Friday, November 4, 2016

On the trail of banana fritters in Klang Valley

(1) Hokkaido Ramen Sakura, Sunway Putra Mall, Kuala Lumpur 
Banana fritter in a Japanese restaurant? Yes, Hokkaido Ramen Sakura, a noodle restaurant, also serves banana katsu. Though not cheap (RM13.70) compared to roadside stuff, it comes with ice cream, caramel drizzle and a sprinkle of grounded nuts.  The banana is not fantastically crispy but the soft silky texture of the green tea ice cream and the crunchy nuts deliver multi mouth-feels in a haze of pleasant sweetness from the caramel syrup. Rating: 5/5

(2) Imbi Kuih Bakul, Jalan Melati, Kuala Lumpur 
This stall is operated by a husband-and-wife team beside Mei Sin Eating Shop. Though it is more famous for its sticky rice cake (kuih bakul goreng), which is sandwiched between two pieces of taro, it also offers banana fritters, sweet potato, yam and sesame balls. According to the fryer, after the bananas are coated with batter and fried for a while, they are lifted out of the boiling oil, coated a second time and re-fried. The result is super-crispy banana fritters.  Rating: 4/5  

(3) The Pisang Cheese, Jalan SS 5A/9, Petaling Jaya 
The Pisang Cheese is located in the Restoran Jamal Mohamed which is synonymous with a famous halal char kwey teow stall.  A yellow sign announces the different flavours of banana fritters available:  cheese, chocolate-cheese, latte-chocolate, salted caramel, cinnamon sugar and coffee caramel.   They are sold in boxes ranging from RM5 to RM7 each. All the flavours bring the humble banana fritter to a new level of taste. Closed on Monday. Rating: 4/5.

(4) Gerai Makanan Goreng, Jalan 21/11B, Petaling Jaya 
Manned by foreign women, this stall is housed in a small hawker centre in SEA Park. Its huge blue sign announces that banana fritter, curry puff, fried bean curd, fried popiah, cucur udang (prawn fritter) and kuih bakul are sold.  Most of the items cost only RM1 per piece. The use of pisang raja, regarded as the king of bananas, delivers a custard-like flavour when my gnashers sink into the banana fritter.  Rating: 3/5

(5)The Gorpis, Persiaran Mahogani, Petaling Jaya 
This stall is a canopy standing in a small field in Kota Damansara. The flavours available are like a laundry list. Here goes: cheese, cheese-chocolate, cheese-strawberry, cheese-white chocolate, cheese-cinnamon, cheese-blueberry, cheese-butterscotch, cheese-caramel, cheese-green tea and el plato. Prices range from RM8 to RM15 per box, and each box contains 8 pieces. I try a box of el plato, which comprises an assortment of flavours. The contrasting flavours almost make my tongue dance a jitterbug! Rating: 5/5   

(6)Wondermama, Avenue K, Kuala Lumpur 
Having outlets in Klang and Bangsar, Wondermama serves Malaysian fare and a sprinkling of international dishes. My “pisang de goreng” comes with ice cream, caramel sauce and marshmallow bits. Coated with sesame seed, the banana fritter is a meh in terms of crispiness. Luckily, the ice cream, which is of vanilla flavour, and the sweet caramel sauce salvage the situation. However, the mushy texture of the marshmallow doesn’t fit in this ensemble. Rating: 3.5/5

(7)SS2 Goreng Pisang, Sunway Putra Mall, Kuala Lumpur 
This is the branch of the noted truck that is parked daily under a tree in SS2, PJ. Fried white radish, fried yam cake, curry puff, spring roll, tapioca ball, mashed banana ball, banana popcorn and prawn fritter are sold together with a host of beverages.  For those who come in a group, they can go for the family set and combo set. I am impressed by the size of the golden-browned banana fritters, and am satisfied by their texture and taste. Rating: 5/5 

(8)Brickfields Pisang Goreng, Jalan Thambipillay, KL (pixs 3493 & 3494)
This park is parked under a tree outside Restoran One Sentral. Don’t be surprised if the hawker’s assistant greets you with sawadee ka when she’s in a good mood. She’s a Thai and together with her employer, they churn out top-notch fried delights like banana fritter, kuih bakul, sesame ball and curry puff. I try the sesame ball and banana fritter. The gooey moist inside of the banana fritter delights my palate. The sesame ball is filled with red beans. Rating: 3.5/5

(9) Pisang Goreng Alpha Angle, Jalan 3/27A, Kuala Lumpur 
This stall is often referred to as Pisang Goreng Alpha Angle because of its location next to a shopping mall. There’s more to banana fritters here. Keropok lekor that bursts with oceanic freshness, crispy fried bean curd and golden orbs of mashed sweet potato attract a steady stream of customers. Simple tables and chairs under shady trees allow customers to eat the snacks piping hot. I attack a box of chocolate pisang goreng. The sweetness appeals to my primal sugar instinct. Rating: 3/5. 

(10) Pisang Goreng SS15, Jalan SS15/3B, Subang Jaya (pix 2354)
Near opposite a KFC restaurant, this stall is operated by an elderly couple. All the usual fried snacks are sold such as banana fritter, fish fritter, mashed banana ball, sweet potato and more. The items are fresh from the wok bubbling with oil, and the banana fritter is the classic crispy exterior and soft-moist inside. The stall operates from 9 am to 6 pm. Rating: 3/5 


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