1. Kannaa's Banana Leaf Restaurant, Ipoh

1. Kannaa’s Banana Leaf Restaurant, Ipoh

The waiter, one hand gloved as he held the hot bamboo shoot, tapped it swiftly three times with a thick wooden stick. Its contents slid smoothly onto my slice of banana leaf, as its aroma wafted up to fill the restaurant.

2. something delicious from the bamboo shoot

2. something delicious from the bamboo shoot

Ah, ’twas my lunch of chicken bamboo masala biryani at Kannaa’s Banana Leaf Restaurant, in Ipoh this afternoon!

3. this is mutton bamboo masala biryani

3. this is mutton bamboo masala biryani

What brought me here was my craving for banana leaf rice. The funny thing was that when I arrived, I changed my mind and opted for the restaurant’s other highlight – its bamboo masala biryani. Does this also happen to you – wishing to eat one item but ended up ordering something else? Haha, fickle-minded me but definitely no regrets!

4. mutton bamboo masala biryani

4. mutton bamboo masala biryani

Kannaa’s Banana Leaf Restaurant, located opposite the busy Medan Kidd bus station (and behind ACS Ipoh), opened for business on 15th February, 2017. It started offering fragrant banana leaf rice, but added bamboo masala biryani about four months later, being the first in Ipoh to offer this popular dish.

5. waiter taps the bamboo shoot with a thick wooden stick

5. waiter taps the bamboo shoot with a thick wooden stick

In the early days, bamboo masala biryani at Kannaa’s Banana Leaf Restaurant was only served on selected days of the week but since the beginning of 2018, it is available daily from 11am to 4pm. This shows it is in good demand.

 6. chicken bamboo masala biryani

6. chicken bamboo masala biryani

From what I learnt, the biryani rice and its condiments are half cooked before they are stuffed into a bamboo shoot. The shoot is then steamed for about 20 to 30 minutes; its duration is based on the stuffing, to bring out its rich flavour.

 7. banana leaf rice

7. banana leaf rice

Diners may opt for choice of chicken, vegetarian, mutton, fish or prawns. Price ranges from RM10 to RM15 per bamboo shoot, good for one pax.

8. side dishes: two varieties of chicken: chicken 65 and gravy-type Indian chicken curry, two flavours of fried fish, prawn sambal, turmeric cabbage and coconut jelly

8. side dishes: two varieties of chicken: chicken 65 and gravy-type Indian chicken curry, two flavours of fried fish, prawn sambal, turmeric cabbage and coconut jelly

Oh, by the way, while rasam is the default beverage to go with any banana leaf rice, I opted for coconut jelly, as recommended by the waiter. It is originally sweet tasting with no added sugar. Refrigerated, it is perfect to cool down with in this unrelenting heat.

 9. today's lunch

9. today’s lunch

While the bamboo masala biryani and banana leaf rice are two of the restaurant’s highlights, patrons normally add to their meal with side dishes. On weekdays, there are more than 30 items to choose from, with an additional 10+ to serve the weekend crowd, providing even more options for diners.

 10. more than 30 side dishes to add on

10. more than 30 side dishes to add on

Kannaa’s Banana Leaf Restaurant is open daily from 7am to 7pm. The restaurant is pork-free and is in the process of obtaining Halal certification from Jakim.

 11. at least ten more items are added on weekends

11. at least ten more items are added on weekends

If you live in Ipoh and have yet to try the bamboo masala biryani at Kannaa’s Banana Leaf Restaurant, you need to go tomorrow. Where have you been lah?

12. bamboo masala biryani takeaway counter

12. bamboo masala biryani takeaway counter

In Taiping? No problem! Kannaa’s Banana Leaf Restaurant has a sister outlet in Taiping that serves the same menu, but only during weekends and public holidays. In Puchong? Aha, there’s another sibling, Restoran Kannaa’s Bamboo Masalla Briyani (closed on Mondays).

13. natural coconut jelly

13. natural coconut jelly

So, Ipoh’s Bamboo Masala Biryani secret is out! Actually, not such a secret as I was late to the party as well. Hah… who asked me to not spend enough time in Ipoh anymore? Padan muka…

14. Kannaa's Banana Leaf Restaurant, Ipoh

14. Kannaa’s Banana Leaf Restaurant, Ipoh

Kannaa’s Banana Leaf Restaurant
Add: Jalan Perhentian, Medan Kidd, 30000 Ipoh, Perak.
GPS Coordinates: N 4.59311539° E101.0725084°
Tel: +60122-2224445
Business hours: 7am – 7pm daily

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