Banana leaf spread inspired by mum’s recipes

Maya offers variety on the menu to cater to customers’ dietary preferences so each one can find something to enjoy. — Photos: WILLIAM GARY/The Star

A BANANA leaf meal is always a good idea when looking for varied options.

One place to indulge in this beyond lunchtime is Maya@Solaris Banana Leaf at Mont Kiara.

The new location marks Maya’s third restaurant, after its two branches in Brickfields and Bangsar in Kuala Lumpur.

The restaurant’s casual atmosphere and friendly staff make customers feel welcome here.

Maya co-founder Ramesh Kumar’s passion in serving banana leaf meals in the most authentic way was evident as he explained the story behind the array of dishes served.

“The vegetables are placed on the right side of the leaf so we eat them first with our right hand.

“The meal is complete with sweet, sour and spicy components.

“But if you want more, you can take a little bit of the lime pickle, mango chutney or sour chilli.”

Maya offers variety so customers with different dietary needs can find something to enjoy.

Ramesh said the parboiled ponni rice is suitable for diabetics or health-conscious diners.

“I was inspired to open the restaurant to share my late mother’s recipes.

“Some dishes like the Mutton Chukka which is uncommon in restaurants serving banana leaf meals can be found here so more people can enjoy it.”

For RM14.90, some of the mains included in a standard banana leaf set are plant-based Chicken Varuval, Vegetable Kootu, Vegetable Peratal and Deep-fried Bitter Gourd.

A Vegetarian Maharaja set, priced at RM16.90, is available on Fridays, from 11am to 10pm.

The menu, which changes weekly, offers two starters, six mains, three curries, five condiments and a dessert.

The Carrot and Long Beans Poriyal and Brinjal Potato Peratal were the two mains that stood out during our visit one Friday.

Maya’s extensive selection of dishes are cooked with the Malaysian palate in mind.

Maya’s co-founders Ramesh (left) and Maynicca sitting down to a meal at the restaurant.Maya’s co-founders Ramesh (left) and Maynicca sitting down to a meal at the restaurant.

The bright red Butter Chicken was creamy, buttery and perfect for those who cannot handle too much spice.

The meat in the Mutton Chukka was tender and infused with tomatoes, which paired nicely with the Mixed Vegetable Briyani.

The fried mackerel is ideal for those who like fish.

“Our spices are sourced from India, then roasted and ground in-house. The seafood is brought in fresh from Sabah,” said Ramesh, who established Maya with co-founder Maynicca Rajamanikam.

Ramesh’s words were proven true when we dug into the Crab Peratal and Prawn Peratal.

Both were cooked just right to absorb the flavour of the gravy.

Ramesh added that the restaurant’s chicken and mutton are delivered daily by halal-certified suppliers.

Maya@Solaris is running a break of fast buffet until April 9.

Priced at RM69.90nett per person, it offers several choices of chicken, fish, mutton, prawn, squid and vegetable for the main course.

The buffet is served from 7pm onwards. Bookings are required.

Groups of six and above can also order a serving of Claypot Fish Head Curry, priced at RM49.90.

A personal favourite was the Milo naan.

The malt chocolate powder and naan’s fluffiness was the perfect way to end the meal.

While the naan is served as a dessert on the buffet, it is also available on the a la carte menu.

Maya’s menu varies slightly, depending on the time.

For breakfast starting at 7am, there are tiffin meals with thosai, idli, parota and roti canai.

The banana leaf meals, along with naan and tandoori, are available for lunch, served between 11am and 4pm.

From 4pm onwards, its entire menu lineup, including tiffin meals, banana leaf meals, naan and tandoori are available.

MAYA@SOLARIS, 1, Jalan Solaris 2, Solaris Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur. (Call/WhatsApp: 012-395 2153). Business hours: 7am to 11pm, daily.

This is the writer’s personal observation and not an endorsement by StarMetro.

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