This is my mantra when it comes to Indian (northern and southern) food; good ones at least, especially when it has that “home cooked” wholesomeness mixed into it.
One restaurant that has survived the test of time and stiff competition is Gills Restaurant in Medan Damansara.
It has occupied the corner lot on Jalan Kasah for 15 years, serving a mix of northern Indian, including Punjabi food.
Gills’ manager Kailash T. attributed their longevity to word of mouth and regular customers.
“We have a good team working with us and we provide that extra personal attention to our patrons, despite the fact that a lot of people do not value customer service nowadays.
“Our food is also tweaked to suit the Malaysian palate,” said Kailash, who has been in the position for 13 years.
Providing value-for-money is also a must.
“GST or not, we do not increase our prices unscrupulously. It’s not fair to our customers.
“It is a balance of being prudent, not stocking up unnecessarily and sourcing for wholesale produce and halal meat,” he said.
Gills was started in December 2000 by Kuldeep Singh, an engineer by trade who had successfully run food businesses in Australia.
He passed away the following year.
Kuldeep’s sister, Sarbjeet Kaur, a homemaker, now helps to run Gills with her mother, 85-year-old Serjit Gill.
Both have been instrumental in continuing the family business.
Is there a difference between Punjabi and northern Indian cuisine? Not really, said Kailash.
“Chapatis, palak and tikka-style dishes are very common ‘north Indian’ food even within the Pakistani community.
“However, the use of chickpeas, for example, is more prevalent in Punjabi cuisine,” he said.
Gills’ chef Ganesh Dutt hails from north of New Delhi and has worked in Gills for nine years.
The ambience at Gills is not fancy, rather homely – like you are dining at a friend’s house.
For starters, we had Punjabi Pakoras – mixed vegetables fried in spicy gram flour batter.
It is a little different from the usual fried pakora you get elsewhere.
There is an earthy flavour from the gram flour and it is less oily.
Lamb Bhuna: Boneless lamb pieces prepared in a dry-fried sauce.
The main courses comprised Chicken Tikka, Tandoori Prawns, plain and lamb Briyani, naan (garlic and Kashmiri) as well as Pudina Prata, Chicken Makhani (butter chicken prepared in a rich spicy tomato and cream sauce), Baingan Masala (Chinese eggplant cooked in a delicate mixture of herbs and spices), Lamb Bhuna (boneless lamb pieces prepared in a dry-fried sauce), and Dhal Makhani (a combination of three lentils prepared with butter, cream and spices).
All the dishes were very good and tasty and not overwhelmingly spiced or seasoned.
The Kashmiri naan – topped with little jewels of dried fruit was my favourite.
Pair this with the Dhal Makhani and you will be a happy camper.
If you want to indulge in dessert, try the usual suspects of kulfi (plain, almond or mango) and gulab jamun.
¦ RESTORAN GILLS,138, Jalan Kasah, Medan Damansara, Kuala Lumpur. (Tel: 03-2092 5403). Business hours: Noon to 2.30pm and 6pm to 10.30pm daily. Closed on Mondays.
This is the writer’s personal observation and not an endorsement by StarMetro.