gajalee, esplanade

it’s the first day of the work-week (and work-year, if you want to be depressing about it). how did the holidays time pass so quickly?!

but to start things off on a very positive note, here’s a fantastic indian (specifically malvani, if that means anything to you) place we chanced upon the other day. situated terribly in a back alley between the esplanade and satay by the bay, this indian restaurant looks strangely posh for its otherwise uninteresting (read: shabby) exterior.

and the food is quite utterly fantastic, with a focus on seafood and tandoori offerings. the prices are high too, which is expected given its location, but I would say the experience well-worth worth it.

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kinara contemporary indian cuisine, holland village

really good northern indian eating at this very nice restaurant in holland village. this place suits its locale – they’ve got nice al fresco dining out on the boardwalk (in case you want to brave the sudden surge of haze we’ve just gotten), and even the interior is beautifully and ethnically decorated (still, I’d rather eat out than in).

it’s refined eating – expected, given the locale and its clientele – all tandoori and creamy curries with properly-blistered naan, and it’s not inexpensive. for a chill meal on the weekend, it’ll do you plenty good.

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garden kadhai north indian fine dining, serangoon gardens

delicious indian food at this small restaurant along maju avenue – I live just ten-ish minutes away and never knew this restaurant existed until this visit, and what a pity. for the food was very good and authentic (as much as I can reasonably gauge), and the cosy bistro-like atmosphere of the place lends itself to easy eating, with a casual-but-not-of-the-flip-flop intimacy that I appreciate very much.

it’s a tad on the pricy side, but it’s pretty worth it – I reiterate, the food was delicious.

I’ve been having quite a bit of indian food these days (I gravitate toward the northern styles), and have come to the conclusion that I am most of us are still pretty biased about the prices we’re charged at indian places such as this. despite the amount of work that clearly goes into the cooking, we still grumble about overpaying for what should be a cheap cuisine, when we’re willing to spend the equivalent in our fancy chinese restaurants.

strange eh, these human quirks.

I did conclude this place a little on the high side when we left, but hindsight is both enlightening and moderating, and so I will say – it’s certainly not cheap, but you leave with a belly stuffed with tasty curries and leavened breads that do a great job scooping those incredibly flavors into your mouth. I don’t have the skill (or the patience) to cook proper indian, and I submit myself to these chefs that do a great job at it – especially when I get to eat in air-conditioned comfort.

make a visit, pronto!

Garden Kadhai North Indian Fine Dining
24 Maju Ave
Singapore 556696
tel +65 6283 9688
$$$ (or should it be $$.5?): 30-40 a person

lagnaa barefoot dining, little india

a gimmicky, very-expensive indian restaurant in little india – not the traditional indian foodery as you’d expect in this neighborhood. it seems catered toward tourists, tripadvisor (on which it has a fantastic rating) and unknowing diners a like – the gimmick of barefoot dining and variable heat levels (and of course that means there’s a barely-human level up there) saying possibly everything you need to know.

and of course, it could be not a gimmick, but a preference for no-shoes and a care for customers’ varying heat requirements. but I’m just saying – coupled with the high prices and the small portions of supposed-to-be-cheap food, I’m more likely to put this off as a tourist trap than anything else.

but I’m cynical (that’s why you like me, right).

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the fat cat bistro, holland village (take 2)



a couple shots from the fat cat in holland village, a surprisingly multi-talented casual restaurant serving three menus: thai, indian, and western/ italian. my favorite remains the indian – it’s solid, hearty cooking – but we order across the cuisines whenever we come.

full review here. it’s a good one to keep in mind if you’re feeling undecidable – and great for crowds, seeing as
there really ought to be something for someone here (if they can’t find something even here, rethink the relationship).

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pind balluchi bar & grill, clarke quay

posh northern indian food, from a prolific truly-indian chain that’s gone upmarket in singapore. this place reminds me of my favorite indian places in london, where the cuisine is dished up fine-dining-style, and with more care and finesse than you’d usually see in singapore.

and the food is great – everything that I love to eat, with bright spice-y flavors and sparkling flavours in a sleek, dark environ that makes for great dates and girls’ nights out.

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the fat cat bistro, holland village

still very good food at this cafe-restaurant that relocated to the genial confines of holland village. it used to be a little closer to me, though definitely more inconvenient in its previous hideaway in serangoon – but it’s great that standards haven’t dropped, portions haven’t shrunk, and all that terrible jazz you associate with any drastic change in an eatery.

it’s almost a food court, with three distinct stalls operating within a single compound – just quite a lot classier. in its new location, it’s also spacious and rather cozily furnished, and a good choice for those large gatherings of friends where you’re looking for a not-shabby place that won’t break anyone’s budget.

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indian curry house, bukit timah

good indian food – but rather abrupt service – at this hideaway restaurant in bukit timah. it’s not an area I venture too often to these days – lack of a driving license and the sparsity of public transport make it almost entirely not-worth-the-while – but the lure of a groupon promotion and an impossible-to-excuse-onself-from family meal meant I actually had the chance to try this place.

and it was a good meal – though really, it’s a cuisine marked by bombastic explosions of spice and a rather hedonistic use of carbohydrates, which gives it more than a robust starting point to start with.

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the fat cat bistro, serangoon

good thai-indian-europeanish food at this hidden open-air cafe in serangoon. I’ve heard of this place quite a bit – but I never knew it was quite this close to me – and it’s now become a regular friday-dinner haunt (especially since there’s the prospect of dessert just a few doors down).

it’s a baffling prospect to go to a place that serves up three cuisine options all at once – and rather a relief to find that this isn’t some madcap venture, and that the food is genuinely all good. I put this down to the fact that it’s done up food-court-style, with the cafe basically serving as a communal dining area for three different stalls (and therefore three kitchens): thai yai, masala mantra and the french onion.

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zaffron kitchen, katong


standout indian food in the grastronomic wunderland that is katong – I don’t usually come to this area because it’s a little far out of my reach, but the many good reviews of this place were too great a draw to resist. and they live up to it – indian food made modern, really in the style of masala zone in london, which I haven’t yet seen in singapore – I would say this is food that admittedly might play more to the mainstream consumer’s idea of indian rather than traditional fare, but it doesn’t detract from the pleasure of eating here, and judging from the clientele in this place – it might not be wholly unauthentic either.

you do pay for the experience though – prices are much higher than what you’d see at other indian joints, though merely on par with other new caf√©s/bistros. service is a little absent-minded sometimes – though this only happened with one of their waitresses – but the food is well good, and well worth coming back for.

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