So here’s that post I promised you on the best chocolate cake ever! Chilli Vanilla was a wonderful find on one the main streets of Kota Kinabalu — Jalan Tun Razak. Run by a Hungarian woman, the little cafe serves Hungarian and Middle Eastern (and some Western dishes). We were astonished to see that items on the menu were actually marked as “gluten-free.” Only one other place I have seen this in Malaysia at a regular restaurant (not health food cafe)–a hotel in Melaka on the Melaka river walk.
The food is authentic and has a home-cooked feel. The goulash–the house specialty–was delicious. The salads were simple and nutritious, and the sweet potato fries made my heart jump! I have not eaten fries in so long. These were safe and delicious!
And the icing on the cake–the best chocolate cake you’ll ever have! Wonderfully moist with just the right amount of sweetness. Served warm. Fluffy yet subtly rich. We went for seconds (and we never do that). (P.S: Skip the ice-cream scoop–I checked the container and it is unclear whether it is gluten-free.)
I apologize for the hiatus! I’ve been travelling around Malaysia and overseas a ton and have actually been gathering much material for this blog, but alas! No time to post. I’ll attempt to be more regular.
Today I’d like to introduce a small café on Lorong Kurau that I cannot say enough good things about. Ganga Café is an amazing, healthy, cozy find in the Bangsar area. Very dressed down and casual, you feel like you are returning home when you walk into the café. The owners, whom I simply refer to as Aunty and Uncle, are sweet and accommodating. They give me a hug when I walk into the door. They make their own food, and can tell you *exactly* what goes in it, so in terms of allergy-friendliness, they are #1.
Almost all their fare is gluten-free and contamination-free, save for the few dishes that use wheat (like the rotis) and hing powder. The Aunty has even gone to the extent of specially preparing dishes for me that typically use hing sans hing. She says that the pure hing powder from India does not contain wheat; however, the local variety does.
They are MSG-free, use fresh vegetables in their food, cook mostly with ghee and butter (healthier oils!). They are vegetarian, and sometimes have mock meat dishes (which you can’t have if you’re gluten-free).
They have an *amazing* Sunday eat-all-you-can buffet lunch for a flat rate of RM17. Call and book your seat – it can get crowded. You’ll see traditional Indian food you haven’t seen before – all from the regions surrounding the Ganga River.
My only issue with the place is that they have started using bottled water (ugh!). They used to have a high environmental standard in my eyes before until they caved to the self-centred KL crowd that still insists on drinking bottle water.