How do you buzz up any old dish? Just add pork.
Or so the saying goes. And if pork-filled places like Meat The Porkers’ pork biryani, Fatboy’s pork burgers, and SWINE’s everything are any indication, this swine-y strategy is one that works! Just tell someone it’s any dish “… but with pork“, and they’ll probably fall over themselves trying to get to it.
Which is exactly what happened when we heard a new place that serves up banana leaf rice… but with pork!
The newly-opened Anneh was born out of Marc Devan’s desire to create a banana leaf restaurant with a unique, urban appeal. For that, Marc, a civil engineer by trade, turned to pork. Anneh claims it’s the first restaurant to serve banana leaf rice with pork, and we’re inclined to believe them.
Thankfully, the pork dishes at Anneh are far from being crowd-pulling gimmicks. While they do pull a healthy crowd (nearly every table was full when we went during lunch hour), the pork melds seamlessly and thoughtfully with the curries instead of overpowering the dish.
This is thanks to executive head chef Terence Irwin who helms the kitchen. Drawing on his Portuguese heritage, he combines Portuguese and Chinese flavours with Indian dishes. It’s a twist that’s somehow distinctly Malaysian– the nyonya-esque flavours of traditional Portuguese cooking plays well with the intensely-spiced and rich South Indian curries.
The banana leaf set starts at RM10.90, or you can opt for a biryani set instead on its own (RM12.90) or with a choice of pork vindaloo (RM16.90) or mutton curry (RM17.90). For sides, you can take your pick from a variety of curries and fried dishes.
The signature Devil Rib Curry (RM13.50) is the spiciest (and my favourite) thing on the menu, deepened with the satisfying meatiness of pork ribs. The Pork Varuval (RM9.90) and saucier Pork Vindaloo (RM11.90) are also solid – if slightly salty – curries on their own. There are also mutton, chicken, and seafood options if pork isn’t your kind of thing.
With its cool, comfortable interior, the millenial tongue-in-cheek vibe that runs throughout the menu, and pleasantly old-school, reasonably-priced banana leaf favourites, Anneh is a pretty comfortable place to while away a banana leaf afternoon. Or as they like to say, it’s “banana leaf made sexy.”
A: 20G, Jalan SS 21/35, Damansara Utama, 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor