Janova Restaurant at MCIS Building serves the best array of South Indian breakfast options in the Petaling Jaya New Town area.
Tamil chefs work almost round the clock to churn out banana leaf lunches and dinners, but my interest in the restaurant was in their breakfast menu. Some of my faves:
- Pongal - a delicately-spiced thick rice porridge - it’s gingery, studded with black peppercorns which give it a slight spicy accent, nutty from the inclusion of yellow lentils, and amazingly piquant from a light touch of South Indian aromatics. It makes for a fortifying meal to start the day with.
- Steamed idlis (rice-flour cakes) - delicate little discs of pillowy deliciousness, served with coconut chutney, dhal curry, and a spicy kara-chutney (tomato-onion relish).
- Kal-thosai - a traditional, spongey-soft rice -flour pancake with a sourish-tinge from the yoghurt. It’s also served with same condiments which consisted of coconut chutney, dhal curry, and kara-chutney.
- Crispy thosai - this is a more modern take on the breakfast thosai which has gained popularity in the past couple of decades - I’d never seen this growing up in the 70s. It’s made thinner and larger than the traditional thosai - wafer-thin and very crisp, especially on the edges.
- Upuma - one of my fave breakfast items of all time: a savoury and utterly delicious spiced semolina dish which always cause me to overeat. Unfortunately, this dish turned out to be the weakest on Janova’s repertoire of breakfast offerings. I also ordered a potato-filled samosa on the side - it was also not the best I’d had.
- Roti canai (otherwise known as paratha, parotta or prata outside Malaysia) - flaky, multi-layered, slightly stretchy-textured pancakes which Malaysia and Singapore are famous for. I was actually recommended to Janova for this dish by one of my Tamil colleagues. It was good, but also not the best I’d had in KL.
- Tek Tarik - frothy milk tea, Malaysian-style. I remembered this hot beverage as being almost sickly-sweet, but changing tastes among Malaysians has resulted in a less-sweet, more drinkable rendition these days. Choose this over any coffee beverage in any South Indian restaurant - they simply do tea better than coffee.
Certainly the number one spot for me to have a good South Indian breakfast in the PJ New Town area.
The Janova Restaurant
Lot 6-GA, Wisma MCIS
2 Jalan Barat, Seksyen 52
46200 Petaling Jaya
Tel: +603 7954 0749
Open: 6am-12 midnight daily.