Cover Photo: Gajaa at 8

Our go-to restaurants and cafes for feel-good North and South Indian fares

Here's a secret: Indian meals at my house are few and far between, more often than not enjoyed over a special occasion. That's why it's always a delight to stumble upon eateries in the Klang Valley that defy expectations and bring a little zest to the table. In my book, these are the restaurants that go above and beyond to give their brand of Indian cuisine a world-class gourmet touch.   

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Gajaa at 8

Situated in Bangsar's Lorong Maarof, Gajaa At 8 looks more like a grand and colourful private residence than a curbside restaurant. The tagline 'Royal Indian cuisine' is an apt description of the restaurant's flavourful take on Kerala food; and dishes here balance flavour, presentation and innovation beautifully. Give the seasonal brinjal masala at Gajaa At 8 a try, as well as the prawn butter masala or the lime-infused fried Mauritian mackerel on your next foodie adventure to Bangsar.  

Deliveries can also be made via Umai

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Kayra

It's difficult to choose a favourite dish at modern Indian restaurant Kayra. This beautifully-designed eatery in Bangsar Village, which was among Tatler Dining's Top 20 Restaurants of 2021, is known for bringing the soul and flavour of authentic Kerala recipes to life, with a fine dining facelift. From the simple to the extravagant, every dish and cocktail here is a labour of love and a ridiculously delicious work of art.

The Squid Peera Chamanthi (pictured above) and the Prawn Mango curry here are favourites of mine. Full disclosure: there were moments in 2021 when I contemplated violating the 10km radius limit simply to savour Kayra's burnt coconut ice-cream served on its famous 'Waffam' (a cross between a waffle and an appam). 

Deliveries can also be made via Oddle.me, or by calling +6017-2157 382

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Passage Thru India

This delightful eatery has branches in Damansara Heights and Bukit Bintang. Passage Thru India's Chicken Dhum Biryani boasts an amazing flavour made better by the soft fluffiness of the rice. The restaurant's Rogan Josh (mutton curry) is another stellar dish that meat lovers won't be able to resist; the Pomegranate Raita is a delightful twist to the yoghurt and vegetable side dish.  

Delivery can also be made via Grab Food (Bukit Damansara branch), Food Panda and Oddle.me.

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Frangipaani KL

Located at The Republik in Damansara Heights, Frangipaani's elegant and beautiful interiors boast design inspiration from British Colonial India.

A vegan-friendly menu here bursts with the restaurant's posh take on favourites like Biryani, naan and pakoras, featuring unique Anglo-Indian recipes originating from Goa. Don't forget to try out exciting new dishes like the lobster with Neer dosa, the chai spiced panna cotta with pistachio brittle or the cardamom saffron panna cotta.   

Deliveries can also be made via GrabFood and Food Panda. For reservations, call +603 2011 0030.

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D'Tandoor

Known for its utterly delicious and halal North Indian cuisine, D'Tandoor has been a poignant fixture in the Damansara Utama neighbourhood for a while now, building a vast fan base among the community and extending to open branches in Subang Jaya and Putrajaya. D'Tandoor's buttery-soft garlic naans may possibly spoil you for life; my favourite dishes include the creamy Fish Methi curry and the Mutton Rogan Josh. 

Deliveries can also be made via Beepit, Food Panda, Fave and BungkusIt. Dine-ins are limited to three people per table.  

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The Ganga Cafe

A beloved eatery for vegetarian and vegan Indian food "with a kick", The Ganga Cafe is a culinary treasure along Lorong Kurau in Bangsar. I'm a huge fan of Ganga Cafe's simple yet delicious brown rice Thali set. The decadent Hyderabad Dhum Biryani sits on the other end of the spectrum, great for sharing with someone. Pictured above is the Pav Bhaji, a popular Indian street food that's essentially a thick, spicy vegetable curry served with bread rolls.    

Deliveries can also be made via Grab Food and Food Panda. WhatsApp +60 14-776 0870 for more details 

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