When ever my wife thinks of Indian food, one place comes straight to her mind. She was thinking that if you haven't been to Arati Vilas, you should make a trip there one day. Most people aren't aware of this place but if you run a search in the Internet, you find a lot of hits in the local food directories and forums. For directions, Arati Vilas is situated in one of the residential areas in Tanjung Bungah. As you pass the Penang Chinese Swimming Club and come to a set of traffic lights in front of the Tanjung Bungah Beach hotel, take the left hand turning and you should see Arati Vilas among the row of shop houses. The food is great, cheap and the environment is very relaxing. More importantly, it's a great place for anyone to chill out as it's located on a hilly area and the place is extremely airy.
You will know when you reach Arati Vilas. You cant miss it with the big sign. And if you see a lot of regulars sipping their cup of cha and chit chatting, you know it's the right place. I equate this place as the Malaysian version of Cheers where everybody knows everyone. You will see the same faces all the time after a while.
While they do serve the normal Indian delights like chappati, tossai, naan, iddili and other types of roti, they do serve an array of curries to go with rice. They use to serve the rice on banana leaf but that's not the case anymore. Arati Villas also caters for those who are vegetarians hence there are quite a good selection of vegetarian dishes to choose from. One of the key uniqueness of Arati Vilas is that it's popular with expats especially those under the Malaysia My Second Home programme. Some of them have built a strong bond with the owners that they are even consigning food to this cafe. Hence besides Indian food, you do get other assorted delicacies like apple pies, chicken pies and what not. Do note that they are only available after 11 am. We were there for breakfast and that's when they started dishing out hot dishes straight from the kitchen. They don't make huge portions for most items sold here so the food tend to finish a lot early.
What my wife like about this place is that they serve good puris. Try it when it's straight from the kitchen and make sure you have the thick potato curry to go with it. Anything less wont do. We also like the taukua and it goes well with everything.
They use to make their own nasi lemak but these days they are all on consignment. They are equally good and usually get sold by the early part of the morning.
Arati Vilas opens from 6.30 am till 12 pm except for Mondays. The full address of Arati is shown below:
9 Tanjung Bungah Park