This Indian eatery is singularly the most popular banana leaf restaurant I'd ever seen - crowded at all hours when it remained open, filled with hordes of KL diners - Malays, Chinese & Indians alike - greedily stuffing themselves from banana leaves piled with high mounds of rice, surrounded by various curries, pickles and condiments. Waiters come by with gallon-sized silver pails of various types of curry gravy (fish, chicken, dhal, mutton), from which they'd ladle in copious amounts onto your rice, soaking the grains thru, and almost over-flooding the banana leaves.
I ordered some spicy, red-tinged fried chicken masala to compliment my otherwise vegetarian meal, plus a little plastic container filled with spicy-sour "rasam" soup. Crisp pappadums were nice, and so were the spiced string beans, carrots & squash. The cucumber raita was too liquefied, and so was the dhal curry gravy. Deep-fried vegetarian pakoras were oily and heavy, although admittedly tasty.
Drink-wise, never, ever miss the "teh tarik" - a "pulled' milk tea, Malaysian-style. The "pulling", whereby the tea was alternately poured from one large metal cup into another, resulted in a mug of milk tea with a frothy head.
Foodwise, I failed to understand why Nirwana Maju overshone other Indian eateries around the neighborhood - Devi's (the former "darling"), Saravana Bhavan, Anjappar, Lotus Pesona and at least half a dozen other similar spots. I guess people flock to the a place with a queue, and Nirwana Maju is certainly the flavor of the day.
But "teh tarik"-wise, theirs was simply the best I'd ever, and I do mean EVER, had: thick, strong and not too sweet.
Restoran Sri Nirwana Maju
43 Jalan Telawi 3
59100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2287 8445