Indian cuisine is one that is rich, not only in taste, but also in culture. While to many of us in Malaysia, Indian food is Indian food, there exists so many distinctive qualities between Northern and Southern Indian cuisine.
We recently tried Gajaa @ 8, which boasts royal Southern Indian food. Gaja, which is elephant, is the defining character of the place. With elephant designs adorning the interior and velvet armchairs as seats, the restaurant gives off a slight upscale vibe.
We’re not going to pretend to be experts in Indian cuisine and compare the differences between the region’s dishes. But there are some noticeable opposites. For one, we didn’t find palak paneer on the menu, which is a common Northern Indian dish. Instead, we found a curried paneer.
Another thing we noticed was that there seemed to be a lot more variants of curries on the menu, which we gladly sampled.
The first two dishes we tried were the Red Jewel (RM20) and Red Warrior (RM16). The Red Warrior is a wok fried cauliflower dish, which is cooked in a more chinese method than Indian. But we had to give it a try because it had a star next to it on the menu! And it was worth the try. This vegan friendly dish was the spiciest dish of the night, though on my spiciness rating I would only give it a 2 or 3. It’s a very easy dish to enjoy, even if you don’t take spicy food.
The Red Jewel is another recommended dish and is their signature lollipop chicken wings. This was not as spicy as the cauliflower but packed a lot more flavour. It’s a good appetiser for four to share.
For mains, we decided to try an array of curries, paired with appam and biryani. The Kerala Chicken Biryani (RM28) was a hearty portion of rice and chicken, which paired perfectly with the curries we tried. This is a good sharing portion for 3-4 people as well. A must-do for Indian food is to come with as many people as possible to enjoy as many dishes as you can in one sitting!
For the sides, the potato mappas (RM16) was a natural choice. No Indian meal is complete without a potato curry dish, of course! This was an instant hit with us and we enjoyed every last bite of it.
The Mahabali feast (RM25) was a rich chicken masala coconut curry. Indeed, it was a feast because of the huge portion it came in. Definitely value for money.
We also tasted their Allepey Kingdom curry (RM30), which was a sweet curry, cooked with fish cubes, raw mango infused coconut milk, coconut and ginger. This is a Kerala specialty, which we thoroughly enjoyed. This was one of the most unique dishes of the night. The fish was cooked to perfection, but we were most impressed by the burst of flavours in the curry that ranged from sweet to sour to salty.
For something on the heavier side, we sampled the Barn of Kensington mutton curry (RM36). Though I wouldn’t classify it as a curry, because the sauce had more of a gravy texture, this black pepper packed dish was met with mixed reviews. Personally, I enjoyed the mutton on its own, which was tender and flavourful. As I’m not a huge fan of black pepper, I passed on the sauce, which my dining partners lapped it up eagerly.
Another side we had, which was mentioned earlier, was the paneer patani masala (RM23). The rich broth coating the paneer was fragrant and was equally addictive as the other curries.
Apart from the biryani, we tried the appams (RM7) for carbs. This is a must-try here at Gajaa @ 8. The appams are incredibly tasty, light and fluffy! Try both the plain one and the egg flavoured one. You won’t regret it!
Overall our meal was a highly enjoyable one. You won’t be disappointed with the quality of the food here and the sheer variety of dishes on the menu. We found it very value for money, especially if you’re dining in a group of four or more. It’s definitely merrier with more when it comes to Indian cuisine!
Gajaa @ 8 No. 8, Lorong Maarof, Bangsar,
59000 Kuala Lumpur,
Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur Open daily from 11:30AM-11:30PM Parking is available on the premises but is limited.