In the heart of Brown Garden (Taman Brown), Gelugor, lies probably one of the best banana leaf rice in Penang. One probably won't know about it unless told about it or recommended by someone they know. It seems to be the only restaurant (and probably business) that operates in this quiet neighbourhood.
Banana Leaf Rice
According to one of the workers there, they are open from about 12.00-3.30pm for lunch and 6.00-10.30pm for dinner. During weekdays, most of the customers during lunch time seem to be employees from the Bayan Lepas FIZ.
The main dish is of course banana leaf rice. The day I went, they served tomato rice, besides the usual white rice. So, I decided to give it a try. The vegetable dishes that they gave were long beans, pickled vegetables and mixed vegetables (brinjal, raddish, pumpkin and carrot in what seem to be tikka sauce) and pudina. For the curry to go with the rice, the main choices are chicken, fish and mutton curry. I prefer mine with fish curry, which was pretty good. I have tried chicken curry which is pretty good as well. You can request for more potatoes with the chicken curry. I don't like mutton, so I haven't tried mutton curry before.
For the side dish, I ordered fried fish. The good thing about this place is that they usually fry the meat just as you order it. So, the food comes hot and crunchy. They might have special dishes on certain days, so check out the menu in front of the shop. The mango lassi seem to be popular here. I have to say, it is nice but a tad to sweet. You might want to ask them to put less sugar.
Menu and Today's Special
Overall, the food here is very good. The price is reasonable too. The shop is not very big (I counted about 12 tables on the ground floor). I think there might be more tables upstairs, but I didn't check it out. Unless you don't have a choice, I suggest that you should avoid the lunch crowd as it can get pretty packed.
Because it is quite hard to find the place, even when you have gone there before, I have drawn out the directions to the place.
Directions to Passions of Kerala (not to scale)
This place is also known by its older name, Innira's.
I have included a review of the newer branch at New World Park