Trips to mamaks and Indian curry houses in KL are often no-brainer affairs; you rock up in a pair of flip flops and craggy shorts, order a greasy plate of food, request a third glass of over-sweetened tea and bam, happy days. A visit to Fierce Curry House however is a scene of overindulgent art lovers, yuppies thumbing on iPhones, coloured Topshop skinnies and affluent Bangsar families. As a curse, I make my first visit on a day I’m feeling particularly anti-intellectual but as soon as pots and plates of food are slapped across the table, I feel less conscious about my mismatched outfit.
We start with the Hyderabad dum biryani – Fierce’s pull factor. The biryani here is authentically prepared; unlike most other pilafs in KL disguised as biryani, the rice is first partially cooked in basic spice and later steamed with marinated meat. The dum technique is used here, a procedure which involves dough being wrapped around the rim to retain moisture during the steaming process. As my mutton biryani arrives, I tear off the dough to release the lid after which I am lost in a perfume of meat and spice. I try a heaping of rice, a splash of curry and a cube of mutton in one mouthful and don’t look up from my pot until my spoon reaches the bottom. My dining partner orders the chicken biryani and after I reach over for a bite, I conclude that sacrificial hens are less tasty than sacrificial lambs.
Just because I can, I order the roti Nutella, a nifty combination of two breakfast staples. The roti is perfectly crisped but lacks in flavour and filling. This dissatisfaction quickly dissipates when the chicken varuval arrives, an authentically spicy dish which transports me directly to my grandmother’s kitchen. The thought of washing this meal down with a chilled mango lassi beckons but lassi is not yet on the menu so I make do with a Milo ais and a toothpick.
As I see it, branding biryanis as ‘cool’ is a tough act to pull off. But at the rate Fierce is going, its flaws are seemingly miniscule. While it may not be the best Indian restaurant in KL, I’d like to see one which serves biryani just as passionate. Surekha Ragavan
As featured in Time Out KL's 101 things to do in KL
Fierce Curry House won Best Indian in the Time Out KL Food Awards 2014 and 2013. It was shortlisted in the same category in 2012. It was also shortlisted Best Cheap Eats in the same year. Our food awards are 100% voted for by the people of KL. This way, we guarantee that popularity and consistent performance are rewarded.