This casual, family-owned restaurant is fast becoming one of Damansara Uptown's most popular new hangouts this year, welcoming crowds who've been eager to savour a three-decade-old culinary legacy that was first born in Pahang's Raub town.
Ratha Raub was conceived by Mr & Mrs Rathakrishnan, who started their restaurant in Raub in 1981. The business has come a long way since then; Ratha Raub is now TripAdvisor's top-ranked restaurant in Raub, & the couple's children expanded their brand successfully to the Klang Valley in early 2014.
By now, an entire generation has grown up enjoying Ratha's renowned fish head curry (RM59 for a portion four can share), cooked with red snapper, golden snapper or grouper, depending on what's best available everyday. The fish is fresh & fleshy, heartily immersed with veggies in coconut cream curry that's tangy with tamarind, aromatic with aniseed, turmeric & coriander.
Ratha Raub's a treasure trove of no-nonsense recipes that the Ratha family worked to perfect in their kitchen over the years; they've vowed to ensure that standards remain consistent, so that this squid-&-prawn sambal sizzler (between RM25-RM35) remains a precisely fine-tuned pleasure in both Raub & Damansara Uptown - it's a firecracker of flavour, but not overly spicy.
The fried NZ lamb shoulder (RM9) has won over many fans; it's not only very tender but uniquely tasty with a sweet richness that's made complex with cumin, ginger & garlic. Best shared, since it's a sinful snack.
Ratha is also proud of its fried chicken (RM4.90-RM5.90), expertly prepared with golden-crisp skin & succulent meat.
We're fans of the claypot lamb briyani - fairly priced at RM13.50 for a substantial portion, mixed with heaps of gravy-soaked meat, a whole boiled egg, shallots & nuts to turn each spoonful of the firm, fragrant rice into an ideal treat for briyani lovers.
Vegetables also prove well-executed here, from ladies' fingers (RM7) to long beans, cabbage to cucumbers.
Many thanks to Mr Ratha's son, Mani, for hosting this meal. There's still much more for customers to explore on the menu, from nasi lemak to chicken varuval, roti canai to capati & tosai.
No lack of beverages either to cool down with; our best bets were the mango lassi (RM5.50) & barley (RM2).
For customers who want to bring a bit of Ratha back home, the restaurant also offers convenient packages of curry paste, with varieties that include fish head curry (it's the exact recipe that's used for the restaurant's fish head curry), kurma curry & rendang curry, comprising no artificial flavouring or colouring. Each 380-gram packet - made with freshly ground chilli powder - costs RM4.70-RM8.70 & takes only 15 minutes to turn into a ready-to-eat serving.
Restoran Ratha Raub
32 Jalan SS21/35, Damansara Utama, Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Tel: 03-7733-9287
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