good indian food at dempsey. before I start on those european posts, let me tell you about this meal I had at dempsey at the suggestion of my parents; before coming to singapore, my parents had been calling me about their dinners at samy’s. I have to say that I was a little dubious at the beginning, seeing as how so many restaurants at dempsey are more notable for their prices than their food (even barracks, which is also pretty expensive but has such amazing pancakes).
but also, have a look at those gorgeous parrots! so bright and colourful on their perches.
samy’s has a pretty interesting feel – it is located in one of the most expensive dining areas in singapore, but is housed in a non-airconditioned colonial building, with seating extended all the way outside. I recommend taking (and booking) the outside tables though, as the fans inside don’t provide nearly enough ventilation and your clothes are likely to smell by the end of dinner. the place also fills up relatively quickly past 7, so reservations are probably a really good thing. also, a good place for large family dinners, because they can accommodate groups of people, and the food is reasonably-priced (except the prawns, but more on that later). I’ve always thought this place was part of a chain, but it is a standalone restaurant that is generally well-received!
you enter the building and pick from the prepared dishes of chicken, lamb, cuttlefish, fish and curries, specify the amount that you want (small or large) and they bring them on old-school metal plates to your table, where you dine on banana leaves (a very rare sight in singapore now). we had a pretty wide range of dishes, and they were mostly good – the standouts were the cuttlefish, which we had two of, the tandoori chicken, and the garlic naans. the only gripe I have is that they don’t serve chapatti/roti, which I far prefer to naan, but I know I’m rather singular in that preference so that probably doesn’t matter to you.
again, the naans were good, and the food was served pretty quick. don’t get the fish though, it was terribly dry and difficult to finish. daal and raita are served complimentary on the sides from tiffin-style containers by the waiters, and you can have as much as you – I think my mum probably asked for four servings during dinner that day. I can’t remember a better indian place in singapore, and it certainly is one of the best-value meals you can have in the townish area.