Our decision to try Devi’s Corner’s banana leaf rice was due to Isadora Chai‘s recommendation on the Best Thing I Ever Ate – Malaysia on Food Network.
Banana Leaf Rice in Devi’s Corner?? It intrigued and got us thinking for a bit – we’ve never had banana leaf rice at Devi’s Corner. Our favorites there are the tandoori, roti and for me, their mi goreng. So banana leaf rice in Devi’s Corner being the best thing she has ever had in Malaysia had us tapping our chins for a bit.
So off we went to satisfy our curiosity!
Banana leaf rice at Devi’s Corner is semi-exclusively served upstairs (I very rarely see it served downstairs) and compared to the section downstairs, it’s quieter and more pleasant upstairs.
The side dishes presented to us were very promising. Spiced potatoes, stir fried spinach and an incredible mango chutney blew our socks off and set the bar really high. I also liked their deep fried bittergourd – thinly sliced, crispy and crunchy unlike a lot of places.
My sauce choices as per usual was a mixture of dhall and chicken curry and Devi’s was good. The dhall was thick and the curry was tasty.
We ordered 3 sides – 2 of our staples: mutton masala and chicken varuval as well as the star of the show – crab curry.
When the crab curry arrived, we were surprised to learn that we were not getting any hammers or nutcrackers like the way that many Chinese restaurants served crab. We learned why shortly after. The curry was tasty and fragrant. It tasted every bit like crab so we were quite impressed by the how much the crab was infused into the sauce. However, we found the reason why the hammers and nutcrackers were not needed – the crab was so soft and mushy! The meat was mushy border-lining ‘crab that was not fresh’ but there was no brine-y smell like crab that has been left out to rot. We reckoned that the crab has been cooked for a long time to infuse the taste into the curry but it rendered the crab meat almost inedible.
Not to mention, I created a mess of myself trying to pry open the crab (even though it was so soft, it was still difficult) and the mark of the crab explosion is still evident on certain parts of my bag.
The chicken varuval tasted strange – it tasted nothing like other varuval that we’ve tried so it was hard to accept. It was dry as well. Did not enjoy this.
The mutton masala was tough and had a strong hint of garlic. Didn’t like it as well.
Deciding whether I liked Devi’s banana leaf rice was difficult. On one hand, I loved the basics that they presented to me (I will never forget that incredible mango chutney) but the side dishes were not as good as my default banana leaf rice places. The crab curry had a very good sauce but the crab meat itself was a major disappointment – was I expected not to eat the crab itself? That would be a big waste, wouldn’t it? Or maybe I didn’t pick all their best side dishes and would have been better off with a fried chicken or fried fish instead?
Either way, I will have a hard time convincing LC to go back for another taste as there are so many other banana leaf rice places that are consistently good.