Thursday, 9 April 2015

Legend's Claypot Briyani House @ Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur

Legend's Claypot Briyani House is a group of restaurants that orginated from Sri Serdang, Selangor. In the early 2000's, there was a sudden hype on the popularity of this restaurant and the group started expanding rapidly across the Klang Valley. At one point in time, there were two outlets in Brickfields alone. I am not sure if they were operating on a franchise concept then or the expansion was their very own but it seems that these days they have quite a number of advertisements on franchising opportunities. After about a year or two, their popularity started going down and one by one, outlets started to close. Today, all that is left is just four outlets. What I heard from friends was that their food quality had been going down on a steady decline. I did visit this restaurant sometime in early 2000 at their Sri Serdang outlet and the food was quite good then. After approximately 15 years, I am visiting their outlet in Brickfields  for lunch today. 

Legend's Claypot Briyani House along Jalan Vivekananda

They Provide Parking Space For Customers

Some Of Their Briyani's

Breakfast & Lunch Sets
This outlet in Brickfields is located along Jalan Vivekananda, quite close to Money's Corner and the outdoor car park. If one were to drive, then you would need to use Jalan Vivekananda to reach their restaurant but for those who are on foot like me, walking along Jalan Tun Sambanthan is a better option. They have a private parking space just beside their restaurant for customer's convenience. The restaurant still has it's own loyal followers, but even that has been dwindling over the years. Even when I was here this afternoon, there were just a small number of customers at the restaurant.

Interior Of The Restaurant

Air Conditioned Dining Halls
The restaurant itself was impressive. It was air conditioned and the hall was quite clean. All their staffs were foreigners and they were one batch of lazy bums. It was a difficult task to even get one of them to pass me the menu so much so, after calling and waving for almost 10 minutes, I got fed up and went and picked it up myself. It was not that they did not see me. They acted as if they did not notice and I heard one of the guys telling his other friend in Hindi to attend to me and that friend too acted blind and this went on. Well, I just thought to myself that this just shows what this place has become these days. 

The menu was very elaborate, in fact it looked like a typical Indian Muslim restaurant menu whereby they had just chucked in every possible dish and tried to serve everything and end up being not good at anything. Sorry, I may sound rude but I am just being blunt. If you are a Briyani Specialty restaurant, just be that. Don't have to sell Char Kuey Teow in your menu. It seemed so ridiculous to me looking at all these dishes in a Briyani House. That aside, the prices seemed reasonable but once again, I would only be able to validate this once I have seen and tasted the actual dish. Now, another great task was at hand.... and that was to get my order over to the waiter. The waving and calling started all over again and after 12 minutes, yes 12 minutes it was, the waiter finally arrived and took my orders. 

Teh Tarik @ RM 1.80

Teh Tarik @ RM 1.80
The drink arrived very quickly, in fact in less than 3 minutes, it was served. That's quite quick. The Teh Tarik was served hot, just the way it should be. The drink was good, just good and not great. I would be able to get some better Tea just across the road for two thirds the price. Anyway, that was perfectly fine with me as I came here predominantly for their Briyani and not Tea. As for this drink, I would rate it at 7/10 .

Set Of Claypot Mutton @ RM 15.50
Food too was served very quickly. I was quite sure that it was pre-prepared at some central kitchen and all that they did was perhaps reheat it a little and brought it over. This set came with Claypot Mutton,  a tablespoon amount of gravy, a tablespoon amount of Cucumber Raita and one Papadam. In the menu, it had specifically mentioned two. I asked the waiter why it was just one and he said that that was the case because the Papadam was big. Okay, sounded like a logical explanation and I dismissed him.

Claypot Mutton With An Egg

Claypot Mutton With An Egg
Just to give some background history, these guys were the first to come up with this claypot Briyani concept in Malaysia and it had picked up pretty well then. The claypot size was a considerable one but just observe the egg please. It is clean white. This means that it was not cooked with the rice but was just placed on the rice before serving. That is not how it should be at all. Seemed like just a cosmetic fitting to the dish.

The Food Laid Out On A Banana Leaf

Briyani Rice

Trying It Out
I know that they have a variety of Briyani's sold here, both vegetarian and non vegetarian and to me, it seems that this is a standard preparation of Briyani Rice that applies to all varieties. This is to say that, assuming that one order's Chicken Briyani, then just before serving, they throw in some Masala Chicken, toss the rice around with it and serve it to you. The Chicken or Mutton or Vegetables that you ordered is not cooked with the rice itself and that is not how authentic Briyani is prepared. Even the rice grains were quite short. This is to say that the quality of the Basmathi rice used is not up to my expectations. This is a medium priced grain that had been used in this preparation but the overall dish is charged a premium price. 

Mutton Bits
This was completely not acceptable. There was something like just 40 grams of mutton bits in the entire dish. Rice was lavish but the mutton was stingy and just look at the size of the cuts. Simply just compare it with the size of the grain and that would say a lot. There was no need for me to place a fork or spoon in this picture to show the comparison in size. Coming to the taste, the rice was just spicy and completely lacked the flavours of true Briyani but the mutton was quite okay. Overall, I would say that this is a dish that was designed to optimise profits, nothing but that. It was not the real Briyani. I am not alone to say this. Please just check their Facebook comments or Foursquare reviews and the majority would be saying the very same thing. As for me, I would rate this so called 'Briyani' at 6/10 .

Their gravy tasted nice but they were very stingy with the portion. This was nothing more than what a single tablespoon could hold. You can always ask for more but it is all a chargeable top up. I would rate this gravy at 8/10 .

Cucumber Raita
Another mega stingy preparation that seemed more like a sampler than the real dish. One scoop and that's it, it's all done. Taste was just so so anyway. I would rate this at 5/10 only.

You might wonder why in the world did I take the photograph of this Papadam. Well, this is a very special preparation as it does not crack at all. In fact, it is foldable. One could fold it into four and place it comfortably in the shirt pocket, perhaps to be used as a serviette later on. What an embarrassing Papadam coming from a famous South Indian restaurant and that too in Brickfields! Horrible!

The Price of My Lunch
Well, from what I have tried some 15 years ago and comparing that to what I tried this afternoon, it was like earth and sky. Coming from the very same restaurant, the very same dish tasted contrastingly different. Now I truly understand why my friends no longer dine at this restaurant. There was nothing pleasing from my dining experience this afternoon. The staffs were horrible, food was substandard and the only good thing that I could think off was the restaurant itself which was cool, comfortable and nice. Definitely a place that I would not return ..... at least for another 10 years. 

Address: No. 50, Jalan Vivekananda, Brickfields, 50470 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Opening Hours: 0700 - 2300 Daily

Telephone: +603 2272 4149



  1. I am so sorry you had this terrible experience. A good Briyani(especially mutton) is always welcome in my books but this is really horrible. The setup is amazing but I wouldn't have waited that long for the food. I don't how you do it!

    1. I am always saddened when I see food quality dropping at famous restaurants. You're right DeNiSe...the set up is indeed amazing but it's just sad...plain sad. :(

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