Customers lining up to take their food.

After a small forum about freedom of expression at the Kuala Lumpur Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH), I walked outside the gate and was astonished to see many people crowding around an Indian food stall. The stall, located under a big tree next to the gates of the KLSCAH, looked like any typical food stall you find along the road. Tables were arranged anywhere with a flat surface. At midday, the large tree provided ample shade to the customers.

I went in for a closer look. I was pleasantly surprised at the variety of dishes available! Then, one of the workers walked past me with a basket filled with crispy papadums! I immediately joined the queue.

I filled my plate with long beans, deep fried cauliflower and pumpkin, and as much curry my plate could carry. There is a big pot of curry with a ladle at one end of the table of dishes.

As I tucked into my food, I asked an Indian man why he patronised the stall and he replied, “It is like home cooked food!” Indeed, the food was tasty.

The best part is the papadum was deep fried one at a time, the way it should be instead of batches! And you can take as many as you like!

You help yourself to the dishes on display and someone will come around to calculate your total bill. The price was only average. My plate cost RM4.50. I thought it would be cheaper since it was a vegetarian plate, and just a stall under a tree. Maybe I was charged more because I had loaded with my plate with extra deep fried cauliflower!

I spoke to one of the the owners, named Suresh. He and his uncle, Sivam, started this business 18 years ago. The recipes came from his mother. He proudly told me his pièce de résistance was “mutton peratal”. According to a customer seated next to me, the mutton was tender and good. Suresh’s wife also helps him with a handful of workers. A variety of drinks including can drinks are available.

The service is fast; my table was cleared when I got up to take a few photos. They have also opened a new restaurant called SS Spicy Food Restaurant serving banana leaf rice at Jalan Pudu Impian IV, Kuala Lumpur.

Address: Under the tree outside the gates of KLSCAH.

Price: 3/5
Service: 4/5
Food: 5/5
Variety: 5/5

Pepper Lim is a self confessed curry addict. He has tried many times to change his ways but have failed. His poor wife has to endure lies upon lies when he comes home smelling of exotic Indian spices. He even named his children Paprika and Saffron. He does suffer the effects of the spicing in the morning but he thinks it is well worth it.

Pepper is the father of two adorable children named Paprika Lim and Saffron Lim. "Dear Paprika" is a series of letters written for posterity. When Paprika is 20 years old, he will be 61. He prefers to...

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