices are all fixed.
Breakfast is simple fare; a selection from fried noodles, uppuma, putu and idli. From noon onwards, the crowd swells for lunch. Your banana leaf set (RM7 for normal rice, RM7.50 with par-boiled rice) is served with three types of vegetables, rice and pappadum.
On the side, you have two items — unique to them — to add extra flavour to your meal. There’s puli inji, a sweet and sour pickle made from ginger, chillies and tamarind, sweetened with jaggery. There’s also netholi chammanthi podi, a powder made with ikan bilis, coconut and spices, that adds a punch to your meal.
Take your pick from a spread of 22 to 23 dishes, cooked daily from 8am onwards. You can look forward to six different types of vegetables, where three varieties are served with the banana leaf rice.
High on the must-eat list is the fish puttu, a traditional Keralan dish. Usually made with shark meat, this version uses mackerel or ikan tenggiri. Yogi explains to us that this is because some diners shun shark meat due to its smell.
The shredded fish is mixed with freshly grated coconut, making it an addictive addition when mixed with rice. Tinged yellow from turmeric, it is stir fried with dried chillies, mustard seeds, green chillies. curry leaves, chopped garlic and onions, that give it a slight spicy kick.
You’ll fall in love with their mutton varuval, fragrant with spices and caramelised onions. The dry spicy dish is made with Australian mutton, slowly cooked with spices for up to two hours till it’s tender. Another crowd favourite is their mutton peratal. They also offer chicken varuval.
Another must-eat here id the vegetable aviyal — creamy yoghurt and coconut milk curry cooked with five types of vegetables such as long beans, potatoes, snake gourd and brinjal. You also have mooru kulambu, a yoghurt based curry made with vegetable marrow. All these items are available daily.
Shobana’s Kerala Kitchen
No. 357C, Jalan 5/57, Petaling Garden, Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Open: 8am to 3.30pm
Closed on Tuesdays