My family and I eat regularly at Karaikudi (Hillside) Restaurant, but we’ve never gone to the original outlet at Market Street. I’ve always enjoyed the food there which serves Chettinad cuisine and immediately said yes when the invitation came in from PenangTuaPui. I was excited to see what the original outlet had to offer! The menu for the night mainly focused on South Indian cuisine and we were told that the food is cooked fresh everyday!
First up to whet our appetite was a Chettinad style Vegetable Soup (RM3). It was a light clear soup with cauliflower, carrots and french bean. The soup was a great start to the meal! We were told that the soup had a yellow tinge due to the use of dhall.
Next up was Bitter Gourd Chips (RM6). This was a surprise as it was sliced really thin and crispy to the taste! I’m not a big fan of bitter gourd though cos I don’t like the bitterness and this was plenty bitter!
The Squid Fry (RM8) was dish I really enjoyed. Squids are very easy to overcook. But there was no sign of hard rubbery squids here. Even after it cooled down substantially from all the photography, the squids were still nice and tender.
Meanwhile, the chicken cutlet (RM6 for 2 pieces larger than the photo above) is easily my favourite appetizer of the lot. The cutlets were very flavorful thanks to the generous use of spices with a slight tinge of heat to it. And there were also very soft with a slight crisp edge. I would definitely order this again!
The Ladies Finger Pepper Fry (RM7) was an instant hit! The ladies fingers were finely chopped and had a surprising chewy texture. The generous but not overboard use of black pepper gives the dish its zing. I’ve never had ladies fingers cooked in such a delicious manner!
The Kadai Vegetable (RM9) was an assorted vegetable dish cooked in a rich slightly spicy gravy. I tasted beancurds, tomatoes and lots of button mushrooms in the dish. We were told that Kadai is the big vessel that is being used to cook the dish, hence the name.
The Mutton Chukka Varuval (RM18) is another one of Karaikudi’s specialities. This turned out to be the spiciest dish of the night. But I loved it! The mutton pieces were scrumptiously tender and very well marinated with spices. I wouldn’t hesitate to order this again as I found it paired very well with naan bread.
Next was the Chettinad Potato Masala (RM6) which was a mild dish. It would go well with the spicy mutton dish too! I liked the fact that the potatoes here were not too mushy so there was still a bite to it.