(Hosted) Head @Chef.pinaki had joined @yantrasg just before Covid hit, so timing wasn’t great but based on our recent dinner at the surprisingly spacious and elegant restaurant, I think he has used the unexpected gift of time to great advantage - by creating new dishes and tweaking the flavours of existing ones to improve them. My family and I felt the Tasting Menu he served us, was most delicious.
Inspired by tradition as well as modern influences, the cuisine at #YantraSg is a fine balance of classic and contemporary. There is an a la carte menu of course but Chef Pinaki’s Tasting Menu allowed us to try a wide variety which is what I prefer when visiting a dining establishment for the first time. We did however, also enjoy a couple of other items outside of it, such as the Rajasthani Mirchi Yade, a traditional stuffed and batter-fried green chilli that was irresistible with its filling of spiced potatoes, and a fabulous Chicken Biryani that smelled and tasted as appetising as my video suggests.
Arriving first though were the amuse bouche of Papdi Chaat and Dahi Puri - a pair of exciting bites of contrasting flavours and textures. I was especially infatuated with the latter, a delicately crunchy ball filled with cool yogurt.
Head @chefpinaki then presented a starter featuring the meat of a young goat from Australia done in two ways (unlike most places, the mutton used at Yantra does not come from sheep). I found both preparation methods to result in deeply aromatic tenderness, with nary a trace of gaminess. But if you aren’t into mutton, fret not because you can opt for the alternative starter - a duo of Chicken Tikka and Chutneywale Fish Tikka (it features local seabass marinated in coriander, mint marinade). My mum who had this, liked it a lot and successfully pried the recipe from Chef 😆.
Next came the Macher Paturi, a speciality of Bengal which is where Chef Pinaki hails from. It showcased fresh local seabass marinated in mustard and coconut and cooked in banana leaves. I was reminded of Otah while tucking into this delectableness but the spice profile was completely different.
An intermezzo of Milagu Rasam followed. I loved the steaming hot, sour and peppery broth so much, I had to have two cups.
The main course comprised of two dishes to be savoured with saffron rice. One was the signature Chicken Tikka Makhani which had very tender boneless pieces of chicken in rich, thick and mildly spicy tomato-fenugreek gravy. The other, which had me scraping the bowl clean, was the humble looking but too-yummy-for-words Dal Makhani. After simmering for more than 24 hours on the tandoor, the black urad (lentils) were unbelievably soft and creamy.
We were also served a big plate of spinach to share. Cooked till mushy, the iron-rich vegetable was abundantly fragrant and flavoursome due to the large amount of peppers, spices and garlic used.
None of us could stop munching on the freshly-made garlic naan either, as it boasted a crisp bite rather than being limp and doughy.
Dessert was wonderful as we got a mix of Indian specialties. Served warm were the classic Gulab Jamun and the Gajar ka Halwa, a carrot compote (I really liked this), and in-between them sat a scoop of housemade “cream of milk” ice-cream which turned out to be a good complement.

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