KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 8 — If you love Pakistani and Indian food, you have to check out this food court located at the second level of City One Plaza, Jalan Munshi Abdullah.
Located just behind Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman and next to Semua House, you will be spoiled for choice by the variety of Pakistani and Indian eats available. As the stalls are run by a group of expatriates, the food is incredibly authentic.
Communicating with the stall owners can be a slight problem though as some of them speak only a little Malay and English, but don’t worry as you can always point at the food that is laid out for breakfast and lunch. Just bring a huge appetite and you will have a great time.
Biryani, naans, parathas, etc.
Open since 1999, this stall is run by Mohd Hanif and his wife Habib Rahimah. He is assisted by his nephew, Mohammad Waseem.
Previously in Pakistan, he ran a restaurant with his brothers that sold the same food items. The food is cooked with a mixture of spices, some imported from Pakistan and some sourced locally.
The stall also does catering and so far, CIMB Bank Berhad, Bank Negara Malaysia and the International Islamic University Malaysia have used them.
The must-eat here is their fluffy biryani that has garnered many fans. Every day they serve the plain biryani; the chicken biryani is served on Fridays and the mutton biryani on Sundays.
For a piping hot biryani straight from the stove, try and come here by 11.30am. You will find that each long rice grain is fluffy with a slight al dente texture.
Unlike at other places, the grains also retain a little moisture making it incredibly easy to eat without curry. The chicken used for the biryani is freshly slaughtered and each piece is perfectly cooked.
In the morning, they serve paratha and chapati that you can enjoy with chickpea curry and fried eggs. By noon, the counter will be heaving with dishes and lunch is served.
Aside from an assortment of savoury items, there will also be two types of sweets. We sampled the gulab jamun filled with cream and it’s a decadent treat. On Fridays, there is a special treat in the wholesome haleem. The comforting and slightly thick paste is made from wheat, shredded chicken and lentils that is slowly cooked. Mix the haleem with the topping of fresh mint leaves, young ginger strips, green chillies, fried shallot crisps and a squeeze of lime juice for a easy to digest meal especially after Friday prayers.
If you prefer naan or what they call Roti Arab, the stall also offers various types like garlic, Kashimiri, etc. It’s larger and lighter in texture compared to the ones we are more used to from the mamak stall. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, they serve nihari, a meat stew that is usually cooked with the bone marrow.
Hanif Mughal Food
Stall No. 5
City One Plaza
Open: 7.30am to 7pm
Tel: 010-889 0031
Freshly baked goods
Located just next door to Hanif’s, this Muslim bakery is owned by Muqeem Hussain who relocated from Karachi about five years ago to work as a pastry chef in a hotel here. In Pakistan, Muqeem’s family also owns Muslim bakeries around the city and he is the sixth generation of the family to continue the tradition.
About three years ago, Muqeem’s wife, Humaira Rashid opened the food stall next to the drinks counter that serves Pakistani dishes she cooks herself. Currently, their son Bilal Muqeem is helping them out.
The sweet pie is essentially made from flaky pastry that is liberally covered with sesame seeds and a sugar coating. Both pies are especially delicious and incredibly addictive when eaten hot from the oven. They also bake various biscuits with butter, sugee, coconut and chocolate. There is also a sugar-free cookie. You can also order various cakes from the bakery.
Stall No. 6
City One Plaza
Tel: 03-6262 9196
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Taj-Bakery-355397731232060/
If you are looking for some nibbles, try this Punjabi vegetarian stall run by Malkit Singh. Originally from New Delhi, he picked up cooking under the tutelage of his mother. He decided to open a vegetarian food stall since everyone can eat this type of food.
Malkit serves a variety of eats like pani puri, samosa, aloo tiki, vegetarian thali, gobhi paratha, vegetarian biryani, aloo paratha, methi paratha and chole bahture.
Try his pani puri, a popular street food in India. He fills up crispy dough shells with soft boiled potatoes that is drizzled with tamarind chutney. A dollop of cold homemade yoghurt and boondi or fried gram flour balls is sprinkled over for a contrast in texture.
Pop one shell in your mouth and you get a burst of spicy, sweet and sour flavours. If you prefer a more substantial meal, go for his samosa that is stuffed to the brim with mashed potatoes. It is also served with yoghurt and the tamarind chutney.
Punjabi Vegetarian Food
Stall No. 8
City One Plaza