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Best Places for Indian Food in Singapore 2016

Best Places for Indian Food in Singapore 2016

With Deepavali around the corner, we're inspired to celebrate Indian food in all its glory in this week's guide! From out of this world, fun prata creations to a hidden banana leaf joint and dosas worth jostling for, we've travelled the island in search of Singapore's tastiest Indian food. Bring your friends, family, a huge appetite and start feasting!
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Located just a few minutes' walk from City Square Mall (nearest MRT: Farrer Park), this constantly buzzy joint serves what we believe to be the best dosas in Singapore. They've nailed the familiar Masala Dosa ($6) with a crisp, ghee-fragrant exterior, tasty spiced potato filling and piquant chutneys on the side. Burppler Jayne Tan loves how she can distinctly taste fermented rice and black lentils in every bite. For the more adventurous dosa connoisseur, we highly recommend going for the Pudi Masala Dosa ($6.50), an open-faced pancake that is soft and spongy, yet browned and crisp on the bottom. Sprinkled with spicy chutney powder (it tastes very umami-ish, almost cheesy) and topped with a small mound of potato, this is one filling vegetarian dish! If it's your first time here, order both our recommended dosas to have the best of both worlds! Pro tip: This place fills up fast for dinner, so visit earlier at around 6pm (they begin dinner service at 5:30pm) and be prepared to share your table with strangers.
Avg Price: $10 per person
Photo by Burppler Muriel A

A firm favourite among Bukit Panjang and Bukit Timah families, Karu's has been that dependable spot for banana leaf cravings for years. Having moved recently from its spot in Upper Bukit Timah to its new digs in Sime Darby Centre (above ToTT, across from King Albert Park), fans will be glad to know that the food has not changed one bit. When you sit down, you will have a banana leaf laid out in front of you, and an option of white or biryani rice. We much prefer their light and fragrant biryani rice over their white. They will also ask if you'd like fish or chicken curry gravy — we recommend getting both. To order your dishes, go to the window to point and pick. Don't miss the popular Chicken Masala that every table orders, and their Mutton Mysore for those who love a good spicy hit. The Curry Sotong is also a crowd favourite, and consider their satisfying Fish Head Curry (get a small for 3-4 pax) to share, it's affordable and one of the better ones around. Pro tip: If you're coming by for takeaway, remember that their rice portions are epic, so order two packs for five people — it's more than enough.
Avg Price: $10 per person
Photo by Burppler Kenny Kung

This Simpang supper hotspot is gaining a steady reputation for this one thing — Prata Coin ($7). Unlike regular flattened pratas, these come coiled up to look like coins, and every bite presents an unbeatable mix of crisp golden exteriors, soft and fluffy insides and the unmistakeable fragrance of butter. The icing on the cake however is the accompanying mutton curry, which is more than just an afterthought like in so many prata shops. The curry here is extremely flavourful and generous with chunks of meat, and it pairs fantastically with the prata. After his first bite, Burppler Dixon Chan actually excitedly shared the news among five Whatsapp chat groups — it is THAT good.
Avg Price: $10 per person
Photo by Burppler May Cho

Tucked away on Upper Dickson Road, away from the main street's bustle, Madras New Woodlands is a nondescript joint serving up humble vegetarian South Indian fare. The two-page menu is compact and simple, and the selection familiar enough to not put you off — expect the usual suspects like dosa (otherwise known as thosai), idly (steamed rice cakes) and samosas, among other light snacks perfect for a mid-afternoon break. What we really like though is the Appam Set ($4.80). Made from a batter of fermented rice and coconut milk, Madras New Woodlands' rendition of the pancake is spot-on — brown and crisp around the edges, yet fluffy and slightly moist in the middle, and so delicious dipped in coconut milk and orange sugar. Pair this with their aromatic Madras Coffee ($1.90 for small/ $2.70 for large). Pro-tip: The milky filtered coffee is often served scalding hot, so cool it down for drinking by pouring a third into the shorter, wider metal cup.
Avg Price: $10 per person
Photo by Burppler Leigh Khoo

A type of unleavened flatbread, chapati is a less commonly eaten bread compared to the flakier, buttery prata Singaporeans are used to. Simply made from wholewheat flour and water, these toasty breads are the perfect complement to tasty curries. Azmi, a tiny stall within a coffeeshop (Thye Chong Restaurant) on the corner of Norris Road, has probably served the best chapati since 1956. You will first be struck by the irresistible aroma in the air, and then by the uncle with the long white beard wearing a sarong and flipping handmade chapatis on the griddle. Pick the Keema ($3.40), a minced mutton curry cooked with peas and potatoes, to go with two Azmi Chapati ($0.90) — a simple meal that will satisfy. If you're not eating alone, also share a vegetable dish of your choice. The nice thing about all the curries at Azmi is that they're never too salty, ensuring you can wipe your plate clean. Use your hands if you're comfortable, it truly tastes better!
Avg Price: $5 per person
Photo by Burppler Muriel A

Walk into Bombay Cafe's ludicrously pink digs and you may be inclined to not take it seriously, but we're glad we stuck it out despite the fact that the masala chai we came for was not available that day. With catchy Bollywood music videos on loop in the background, we tucked into one of the tastier renditions of Pav Bhaji ($8) we've had in a while. The classic Mumbai street snack sees toasted buttered buns served with a curried vegetable stew. It is challenging to prepare a truly outstanding version simply because the dish is so simple, but Bombay Cafe's version is punchy with flavour, and exceptionally good with a generous squeeze of lime over every bite. They also do a yummy Papdi Chaat ($8) — fried flour crispies topped with chickpeas, potato cubes and sev (an Indian crispy noodle snack) drenched in yoghurt and laced through with tamarind. The mains are tasty but nothing to write home about, and on the pricier side too, but children may enjoy the moist and chocolaty Sizzling Brownie ($10), which makes a show of being served on a hotplate. Save this spot for a Mumbai-inspired tea-time outing, and let us know how's the masala chai. Pro tip: Skip the coffee.
Avg Price: $15 per person
Photo by Burppler Leigh Khoo

