Last Updated: May 4, 2021
Indian food is seriously diverse; you may already know that South and North Indian foods are two entirely different cuisines. Still, to split their differences even further, each cuisine has other ethnic foods, different dishes, so on and so forth. Also, it doesn’t help that Singaporean Indian food can differ from that in India itself.
So to rank these places according to how good they are is like trying to compare chicken and duck rice; it’s simply not a fair fight. Instead, here’s a list of 12 Indian food places in Singapore to add spice to your life!
I’m starting this list simple, with the one Indian food that all Singaporeans know for sure: prata.
Mr and Mrs Mohgan’s Super Crispy Prata is kind of the epitome of what good prata should taste like. Imagine a shatteringly crispy disc that toes the line between chewy and perfectly fluffy on the inside. Yup, that’s Mr and Mrs Mohgan’s Super Crispy Prata’s Kosong Prata (S$1) for you.
Although not as crispy as their Kosong Prata, the Egg Prata (S$1.50) is also a dish worth your calories. Here, it’s a light and pillowy square with swirling patterns of yolk peeking through a translucent surface. Every bite was rich and satisfying, making them the perfect complement alongside plates of curry.
The experience only gets better when you tear those supple folds and dip them into the curry. While the Mutton Curry is robust and slightly gamey in flavour, their Fish Curry is piquant, chunky, and delivers just the right amount of heat. Fish Curry or Mutton Curry, take your pick. In any case, either is bound to hit that sweet spot of yours.
300 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore 427551
Mon, Thu to Sun: 6.30am – 1.30pm
Tue: 6.30am – 11.30am
Closed on Wed
The Banana Leaf Apolo is where you can get great Indian mixed rice. It is very popular among Singaporean Indians, and for good reason. The food is tasty and similar to home-cooked food, and the price point is reasonable.
The eatery’s Apolo Chicken Dum Biryani (S$14.90) is a popular choice. Fresh, moist and redolent, the long-grain basmati rice and chicken are cooked with Indian spices in a dum steamed over charcoals—one of the most authentic ways to savour this satisfying dish here in Singapore!
We’ve talked about prata and mixed rice; now let’s talk about curry. Well-known for their curry fish head, Muthu’s Curry was founded by the late Mr Ayyakkannu S. back in 1969. What started out as a simple family cooking tradition from India became a family business in 1969 serving up plates of classic Indian food.
Muthu’s Curry’s Fish Head Curry (S$24 for small, S$28 for medium, S$33 for large) is cooked in a South Indian style. Mixed with chunks of pineapple and juicy okra, the curry fish head is best enjoyed with Biryani Rice (S$4) or a Naan Basket (S$15) to ease the intense curry kick.
If fish is not exactly your pick of protein, then why not opt for their Hyderabadi Dum Biryani (S$16)? Available only on weekends and public holidays, this one-of-a-kind dish features a blend of fresh ground spices and the long-grain basmati rice cooked with fresh lamb to perfection. A must-try for all lamb lovers out there.
An award-winning restaurant offering authentic South Indian cuisine, MTR Singapore is an eatery that serves up a legacy of great vegetarian dishes at affordable prices.
Before tucking into their repertoire of authentic vegetarian mains, savour on the unique Rava Idly (S$4), a steamed semolina cake mixed with yoghurt, coriander, cashew nuts, curry leaves, mustard seeds, and clarified butter. Accompanying it is a silky coconut-based potato saagu that reveals a spongey, nutty pancake-esque mouthfeel when paired together with the semolina cake.
Elsewhere, there is also the Pudi Masala Dosa (S$7), a large fluffy pancake peppered with spicy chutney powder, smeared with ghee and topped with a small scoop of potato-onion filling. One bite into this beauty and your palate will be instantly hit with a smoky pepperiness, this might be a spicy dish, but trust me, the flavour grows on you with each and every bite you take.
We’re almost halfway through this list, and we’ve covered some authentic Indian dishes from India. Now I’d like to talk a little bit about Singaporean Indian eateries, which take authentic Indian flavours and add a contemporary local twist to them.
Flying Monkey, for instance, creates fun alcoholic beverages using Indian ingredients and props like clay pots.
Specially curated cocktails like The Japanese Wife (S$18) and Mumbai 2 Milan (S$20) aside, Flying Monkey also serves some delicious tapas including the Galouti Kebab (S$16), the bar’s best-selling small plate dish prepared with a lamb patty that truly lives up to its name as ‘Galouti’, which literally means ‘melt-in-your-mouth’!
A said-to-be legend located in Little India, Azmi Restaurant is best known among fans of Indian cuisine for their flatbread—the chapati.
Freshness, for one, is an aspect that makes the Chapati (S$1 each) here at Azmi Restaurant stand out from other Indian stalls. Since the Chapati here is not cooked in butter or ghee, it makes for a fibrous and healthy carbohydrate when eaten alone. Of course, in order to justify your trip to Azmi Restaurant, a combination of their Chapati and Mutton Keema (S$3.50) is one not to be missed.
