There must be something about Little India at the heart of George Town, Penang that irresistibly attracts me. Like most tourists who come here on foot or via riding a trishaw, we all find this spot uniquely charming. Perhaps, a thousand and one reasons include that Bollywood music being played in its loudest volume by shops that sell audio CDs. Seeing little girls and women from the Tamil community, wearing those unstitched and colorful sarees proudly (on a daily basis) like having their tradition and culture on their skin makes an early morning stroll in Little India nothing less than inviting.
My eyes usually go on a feast with the sight of various interesting things…
And of course, what tops my list is my young love affair with some Indian dishes.
One has an option to enjoy it via hawker food stalls…
or in my case, from Kapitan…
As of the moment, I am partial to Kapitan, an Indian restaurant with branches all over Penang Island; serving the hungry and craving ones for 24 hours, 7 days a week (read : I rarely eat Indian food here if it’s not from Kapitan. Tina, Gabby and I tried the one in front of our appartment’s building and it’s not worth it). The one that I frequent is located at the corner of Little India and Lebuh Chulia (Chulia Street which is commonly flocked by foreigners touring Penang).
Because I had eaten several times in Kapitan and loved it each time, I was raving about it to Tina and Gabby and wished that they would go with me to Little India to try my favorites too. It came true last Saturday as we had our lunch in Kapitan after I bought Tina and Gabby’s choices of Punjabi dress and shirt (no, not a saree) that they will wear in one of the functions that we will attend in our days off in Manila soon.
Huge servings, quick and attentive service, best of all, English-speaking staff complimented Kapitan’s tasteful dishes. Those essential qualities in food places are sadly, a rarity in most local restaurants here so one can easily imagine happiness and satisfaction in dining in Kapitan. There’s one wait staff in Kapitan-Little India who doesn’t forget to offer spoon and fork and table napkins –this little gesture, believe me, doesn’t exist in others even in fast food joints unless you ask for them.
We chose to eat in the open-air-beside-the-street dining area rather than Kapitan’s second floor that’s airconditioned. Tina and Gabby browsed the menu but they trusted my recommendations.
Tina sampled my usual order from Kapitan : Chicken Tandoori set that comes with chicken delightfully marinated in yoghurt before grilling it with spices and butter. She had Garlic Cheese Naan to pair with it. With my wife’s discriminating-hard-to-please-taste buds, she smiled ear to ear after making the first bite. Gabby enjoyed the same set but only with Cheese Naan less the garlicy flavor Tina had.
Although I knew it’s a perfect opportunity for me to try other dishes from Kapitan like their Biryani, Mutton and others, I stayed within my comfort zone of having chicken again but this time not a Tandoori but a Chicken Cheese Kebab.
Tender. Flavorful. Loved it. The waiter suggested for me to have 2 Cheese Naan instead of one. I became submissive as resistance was futile at that time.
We did have spoons and forks, but since an area for handwashing is available, Tina opted to eat it traditionally; Gabby and I followed. Look at those fingers pinching those Naan-goodness…
I was in cloud 9 when I saw my family enjoying their meals at Kapitan. It’s a refreshing breather from our usual fast food and restaurant dining.
Because they liked it too, it’s definitely not our last time dining together in Kapitan-Little India.
Have you tried Indian food? What’s your favorite?