Text and images by CK Lam @ Makansutra
Little India in Penang is the home of great Indian culture and festivities. There are plenty of great sights along the precinct, ranging from boutiques, jewelry and eateries. Best explored on foot, Little India plays home to some of the best culinary delights in the state.
Located a stone’s throw away from Little India is an authentic Indian Muslim restaurant known as Restoran Kapitan, or simply known to locals as Kapitan. This is testimonial of Malaysian multi culture society where an Indian Muslim can co-exist right in a predominantly Indian area.
Amazingly, this restaurant has been operating for more than four decades now and it never fails to delight diners with its signature dishes of Claypot Briyani, Naan as well Tandoori dishes. Browsing through their menu, it is relatively extensive with an assortment of roti prata and also innovative creations such as western fare of chicken chop and pizza!
The crowd favorite here is the Chicken Tandoori, which is made fresh right on the spot. Cuts of chicken are well marinated and then baked in a large Tandoori oven. The chicken remains juicy and every bite ooze with juiciness, unlike certain places where they may overcook the chicken resulting in a dry texture. The slightly charred aroma coupled with the marinated flavor is best complemented with garlic Naan, along with the dipping sauces of dhal curry, chili sauce, mint sauce, coleslaw and raw onions. The mint sauce here is unique and meticulously prepared according to the traditional Indian recipe!
On top of that, there is also Kapitan’s signature Nasi Briyani; the twist is that it is served in a claypot to ensure it remains warm throughout the entire meal. The popular choices in this selection include Chicken Briyani, Mutton and Beef Briyani. To prepare this rice, the chef uses a plethora of spices and condiments to cook the rice.
Accompanied with some curry gravy, this dish is served in a relatively large portion. The meat is flavorfully marinated, with the spices well absorbed by the meat to retain the tender juiciness.
Claypot Nasi Briyani in Kapitan has definitely withstood the test of time, with this dish enjoyed by the young and old alike. Besides the meat selection one can option for the vegetable briyani.
Susu Badam is milk with grinded almond, cashew nuts as well as raisins.
Open from dawn to dusk, Kapitan also offer a great variety of drinks, with the most popular being sirap lima (lime) and rose (rose flavoured cordial) as well as the famous Teh Tarik. However, one unique beverage from Kapitan is their Almond Milk, or more affectionately known to locals as Susu Badam. It is essentially pure fresh cow’s milk boiled with condiments such as grinded almond, cashew nuts as well as raisins. Right before being served, this milk is “pulled” from cup to cup, very much similar to the Teh Tarik. The result is a very soothing, wholesome and nutritious drink.
Strategically located on the corner of Chulia Street and Pit Lane, it is a common sight for people from all races to patronize Kapitan Restaurant throughout the entire day. There are plenty of seats both on the ground floor and the air-conditioned top floor.
Chicken Briyani served in a claypot
Restoran Kapitan 93 Chulia Street 10200 Penang
Tel: 04 264 1191
Business Hours: Open 24 Hours Daily