Passions of Kerala is undoubtedly the best banana leaf rice restaurant in Penang for me just as how their tagline suggests "The Best Banana Leaf Cuisine".
My first try of their banana leaf rice was at their Brown Garden outlet, then known as Innira's. They have since changed the name of that outlet to Passions of Kerala to have a consistent name for all their outlets in Penang, the other one being at New World Park. The outlet at Brown Garden, albeit older, has a certain romantic ambiance to it with it's dim lighting and soft music played in the background. Though not air-conditioned, the strong breeze especially at night is a welcome change and is very relaxing.
This round I paid a visit to their relatively new outlet at New World Park. This is by far their most upmarket outlet with nice decor and air-conditioning.
We ordered their signature vegetarian banana leaf rice set which comes with free flow of rice and vegetables. We were served four types of vegetables cooked differently including beancurd, eggplant, cucumber and chutney. The set also comes with accompanying dhal curry, chicken curry, fish curry and papadum. I asked for mint chutney to dip the papadum in but unfortunately they were out of it that night.
We were quite full so we didn't order any side dishes but their specialty includes McNair fried chicken, fried fish and mutton masala.
I love the fact that the rice and curry at Passions of Kerala were served hot thus making them more appetizing. The three types of curry were full of flavours and went very well with the white rice. I absolutely loved the mango chutney.
We were pleasantly delighted when they distributed bowls of free Payasam dessert. Payasam or Kheer is traditional South Asian sweet dish, made by boiling rice or broken wheat with milk and sugar, and flavoured with cardamons, raisins, saffron, pistachios or almonds.
Vegetarian Set RM5.50 per set
Mango Lassi RM5.00
Masala Tea RM2.50
Some claimed that the price of the banana leaf set is higher at New World Park but I feel it's fair given the higher rent. You pay a little more for a very comfortable ambiance and setting.
Passions of Kerala
102-C-3 New World Park
102 Jalan Burma
10050 Penang, Malaysia
604-227 2550 / 012-4388550
Business Hours: 11:30 am to 11 pm
Passions of Kerala
5 Lorong Endah 4
Taman Brown, Gelugor
12 pm to 3:30 pm
6:30pm to 10:30 pm
Managing Director: Gary G.V. Nair