The famous Mavalli Tiffin Rooms (MTR) from Bangalore (Bengaluru), India, makes a landfall in Kuala Lumpur last Dec 2017 when it opens its first Malaysian outlet in KL’s bustling Little India district, on Tun Sambanthan Road, Brickfields. I often wondered why it took so long for this legendary eatery (founded 1924) to come to Malaysia, with its burgeoning South Indian community of 2 million. Anyway, better late than never.
MTR Kuala Lumpur is a small, swish cafe, serving the best-tasting Udupi-style South Indian breakfast options I’d ever tasted anywhere in Malaysia or Singapore - thanks very much to the supervision of Arun, the Bangalore-born manager currently overseeing the outlet’s operations, and the very skilled chefs in its kitchen which are churning out some of the most perfect dosas I’d had in recent times.
Arun, the mild-mannered and friendly manager who can give some really good food recommendations:
- Rava idly, one of MTR’s specialties: steamed semolina cakes made consisting of yoghurt, coriander, cashew nuts, curry leaves and mustard seeds. The story goes that MTR came up with this semolina version of World War II, when rice was in short supply. The ones served here at MTR KL were served hot and moist, fresh from the steamer.
- Masala dosa , MTR KL’s current chef in-charge of the dosa is churning out the most perfect crepes ever - perfect thickness and with a delicious crunch from the rice-and-black-gram (lentils) batter . The masala dosa has a filling of lightly-spiced potatoes. A small decanter of ghee is provided, to pour over the dosa for added richness.
- My fave item here was actually the rich, delicious kesari bhath, a luscious pudding-like mound of saffron-tinted semolina, vermicelli, ghee, cashews, and raisins.
- I actually popped back for MTR’s lunch-time offering of a vegetarian thali platter with rice and puris, with a kosambari salad, vegetable sagu, palya (vegetables), sambar, rasam, pickles, curd rice, payasam and crisp papads.
If I live in KL, I’d come here every day.
MTR Kuala Lumpur
9, Jalan Thambipillay, Brickfields
50470 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: +603-2276 4924
Operating hours: 8am-3.30pm, 5pm-10.30pm Mon-Fri
8am-10.30pm Sat & Sun