This nondescript Chander Road joint (a short walk from Little India MRT station) is a tad more off the beaten tourist track than nearby Banana Leaf Apolo, which basically means lower prices and more authentic vibes! When we visited just past noon on a Friday, the place was throbbing with Indian families and the working class, many of whom stayed only long enough to greedily scarf down their meal. If you fancy staying for a leisure meal without feeling compelled to give up your spot, head here for a late lunch (around 2pm) or an early dinner (6pm), before the queues begin. There's no price menu here — after they lay out your banana leaf with a scoop of curried vegetables, sambar and chilli chutney, servers come around with free-flow rice and trays piled high with bowls of dishes. Pick what you fancy without fear that it'll cost a bomb at the end. Our meal for three, including a fried fish fillet, a curry fish fillet, curry chicken and spicy prawns worked out to only $29.30 in total. We weren't crazy about the curry fish (even though the gravy was delicious) but the rest were delicious, especially the turmeric fried fish. Pro tip: Most eat sans utensils (right hand only!) but cutlery is provided upon request.
Avg Price: $10 per person
Photo by Burppler Leigh Khoo

In the sprawling, hip Timbre+ full of interesting options, it's easy to forget that there lies one of the best biryanis around. By successful restaurant chain Gayatri, Chit Chaat Chai serves North Indian favourites with a high standard. Order the Chicken Dum Biryani ($9) and expect a very fragrant, light biryani that will hit the spot with its tender chicken chunks. You must spoon on the delicious raita and gravy that come with it to experience it best. Thankfully, this meal manages to not give you a bad food coma, making it a viable lunch option. Also consider coming by for dinner and washing it down with a pint of cold beer — they pair wonderfully together!
Avg Price: $10 per person
Photo by Burppler Jayne Tan

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Just opposite Mustafa Shopping Centre along Syed Alwi Road, this little joint serving authentic food from Andhra (South India) is a quiet respite from the bustling crowd. Choose from a list of dosas, snacks and combos for a relaxing meal with a friend. Start with the Cut Mirchi ($4) — deep fried big green chillies in a thick chickpea batter. These tend to be quite oily, but Srivakula prides itself on using only pure ghee, pure olive oil or groundnut oil, making this a delightfully light, crunchy start to your meal. Alternatively, go for the Chilli Bajji with Onions ($3.60) as recommended by Burppler Saundarya Lahari. Share the unique Guntur Podi Dosa ($5.50) — it is large and crisp, with a good sprinkling of chili powder on the inside ("podi" means "powder"). Four very tasty chutneys accompany this spicy dosa. If you're really hungry, go instead for their Thali ($9) — a bowl of rice surrounded by nine little bowls of curd, vegetable curries, chutneys and a sweet cardamom rice pudding for dessert.
Avg Price: $10 per person
Photo by Burppler Jayne Tan

Set in two floors of a shophouse unit along a busy stretch of Serangoon Road, Komala Vilas has been serving fast, tasty food since 1947. Head upstairs, order at the counter and take a seat as they bang out your food in no time. Have their standout Vadai Set ($3), fried savoury lentil "donuts" that come with chutney. Vadais can be unsatisfyingly cold and limp, but the ones here are always crisp on the outside and very fluffy. But what you're really here for is their Dosai Meal ($8.50, opt for the Paper Dosai over the heavy Masala) — a humongous paper dosai the length of your arm served with three vegetable curries, sambar, chutney and kulambu. This is a filling meal that can be shared by two for lunch, and will no doubt satisfy any thosai cravings you're having. Don't forget to end your meal with a cup of warm Masala Tea ($1.80) and you'll leave happy and full.
Avg Price: $10 per person
Photo by Burppler Tammy Wee

Quiet enough for conversation and with an alfresco option for cool nights, Muthu's Curry at Dempsey has just the right vibes for a date night or a nice family meal. Foodwise, the wide array also makes this a good option for group dinners. If you choose to have a banana leaf meal, opt for the Biryani Rice ($4 per person) and the Fish Head Curry (small, $22). You might go for the commonly ordered Tandoori Chicken, but you should really order the lesser known, incredibly tasty Irani Tangdi Kebab ($13) — chicken drumsticks marinated in cream that melt in your mouth. Also sensational is their tender Fish Tikka ($11.50). If you're more in the mood for bread, we urge you to try the Romali Roti ($5.50) over the ubiquitous naans. "Rumal" means "handkerchief", explaining the thin, large form of the bread, which goes excellently with tandoori dishes.
Avg Price: $25 per person
Photo by Burppler Jayne Tan

Since it was founded in 1908, Zam Zam has pretty much stood stoic and unaffected to the comings and goings in the Arab Street enclave, while feeding quite a few generations of diners! Along with family routines and tradition, what keeps regulars coming back are its massive murtabaks. The Mutton Murtabak (from $6 for a substantial small portion) is a favourite, but there are also other protein variations including chicken, sardine and beef — just be sure to share! Burpple Tastemaker Sheryl Lyx loves how "it's stuffed with meat and beautifully pan-fried to a crisp". The accompanying curry further elevates the dish with its punchy flavours. Sit downstairs to soak in the buzz and watch the nimble-fingered roti prata men do their thing, or head upstairs to chill out in space and air-conditioned comforts.
Avg Price: $10 per person
Photo by Burppler Akira Hirakawa

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