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When my driver dropped me off at Satasivam, he remarked, “Oh this one is very old”, meaning that it has been around for a long time. And yet, despite it being close by, just off the Silibin roundabout, I had never set foot in it.

S. Kumaravel who works with his father said it was started in 2000 and as far as I can gather, it has been a haven for anyone looking for a good banana leaf meal away from the main town area.

Prices here are reasonable with a set meal of vegetables, one piece of chicken or fish and rice at RM7.50 and with mutton at RM8.50. This is also a great place for different types of Thosai from paper to Rava served with bawang or onion curry, coconut chutney, onion chutney and dhal. At RM1.30 for regular thosai and RM2.20 for the rava thosai, this is a steal at today’s rising food prices. I particularly loved the bawang(onion) chutney and the bawang curry. All the accompaniments to the their breads are freely available as they are passed from table to table in stainless steel containers. For Roti Canai, fish curry gravy and chicken curry gravy is also available.

The piece de resistance here is the Rava Thosai, a thin web-like pancake made with Suji flour (semolina) that is crispy and totally delicious, with coriander leaves and seeds lending their inimitable flavours to the batter. It also packs a fiery kick and can be eaten as is without any dips.

Naturally they have the usual fried fish at RM3.50 and RM4.50 and a good crab curry at RM8.50-RM15 (depending on size and market price) per portion and a whole host of other choices. Of special note is their “Sharksfin”, faux shark fin (actually strands of gelatin) mixed with grated coconut, curry leaves and egg; RM5. Yummilicious.

And did I mention that their Wadai, both the yellow lentil and the Urud (white dhal) is fiery and very tasty. RM0.70-0.80 per piece.

6.30am-11.30am; 5pm-8pm: Roti Canai, Thosai, Idli, and other Indian breads. Ask for their special Appam and Ragi Idli.
12pm onwards: Usual lunch with rice and huge array of curries and vegetarian dishes
4pm onwards: Chapatis and Pooris.
Value for money and great food. The only advice I have is for them to maintain cleaner floors and toilets. Floors are so slippery that they are dangerous.
Restoran Satasivam (Halal)
21 Jalan Perempuan Mazwin, Taman Rishah, 30010 Ipoh.
Open: 6.30am-8pm Sundays closed at 2pm
Tel: 016 550 2291
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See Foon

SeeFoon Chan-Koppen has been writing a food column called Musings on Food in the Ipoh Echo since 2009. It is widely read both in print as well as online which receives more than 1 million hits a month. Her forte is in communications, having honed her skills after graduating from the University of Singapore where she worked for the Straits Times Group and was a food critic for the New Nation. Her knowledge of food and cooking come from more than 30 years in the hotel industry based in Singapore, Tokyo, Hong Kong and subsequently Kuala Lumpur. During this time, she has travelled all over the world and eaten at the best and worst restaurants. She is totally intimate with the subtleties and nuances of most cuisines of the world having been involved in opening over 50 hotels throughout the Asia/Pacific region and China where she helped to conceptualize Food and Beverage themes and critiqued on food quality. SeeFoon calls herself a global citizen and now chooses the serenity and friendliness of Ipoh to the bright lights of the many cities she has lived in. She also loves the food in Ipoh and is passionate about telling the world about it.

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