A savoury stew of ground lamb flavoured with a mixture of spices, fresh peas, and cubes of potatoes, the saucy Mutton Keema felt like a dish the chapati was made for. Tear off a piece of the flatbread and make sure you scoop a good combination of meat and gravy before popping it into your mouth—simply delish.
2 Dalhousie Lane, Singapore 209671
Daily: 11am – 10pm
Mustard is a Bengali and Punjabi restaurant known for tasty food at affordable prices. Located in a small unit space along Race Course road next to some of the bigger names, Mustard is kind of a hidden gem that is sometimes overlooked.
Meat lovers will relish in the restaurant’s Kabab e Tashtar (S$32.90), a mixed kebab platter featuring a delectable array of meats, grilled to perfection. Moist and tender, the selection of meats on this plate makes for one of the best combinations alongside some Saffron Rice (S$8.90) or a piece of Cheese Naan (S$7.90).
Zaffron Kitchen has a Michelin Star and a lovely interior to match the quality of food served here. The flavours are more palatable for non-Indians as the food is not overly spicy or sour, but delicately tasty.
When at Zaffron Kitchen, order the Zaffron Chicken Biryani ($16), a serving of flavourful basmati biryani rice and succulent chicken cooked with a pastry covering the top of the dish. Here, the experience of eating biryani rice with pastry and curry was definitely a lot nicer than savouring it alone.
If the Zaffron Chicken Biryani alone is not enough to satisfy, add on their Butter Chicken (S$17). Rich and ever-so-creamy, the Butter Chicken might be good eaten alone, but even better when paired with the biryani or naan!
Annalakshmi is on this list not just because the food is mouth-watering, but also because it’s a non-profit restaurant. Run largely by volunteers, the staff here work not just to make ends meet, but they volunteer and dedicate their time as they find joy in the act of service to the community.
Patrons who come here can eat as much as they want and pay any amount, allowing diners who are going through a hard time to also enjoy a proper meal without having to worry about the cost.
The food here is generally South Indian and comes buffet-style, so you can help yourself to your favourite dishes as much as you want. Price-wise, if you feel like giving back, feel free to pay a sum that’s higher than usual to show support to the restaurant’s cause.
20 Havelock Road, Central Square, #01-04, Singapore 059765
+65 6339 9993
Tue to Sun: 11.30am – 3pm & 6pm – 9pm
Closed on Mon
Instead of typical Southern Indian dishes, Swaadhist serves up an array of traditional Kerala cuisine in the heart of Little India.
A must-try here, which many diners make return trips for, is their Bamboo Chicken Biryani (S$12). Served fresh from the bamboo it was steamed in, the dish exuded an intoxicating earthy fragrance the moment it was pushed out from its tube.
Prepared amongst a heap of long-grain basmati rice, the lightly spiced chicken pieces were juicy and tore apart with ease. There were the bits of fat that clung for their life onto the chunks of chicken, adding a nice greasiness and gelatinous texture that complemented the overwhelmingly herbaceous taste of cumin and star anise.
If you are not a fan of spice, their Appam With Coconut Milk (S$4 for two) and Vegetable Ishtoo (S$6.50) will make for welcome treats that taste as good as they look. Prepared using fermented rice flour together with creamy coconut milk, the mildly sourish appam exuded a soft nutty perfume with every bite. When consumed with the Vegetable Ishtoo (a Kerala-style potato stew), the outrageously rich stew felt like the kind of dish the appam was made for.
Good vegetarian restaurants are difficult to find and one of our favourites in town is Gokul Vegetarian Restaurant.
If you are visiting, don’t miss out on the restaurant’s Butter Chicken (S$11). Generous chunks of vegan chicken sat in a tantalising gravy that wafted in waves of heavenly aroma. The creamy cashew tomato gravy had a delightful blend of tang and butteriness that paired flawlessly with the pieces of mock meat.
Butter Chicken aside, the Vegetable Kurma (S$8) was also a dish we enjoyed especially when eaten with Gokul Vegetarian Restaurant’s Roti Prata (S$2). With a spice sauce of yoghurt, cream and nut paste, the Vegetable Kurma makes for a rich, flavourful dish that will make you forget you are just eating vegetables alone!
As a lover of spice, I have been to a number of Indian restaurants and one that left a deep impression was Everest Kitchen. Looks-wise, Everest Kitchen might be a bare-bone restaurant decked in basic wooden furniture, but pictures decorating the restaurant surround a framed declaration of intent. They reflect the tradition and culture of Nepalese and North Indian cuisine—a brief insight into the rich flavours that the restaurant offers.
If I could only order one dish here, it would be their Nepali Khaja (S$18.90), a handsome platter of popular Nepalese dishes arranged as a spread in a happy circle. The pipeline of pleasure includes a few spoonfuls of chicken choila, chicken sekuwa, achaar, fried soya beans and what looked like uncooked oatmeal, but turned out to be dried, beaten rice.
Every single element on this plate had its respective characteristics that made each of them unique in taste and texture. It was, however, the chunky bites of chicken sekuwa that won my heart. Pelted with spices, these juicy morsels of chicken were elevated to another level with its random charred bits and tinge of smokiness, reminiscent to that of a chicken satay—only bigger and better.
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