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One of the joys of traveling is to see friends and do things together at a location faraway from where we became friends.

Not having seen our friends S and M for many (five plus) years, we met them for lunch at this South Indian eatery near downtown KL. They have settled in KL a couple of years ago.  Since we said we wanted to try something local, M and S chose Vishal. The place was not easy to find despite we were driven around in a taxi.

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Vishal is located in Brickfields, a small Indian enclave where among the high rise residential towers, there are a couple of small Hindu temple complexes. Vishal serves traditional south Indian food on banana leaves. It is making comfort food for the neighborhood and certainly not a touristy place.

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As soon as we sat down, a server placed a banana leaf in front each of us and a lady following immediately behind plopped down little scoops of starters on our leaf.
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The starters were kept in a set of four industrial stainless-steel cans – they looked like cans that contained paints.

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Before we ordered drinks, men came by and showed us a tray full of small plates, each containing something savory or spicy. Everything was happening around us so quickly. We had no idea of the names of what we ate as there were no time to ask the waiters or decipher the flavor from their answers. There were chicken, lamb and squid as well as a variety of vegetarian dishes.

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Then, another man came around with a tray full of fried fish, whole, halved, or minced and made into cakes. I picked the half fish (with the tail) and a deep-fried fish and potato cake.

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They also gave us papadams – very light and tasty.

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This is what I had on my banana leaf before I piled on stuff from the small plates. Many people were using their hands to eat, as it is the Southern Indian tradition. We asked for knives and forks (shame).

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We finished every thing on our leaves. This is Sue’s leaf at the end.

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We did not have the crab, while it looked tasty, it would have been a mess to eat – but in retrospect, since one can use hands and the “plate” is massive, it would not have mattered really.

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The eatery also sells takeout in small portions, neatly packed in these tiny clear plastic bags.

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The dining room was full when we arrived, and by 2pm, many have left already as it was a weekday.

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S and M – thanks for taking us to this real local place.

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