The first Indian settlers in Singapore arrived almost 200 years ago, so you can imagine the abundance of Indian restaurants. Sifting through the dozens of Indian joints apart from the obvious ones in Little India & several others island-wide, it wasn’t an easy, albeit delicious task. Here are the winners for authentic dosas, naans, curries and chaat (street food). You will go back for more.
Punjab Grill @ Marina Bay Sands: Gourmet Punjabi
Let’s start with a classy, up-market, swanky Indian restaurant that doesn’t skimp on the portions. Punjab Grill at Marina Bay Sands was started by Jiggs Kalra, an Indian celebrity Chef and he brings to the table generous Punjabi fare with great style. With modern interiors, Punjab Grill is great venue to celebrate a special occasion. Choose from a la carte options or go with the Vegetarian Power Lunch / Executive Set Menus
Budget: Power lunch @ SGD 45++ Executive Menu @ SGD 60++
Green Picks: Pesto Paneer Tikka, Amritsari Malai Mushroom, Dahi ke Kebab (Unbelievably delicious), hung curd kebabs), Punjabi Kadhi
Chat Masala: North Indian
With a spicy name like Chat Masala, this little restaurant on Upper East Coast packs a punch. By far, it ranks very high for amiable service, finger licking food and great variety. The menu features a Vegelicious section with Starters, quintessential Paneer favorites, dals, and yummy curries served in a pappadum bowl (like a Taco bowl). Chat Masala is my favorite north Indian haunt in the East.
Budget: $20- 25/ head
Green Picks: Dahi Samosas (Street food), Ragda Patties (Potato Patties with Chickpea gravy), Kadai Paneer, Palak Paneer, Spicy Omelette, Mung Dhal, Pilaf Rice, Bread Basket
Address:158 Upper East Coast Rd, Singapore 455254
The Mango Tree: South Indian Coastal Cuisine
Mango Tree has moved a couple of times and is now hidden away at i12 Katong. It has earned a few loyalists over the years. With a beautiful, traditional wood carved décor, Mango Tree also has a nice little terrace that’s perfect for breezy evenings. Signature dishes bring the flavors of South Indian coastal cuisine to life. Complimentary Pappadum Platters with sweet and sour chutneys are a highlight. Pair your Appams with Coconut Stew or Mango Mapas for a true Indian coastal meal.
Budget: $20/ head
Green Picks: Appam (Rice pancake, soft center with laced edges), Green Mango Mapas (Sweet & sour curry), Avial (Fresh vegetable cooked in coconut and curd based masala), Vegetable Isthu (Mixed vegetable in light coconut milk), Gulab Jamun (Soft cottage cheese dumplings with cardomom flavoured sugar syrup)
Mayura: Indian Chinese
Indian Chinese is a strange and eclectic mix of cuisine that is quite inexplicable and the only way to know it, is to to taste it. What is Indian Chinese though? Indian Chinese cuisine was developed by the small Chinese community that has lived in Calcutta for over a century. It’s quite simply the adaptation of Chinese seasoning and cooking techniques to Indian tastes. Through a larger offering of vegetarian dishes, Mayura is another gem in the East that truly creates some good Indian Chinese in Singapore. Try it and you’ll be in for a surprise if it’s your first time!
Budget: $15/ head
Green Picks: Vegetable Manchurian (Dry), Pepper Chilli Paneer, Corn Salt and Pepper, Sweet & Sour Vegetable, Szechwan Fried Rice
Kailash Parbat: Bombay Chaat, 100% Vegetarian
KP is a well known name in Mumbai for everything from street food to Indian Chinese and North Indian meals. Located next to the Grand Chancellor hotel in Singapore, Kailash Parbat is as busy as a fast food joint. Expect speedy service and true Bombay flavors on a plate. It is also exclusively vegetarian so you are spoilt for choice everytime you visit.
Budget: $15-20/ head
Signature Dishes: Tandoor Platter, Samosa Ragda, Pav Bhaji, Paratha, Chaas & Lassi
MTR Mavalli Tiffin Rooms : Udupi
MTR needs no introduction. Founded in 1924 with 90 years of finger-licking, authentic, simple South Indian history, it feels like the taste has only grown better over the years. Little India is cluttered with a dime a dozen Indian restaurants but none matches up to the simple menu and great service that you can count on at MTR. All the dosas (savory rice pancakes) are made with ghee (clarified butter) and served up with fresh chutneys. For a super healthy version, try the Ragi dosa (millet pancake) that’s just as yummy. The Khara bhath is fantastic enough to devour in a minute. Must try their famous frothy filter coffee. Reminds me of home. MTR on my schedule every month!
Budget : $15-20 for two (depends on how many dishes you might end up ordering)