Tuesday, May 13, 2008

How to do Banana Leaf Properly

This guide is primarily meant for foreigners with proper visa to Malaysia who are unacquainted with our beautiful, affordable and accessible culture and country and want to know how to experience it best where it concerns Banana Leaf meals. If you don't have a proper visa to come into our country, please stop reading and rub a banana all over your body after you sat on it for 3 hours you sick bastard. Now, a banana leaf meal can only be obtained in Mamak joints like the one below. You cannot obtain meals like this in a hotel, at the KLCC mall or by the side of the road at a gerai. Banana leaf meals ideally need structure and so they tend to be housed in shoplots. One of my favourite joints is Restoran Sri Paandi (TTDI) which is shown below.

There are no doors to the restaurant, so you just walk right in and find yourself an available table. When it gets too crowded, you can join others at tables after smiling at the adjacent patrons and making the correct facial contortion to ask whether the seat next to you is occupied. You are not advised to use any words because it may not be interpreted correctly and you may start a fight in the restaurant. After you sit down your unfriendly disinterested Indian national waiter who has not had enough sleep and only bathed 2 days ago will come over to take your order. Don't make small chat. If you do he and his 23 other friends will end up staying at your house. Instead, state precisely what you want. These days you have to ask for your banana leaf because the owners prefer to give you some shitty metal plate with the appropriate indentations in it to put the kuah and roti. Don't take the metal plate. There's no kick eating from that device. You might as well be eating off the carcass of a 10 day old buffalo that's been submerged in the nearby river. If they don't give it willingly, demand for it. Say, 'Saya mau itu daun kalau tak saya berak dalam seluar saya.' Say those precise words. Don't worry if they laugh at you. That's how they deal with criticism. Finally, you should get the leaf which looks like this.

Take a close look at the leaf. Do you notice how the right side is cleaner than the left side? That's because I've wiped the right side with a tissue. You are encouraged to do this. The left side hasn't been wiped and looks like there are dried cum stains on it. If this is not reason enough for you to wipe it, you are a sick bastard/bitch and if I ever bump into you I'm gonna be your pimp. And don't you dare worry, I'll give you a better fee split than your regular pimp.

You should also order your drink. I recommend teh tarik manya manis. Never you mind what it means. It's good stuff. And if all goes well, it should look like this:

Now that you've got your drink, you can move on to the food. Now if you are in a banana leaf joint before 11 am then you are entitled to order a roti canai. This works best before 11. If you order rice before that, you will not get it because it won't be ready. If it is ready though and you eat it, you will explode 30 minutes later after releasing an explosive potent curry smelling fart. You have been warned! After 11 the owners will try to force you to take the rice because it means you take more side dishes. It's all about the money honey. If you want roti you can still fight for it and make a scene. I find that throwing myself on the floor or running around and hiding behind the restaurant pillars whilst singing Koosh Koosh Hota Hay poorly does help significantly. The only problem is that this doesn't help your reputation. But hey, whatever works right?

And while waiting for the roti, ask your waiter to bring the 3 Amigos over which looks like this:

The 3 Amigos is where they store the curry. The usual curry they have in there is fish curry, chicken curry and dhall. These are the holy trinity of curries. Ye shall know them vell. And if you want the 3 Amigos you don't say, 'Apu, I want 3 Amigos.' What you will get is 3 hefty Indian chaps with massive penises who would bend you over the aircond compressor at the back giving you the Madras Backdoor Special. As mentioned earlier, you do not speak. What you do to get the 3 Amigos is make like you are carrying a small bucket and swinging it in front of your face. If you want it faster, make an angry face and hope he doesn't piss in your teh tarik. When you get the 3 Amigos, you put the curry on your banana leaf like this (I know you are not a stupid bastard but I took the picture already so let me lah okay? See the mister in the picture also wiping his big fat banana... leaf):

Now, the roti should be here once you've sorted out your drink curry and wiped the stains of your leaf and it should look something like this:

I won't go into the kazillion variations of the simple and humble roti canai. A good roti canai should be fluffily brittle, soft and light. The one above is not too bad and is typical. If tearing it to pieces is to difficult for a foreigner like you, you can ask them to cut it up for you too. So how to eat this is you tear a piece, dip it in the curry, chew 28 times and then swallow. If you want to make it more tasty then you should order some side dishes. My favourites are the freshly fried fish and chicken featured below. And you gotta tell them you want it fresh off the burner. If not they're gonna serve you that chicken their grandmother fried for them in India 5 years ago and still sits in the food buffet near the cash counter.

And once you have whacked the food as hard and as plentifully as you can, your table should look like this:
If the table doesn't look like that after you have finished, kindly ensure that you arrange it so that it does conform to the example above. If you fail to do this as a foreigner you can be charged under section 33(1)(g) of the Mamak Restaurants Act 2003 and should you be found guilty sentenced up to 3 years imprisonment or a fine or in lieu of both, 3 consecutive rounds of the Madras Backdoor Special in 12 hours.

Welcome to Malaysia, truly Aysia.


Shanmuga K said...

ef, ef, ef .. you are gonna get HINDRAF after you lah .. what the ef!!

Excerpt from Malaysiana 101 class:

"Mamak = indian muslim = nasi kandar + roti canai"

"K*l%ng = indian hindu (normally) = banana leaf + tosai"

The serving of one type of food in the other kind of restaurant is all supply meeting demand, but cuisine purists will object to your cross cultural crassness ;)

Note: Word asterixed to avoid KIMMA coming after me !!!

art harun said...

HUahaHhHhAHahHAhaha...that's awesomely foony man!
Bugger, you went to Paandi without telling me! I love that place. My missus too!
BTW, you forgot to mention that nobody is supposed to eat the thing with a fork and spoon! So the foreigner one if you did that! So the uncool!
The bloody tenggiri looks delicious man...dayem! I am hungry now! Navelist Lunch should be there soon!

PS how come no manggo lassi and rasam? Aiyak!

Yusuf/Martin said...

whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat no payasam!!

The only reason I go through all that banana leaf crap is to get the payasam at the end!!

Only on Fridays of course - can anyone tell me why you can only get payasam on Fridays?

the Anomaly said...

ayoyo, so sorry braders to redirect you to nyonya restoran today. did not read this piece yet. look so yummy. must go soon!!!