By SeeFoon Chan-Koppen
I love Sri Lankan food and I love Indian food. Putting the two together means I get to eat coconut sambol with my favourite curries and also some unusual salads which I don’t find in Indian restaurants.
A new restaurant called Tamara’s has just opened serving a delightful mix of both culinary traditions; and although many people cannot distinguish between the two, Tamara’s has more vegetable dishes with more unusual treatments than typical Indian vegetarian dishes. Which makes for a lighter meal.
‘Tamara’ which means lotus flower, (one can see the lotus leaves adorning the walls of the restaurant) is headed by Harrish Aswin Kumar, who is both chef and proprietor. Instead of the typical banana leaves, Tamara’s serves their meals on (what else?) lotus leaves and their daily dishes change from day to day.
Their lunch set meal consists of rice, two types of vegetable of the day, side dishes of curry gravy, pappadam, dry chilli and rasam and a choice of main dish chicken (RM8.50); mutton (RM11); seafood (seasonal price); vegetarian (RM5). Additional items like coconut sambol is RM0.50; Brinjal Anchovies Salad is RM2 (these two are delicious and must-haves) and added main dishes from RM4.
It is served ‘buffet’ style where you select the items you want (a bit like the typical banana-leaf places) and the platter is delivered to your table. Additional orders are served separately. There are daily items of prawns, squid, chicken, one or two mutton dishes in different styles and oodles of yummilicious vegetables, some never before seen in restaurants; like pegaga (pennywort) salad; roselle leaves with ikan bilis or anchovies; burnt brinjal mashed in a paste (Sri Lankan Baba Ganoush!); banana flower salad; signature Sri Lankan brinjal salad; Brinjal Moju or achar or pickle; Signature Cashew Nut Chicken and many many more. Ever changing on a daily basis.
Here at Tamara’s I can happily eat vegetarian (although I am more of a carnivore) as the selection is so extensive and the vegetables are not overcooked or mushy. And the treatment is light, with loads of salad type dishes.
Tamara’s36 Persiaran Greenhill, Ipoh.Tel: 012 642 8821Business hours: 11.30-3.30pmSundays closed.