[Muslim-friendly] Bring your big appetite to Big Leaf BLR.
Big Leaf BR is a relatively new Indian banana leaf rice restaurant in PJ.
Opened in April last year, Big Leaf BLR occupies an end-shop lot in the cosy neighbourhood of Section 17, PJ. We’ve passed by the establishment a few times and always made a mental note to try the food here due to its inviting facade.
We finally checked out the place last week, and really enjoyed our experience!
[UPDATED on 12 June 2022 following our second visit to try new dishes]
Big Leaf BLR in Section 17
With its lush verdure and high ceiling, Big Leaf BLR does not look like your typical Banana Leaf Rice restaurant.
The amount of big, leafy plants (aha!) surrounding the restaurant really makes for a comfortable experience.
Despite the scorching hot weather that day (32°C!), we did not feel the heat dining without air-cond thanks to the natural and cooling effects of the plants.
The space is also super clean and well-ventilated.
Big Leaf BLR starts at RM8.50
The basic Banana Leaf Rice Meal here starts at RM8.50 – which includes three vegetable side dishes, rice and pappadom.
As usual, the rice, side dishes and curries can be topped up unlimited times.
For a healthier option, Big Leaf also offers an upgrade to Red Rice (RM3.50 per portion), but there is no unlimited top-up for this.
The first indicators of a good BLR are the curries and side dishes.
Thankfully, the curries served that day – dhal, crab curry and chicken curry – were delicious!
The Dhal is thick and creamy, with plenty of lentils to offer texture and body.
The use of red lentils (vs. yellow) gives it a mushier consistency and a red-orange hue that is very appetising.
The Chicken Curry here is also thick and gravy-like (instead of watery) and slightly spicy to tickle the taste buds.
Our favourite had to be the Crab Curry – rich, creamy, and wonderfully infused with crab essence.
We even found half a crab body with meat in our pot. Score!
Decent side dishes, crispy pappadom
The Cucumber Raita here is refreshing, but Max enjoyed the Brinjal as they were tender, with a nice sweetness to balance out the spiciness of the other dishes. Ming, however, found this dish too sweet for her liking.
We did find the Turmeric Cabbage to be too soft as we wished it had more crunch.
The pappadom here, on the other hand, was crunchy!
Tender fried squid, delicious mutton
Our favourite dish here has to be the Fried Squid (RM14.50).
When most fried squid tends to be rubbery and tough, the ones here were tender but firm enough for a good bite.
They were seasoned well too, with a good topping of crispy fried onions and curry leaves.
The Mutton Masala (RM13) here is another stand-out dish. The mutton pieces were tender and wonderfully flavoured.
Compared to the usual Mutton Varuval, this dish was mildly spicy and well-suited for those who can’t take too much heat.
The mutton was served with some crispy onion and curry leaves toppings for texture.
Fried bitter gourd, Chicken varuval
The Fried Bitter Gourd (RM4.90) here comes in a dark amber colour. While some of the pieces were thick – they were crispy and easy to bite.
The Chicken Varuval (RM8.50) here is sufficiently infused with spices, but not packing too much heat to make it accessible for most palates.
While freshly cooked, we thought the Fried Chicken (RM10.50) was just decent as we would have preferred it to be marinated with more spices.
Overall, Big Leaf BLR is definitely a welcomed addition to the neighbourhood.
While it doesn’t have the variety of curries like other popular banana leaf places do, it makes up for it with its outstanding dishes like fried squid, mutton masala and fried bitter gourd to warrant a return visit – making it one of the better BLRs in town.
The place is also clean and comfortable to bring friends and family for a casual lunch, with no queues or crowds if you go early.
We also like the unique option of Red Rice on the menu – which goes surprisingly well with the curries.
All of the dishes were freshly cooked and suited our taste buds.
We recommend going at 11 am when the shop opens to secure the best seats, and enjoy the dishes at their freshest!
2nd visit – Fried Tenggiri and Tiger Prawn Sambal
We returned to Big Leaf three weeks later as our mom requested for BLR brunch.
This time, we ordered the Tiger Prawn Sambal (RM19.90) and Fried Tenggiri (RM10).
We enjoyed the Tiger Prawn Sambal. We got six crustaceans in our serving plate, topped with luscious sambal that’s sweet and spicy.
Taking inspiration from Malay/Indonesian cuisine, the sambal really has a spicy kick with lots of lemongrass used. The prawns were fresh as well and fried until the shells were crispy, but not overdone until the meat is rubbery.
While the fried fish was cooked perfectly – flaky and tender enough but not overcooked until dry – we wished it had curry powder in its marinade.
Check out out Instagram Reel
Check out our Instagram Reel from our second visit below.
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Big Leaf BLR Restaurant
Address: 600-GF, Jalan 17/12, Seksyen 17, 46400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Hours: 11am-10pm Daily
Phone: 03-7931 5179