Penang - Superb South Indian breakfast options at Veloo Vilas, Little India
I'm a sucker for South Indian breakfasts, and my go-to place whilst in Penang has always been Sri Ananda Bahwan (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/808506) with its amazing variety of breakfast options - parathas, dosas, idlis, upuma, vadai, masala vadai, idiyappam, kottu parotta, etc.
Bit this morning, for a change, we decided to try Veloo Vilas - at the other end of the same block as Sri Ananda Bahwan. After all, we were genuiinely curious about the smaller Veloo Vilas restaurant for the simple reason that its clientele seemed all-Indian, compared to Sri Ananda Bahwan, which seemed to have an inordinately high number of Chinese customers (40% at any one time) here in the Little India neighborhood.
What we tried at Veloo Vilas:
- Paper thosai (that's what the dosa is called in Tamil, as Tamils are the overwhelming majority of Indian-Malaysians) - Veloo Vilas' rendition is not as photogenic as the one at Sri Ananda Bahwan but, taste-wise, it totally *blew* Sri Ananda Bahwan's version out of the water!! The flavor of the rice-lentil mix was more pronounced here, and the slight crunch of the expertly-cooked crepe, with the perfect thickness, was a delight.
- Masala thosai - here again, the use of strong, freshly-ground spices made all the difference as the masala filling trumped the blander version I had in Sri Ananda Bahwan.
- Idli - softer, lighter and moister than Sri Ananda Bahwan's.
- Vadai - again, the version here was lighter, crispier, fresher and has a nicer flavor than most other places I'd tried in Little India and elsewhere in Georgetown, Penang.
So, how does Veloo Vilas stack up against its bigger rival? Well, their renditions of all the above items were clearly superior to Sri Ananda Bahwan's. Veloo Vilas' dhal curry gravy was more watery though - I'd have preferred it thicker, but the flavors were there.
One other (small) gripe was their limited items on offer: no masala vadai, no upuma, samosas nor other more elaborate breakfast items. The items we had were the only options available. But, boy, don't they make excellent versions of these! I think we may have just got a new South Indian breakfast champion here :-D
22 Penang Street